IT Central Station members have enthusiastically embraced Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and reviewed our top RPA tools. Using examples, they describe a host of innovative use cases arising across multiple industries and business disciplines. These include using RPA for fraud detection, automated accounting processes, contact center operations and much more. Although there are some limitations of RPA in its ability to automate certain processes, it can handle a lot of simple, manual tasks very quickly.
Each of the cases and examples below speak to the benefits of RPA and, by extension, the ROI for RPA. While many of them describe the sole use of RPA for their projects, RPA and AI can be used together to further enhance automation capabilities, optimizations, and cost savings. Since the cost of RPA is not immaterial, consider your use case and the value of bot automation before evaluating further.
Financial operations, with its repetitive workflows, is a natural for RPA. For a Head of Automation who uses WorkFusion at a financial services firm with more than 10,000 employees, the use case involves reading information from a spreadsheet and capturing it into a core processing system. The benefit, as he put it, “was that this process was carried out hundreds of times every day, and took up to an hour each time, so the capacity saving was massive.”
Ahmed E., a Senior RPA Engineer at BBI-Consultancy, a tech services company with over 50 employees, uses Pega RPA for checking compliance, financial processes and HR processes. Joe K., a Senior Business Automation Support Developer at TIAABANK, a financial services firm with over 1,000 employees, also uses Pega, but for fraud investigation. Specifically, as he explained, if the fraud unit discovers frauds on an account, they have to put restrictions on the banking account and/or credit cards, depending on what type of fraud it is. He has been able to automate many of these steps with RPA.
“We've automated journal entries, bank reconciliations, different claims-accounting - a lot of finance processes,” explained an RPA Developer who uses Automation Anywhere at a consultancy with over 1,000 employees. “For example, we created a system where accountants can drop in journal entries and the journal entries will be read and posted to our system.” His company has 40 automations now active on Bot Runner. For Eric D., a Business Apps manager who uses Automation Anywhere at New Jersey Resources Corporation, an energy company with over 1,000 employees, the primary use case automates data entry functions for accounting. They now have five bots running.
As a business, healthcare is as much about handling documents and transactions as it is about treating patients. For this reason, use RPA is on the increase in the industry. For example, an Associate IT Developer at a healthcare company with more than 10,000 employees uses Automation Anywhere primarily for financial use cases. He shared, “We have a bot that monitors quotes and budgets for products that are in their lifecycle or have expired. All of the concerns for finance are automated.”
A UiPath user at a healthcare company with over 1,000 employees similarly noted, “I am using UiPath for automating finance processes. One example is AP invoice processing. I am integrating [SAP] ABBYY with UiPath so that we can easily extract information from an invoice with different templates. Then, once done, the UiPath robot will input the information into an Oracle system.” An Engineer uses Automation Anywhere for user requests that affect SAP security at a healthcare company with more than 10,000 employees.
Agent guidance is where Nicola B. puts RPA to work in the insurance field. A Business Readiness Manager who uses NICE at Swinton, an insurance company with over 1,000 employees, Nicola employs RPA to help agents save time on the system that pops up throughout calls and helps them guide the conversation with the customer. “It makes sure they say what they need to say, in terms of regulatory stuff. That's especially true when they're selling product,” she said.
Other notable comments about RPA use in insurance include:
· “We use it for billing and collections, business administration, and insurance.” - Justin K., an Operations Consultant who uses Kryon at LTCG, an insurance company with over 1,000 employees
· “One use case is reconciliation processes for insurance group retirement and LOB (Law on Occupational Benefits) plans.” - Parvez M., a RPA Architect who uses UiPath at Equitable, an insurance company with over 1,000 employees
· “The primary use case is around manual conversion of data from one system to another. These are big processes right now.” - Jeff M., an AVP Customer Experience who uses UiPath at Encova Ins, an insurance company with over 1,000 employees
Manufacturing use cases for RPA include automating accounting and back end processes as well as supply chain management. This is purpose Automation Anywhere has served for Rajeev M., Finance Head at a manufacturing company with more than 10,000 employees. For Masaru O., Assistant to the GM, uses Automation Anywhere for master data management at a manufacturing company with more than 10,000 employees. An IT Analyst at a manufacturing company with over 500 employees applies Automation Anywhere to order-scheduling. As he put it, “We take internal orders and we schedule them with our customers. There is a lot of data that we're managing both in our systems and in our customers' systems.”
