5 Business Use Cases of Robotic Process Automation


Deutsche Bank, leading global financial solutions provider was looking to optimize its trade finance and loan operations functions, in a highly regulated and increasingly competitive market. They onboarded a robotics in banking portfolio, offered by myriad RPA vendors and now have more than half their functions automated.

Robotic Process Automation a.k.a RPA is the next big thing after artificial intelligence and IoT, and through examples like robotics in banking, we’ll take a look at the various business cases it could have for your business.

Customer Support

In an interview McKinsey had with Leslie Willcocks of the London School of Economics, she opines that cutting-edge technology like Robotic Process Automation is the single factor driving more purposeful, stimulating work to the entire world.

Look at the customer facing teams across organizations. We have seen how the representatives can barely manage it all, and the pressure is rising to keep errors at bay, manage multiple apps to retrieve information, while ensuring exceptional customer service. Sounds almost superhuman? It nearly is. Leslie talks about jobs which were repetitive and dull, when humans were meant to solve complex tasks that required cognitive acumen.

Despite the doomsday fears the world is having on the potential negative impact, industry verticals like Robotics automation in banking are helping bankers and financiers free up valuable resource time of their colleagues. This is eliminating the time they spend collating information about the customer and case histories, and creating valuable time they can spend talking and growing closer to their customers.

If we go back to the pre-Robotics in banking era, one would even shudder to think of what customers were put through vis-a-vis the employees. Today, customer support has taken on a fresh avatar, thanks to RPA embedded deep into it, reducing turnaround time, and helping companies grow closer to their customers.

Organizational Functions

The discussions now in the enterprise market is not if Robotic Process Automation is driving efficiencies, but more of when is it going to be completely absorbed and become an integral part of an organization’s functioning, like ERP or project management solutions that are used widely.

In an enterprise, there are many functions, some of which can be automated, and some which can’t or shouldn’t. A quick disclaimer is that onboarding RPA through RPA vendors is a process which requires meticulous observation, evaluation, occasional modification of process structures and more.

Further, with the criticality of business functions today, many end up working in silos, with limited interaction between them. To take the BFSI sector as an example, which incidentally is also the largest adopter of automation like robotics in banking, each function could deploys their own solutions that accelerates their workflows.

But that creates a lot of noise and incoherent activity when the business unit heads look at the operations from a birds-eye view. The key then is to have an end-to-end view of the reason behind automation, something that has customer outcomes as the primary objective, causing the creation of the whole blueprint of how the process should be set up.

A central controlling network is also needed to coordinate the automation being implemented across functions, helping in organized systems working in tandem, where synergies are derived from the overall functioning.

Business Processes

After the central moderating structure is set up, overseeing and controlling how the entire robotic architecture works in tandem with the other systems is where the actual action begins. This is a vital business case that allows expedited and massive automation to drive quicker resolution of queries and faster business delivery, as industries adopt this in large numbers.

With businesses processes forming the core of operations, the current situation is far from ideal. Associates are encumbered with problems from sourcing inputs and details, to filing KYC documents or tax forms, followed up by transferring the case to another who in turn checks system of records.

At JP Morgan for example, their lawyers end up spend a lot of time reviewing financial deals, usually taking upto around 360,000 hours. Recently, they added robotics in banking to aide their operations, and the results were instant.

RPA is essentially software that mimics human behaviour with the input of code, in such a way that when executed in the case of Desktop automation, the system quickly executes the steps.

When the skilled employees can spend more time in tackling strategic problems that usually results in increased ROI, routine tasks can be rendered to the automating systems. Businesses are seeing an uptick of upto 50-70% overall, thanks to RPA.

Human Resource

Robotic Process Automation was actually meant to take the bot out of the human: rid him or her from tasks that the machines could easily do. But as much as we hear about machines becoming ever more intelligent through the cumulative learnings acquired over time, RPA vendors are now addressing challenges that the talent management divisions are facing.

Customers, or in this case, employees are bringing their A-game to their work, and expect their employers to give them the best. Process automation is now helping the department scan an increasing number of resumes, identifying the most relevant ones, are automating payroll processes and more.

That is reducing the pressure on the employees, allowing them to spend time on thinking of creative employee engagement campaigns, handle complex queries with an expanding global talent base and more.

With new regulations coming in like the General Data Protection Regulator, human resource must always be equipped to adhere to critical regulations that revolve around personal data, or employee rights, and automated solutions are assisting in facilitating this more efficiently.

Since HR is part of every organization and will become ever more relevant with RPA focusing on creating a more sophisticated highly skilled workforce, it is finding use cases and contributing to the growth of the organization.

Digital Mandate

With organizations dipping their hand in digital offerings, generally covering social, mobile, analytics, IoT and much more, no organization is immune to the digital threat. It has the ability to make industries, not just companies disappear.

Therefore, when a digital mandate becomes part of the organization’s strategy, robotic process automation will soon default as the biggest focus area. RPA will be the biggest driver, and connected to advance analytics and machine learning that all work in context towards the business and customer objectives, RPA will soon become an indispensable tool to function.

We see how it is already driving an upheaval in cost savings, somewhere around 75%, estimated by KPMG, if organizations get their RPA strategies right.

And while there are reports of lesser jobs, the focus for enterprises is to identify new areas for employees to spend more of their capabilities around creativity and judgement, something that tools like Robotics in banking can never do.

Large system integrators can get your digital efforts started by tools tailored to boost your organization’s performance, vis-a-vis your competitors.

Capgemini talks about how RPA and components of artificial intelligence are working together to derive larger benefits. It is now leading to a new term called Intelligent Automation (IA).

IA is next in the digital arsenal which will be integrated into the tech portfolio that includes robotics in banking, healthcare and manufacturing, that will begin to not just execute the process faster than its human counterparts, but will start reading the data, understand trends and human behaviour.

But to get the ball rolling, our business cases must give you the ammunition needed to begin the process. Ignore this, and you could reach a point of no return.

Jag Bethi
Jag Bethi
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