“We make medicines to cure cancers,” explained Brian D., Senior IS Manager at Amgen, a pharma/biotech company with more than 10,000 employees—showing the potential stakes of automation in that industry. He added, “We use Automation Anywhere for intelligence automation or robotic process automation. So, we use it in finance, accounting, and supply chain. We are actual using it across multiple functions in the company. We have automated a number of processes in accounting and finance: month-end close, eliminating profits, reconciliation, some in HR, some in operations, inventory to sell, and various other finance and account processes.”
A Sr. IT ERP Specialist who uses VisualCron at a pharma/biotech company with over 1,000 employees offered another interesting use of the technology, saying, “Our primary use case is for automating encryption and transfer of files between our internal systems and systems of our business partners.” Calculating prices is the automated workload set up on UiPath by a Senior Specialist - Controlling Service at a pharma/biotech company with more than 10,000 employees. Henrik L., a Senior Research Associate Novozymes, a pharma/biotech company with more than 5,000 employees, uses UiPath to compile a database of worldwide maps for ordering materials.
RPA in the telecom sector comprises order entry, design, activation and interactions with field, according to a Sr. Manager Operational Support who uses UiPath at a comms service provider with more than 10,000 employees. For Kamal G., a Software Engineer In Test who uses UiPath at CenturyLink, a comms service provider with more than 10,000 employees, it’s Optical Character Recognition (OCR) text validation features that make a difference in efficiency. “It has helped to make us more agile,” he shared. Automating the closing of customer complaint tickets is how Nihal K., an Operations Support Sr Manager at Etisalat, a comms service provider with more than 10,000 employees, uses UiPath.
Other Operational Use Cases
IT Central Station members continually seek new uses for RPA in a variety of operational areas, including:
· Contact Center: “In terms of employee accuracy, we have a complaint-monitoring team that quality-marks random calls. They look at compliance quality as well as whether it was a good outcome for the customer. Was it a good conversation? They give the call a score and that is one of the agents' metrics. The quality has gotten better. Employees aren't getting mixed up on what they have to say. As a company, in the contact center, we've gone from a 49 percent ‘good’ rate to 59 percent.” - Nicola B.
· Human Resources (HR): “We are using it as a recruiting capability where we receive resumes in from recruiters, one in particular. Then, we're looking at the emails, pulling data off the resumes, and loading it into a database. We are also identifying resumes which might need some additional clarification. This saves a lot of time, so somebody doesn't have to go through each email, evaluate them, and pull the resumes down.” - Kamran K., a VP Strategy who uses UiPath at Interimage, a tech services company with over 50 employees
· Logistics: “Our primary use case for this solution is for automating miscellaneous back-office processes. For example, anything that Home Depot does as a matter of course of normal business. Those use cases can be anything from the supply chain, stuff flying through our logistics chain, to online merchandising, to item data management.” - Ethan B., a Sr Software Developer who uses UiPath at a construction company with more than 5,000 employees
· Compliance: “Uses include compliance related matters and checking of anti-social forces. We are taking the initiative to automate all sorts of administrative tasks of the company with the help of robots and RPA.” - Kyoichi H., a GM Business Process Planning Dept who uses Automation Anywhere at an insurance company with more than 10,000 employees
· Procurement: “I work with a lot of people in procurement and finance to pull data from a lot of different systems, consolidating it, and creating reports, then presenting it. What I do a lot of is taking that consolidated data and creating automated reports with Microsoft Power BI and visualization tools.” - Conrad T., a Data Analyst who uses UiPath at BAE Systems, a tech company with more than 10,000 employees