Intelligent Automation: Robotic Process Automation Positions Middle Market Organizations for Growth
Doing business today, is tough business. Middle-market organizations are facing unrelenting disruption. They are challenged with innovating their products and services, reaching new customers and delivering results faster, all while developing and supporting their employees and partners. And, if they are like those successful businesses presently dominating the market, chances are that Digital Transformation is at the forefront of their business strategy.
As we spoke about in our article, Digital Transformation Drives Middle Market Resiliency and Growth, digitalizing a business requires transforming the entire business model, using software as the core to the firm’s competitive advantage, customizing the go-to-market approach, scaling offerings or services, and upgrading the operations and technology infrastructure. While there are many aspects to a digital transformation, a key area focuses on the processes and technology an organization capitalizes on to function. A core strategy for transforming these critical areas is an intelligent automation strategy.
What Is Intelligent Automation?
Intelligent automation is the use of automation technologies to streamline and scale decision-making across organizations. In fact, many organizations are moving automation upstream to make it an enterprise-wide strategic priority, rather than used for smaller side-bar projects. So, what type of intelligent automation technologies may be included in a comprehensive enterprise-wide strategy? Three cognitive technologies that encompass intelligent automation include, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Business Process Management (BPM) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). In this article, we will focus on one of the simplest and most assessable forms of automation, Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
What Is RPA?
RPA is an intelligent automation solution that builds, manages and deploys software robots to automate repetitive and manual tasks. RPA tools such as Microsoft Power Automate, Nintex RPA and MuleSoft RPA define workflows and configure bots to perform designated tasks in a logical sequence. Multiple systems can be involved in each business process that is automated without any need for integration or changes to the underlying system, which makes RPA an attractive technology to implement. RPA can be applied to the most common and repetitive rules-based business processes such as data extraction, migration, validation and entry as well as calculations, opening and moving files, formatting excel sheets and updating databases.
What Are RPA Benefits?
RPA can improve processes, IT, workflow, infrastructure and back-office operations – an attractive accomplishment for a middle-market organization seeking solutions to help enable growth. Perhaps one of the most defining RPA benefits for middle-market organizations is the elimination of manual tasks. With RPA, repetitive tasks are done quickly and accurately, allowing employees to focus on more satisfactory higher-value initiatives that require more emotional intelligence, reasoning and judgment-based decision making.
RPA also boasts a rewarding ROI. With a concrete cost-out scenario, organizations remove the human factor and replace it with technology that works 24/7 with little to no errors. By reducing the human connection, exchange of critical information and data remains secure. As cybersecurity is increasingly important for businesses, RPA elevates security by guarding against unauthorized access and threats. Moreover, RPA can be audited from a single location, rather than performing multiple application audits, thus reducing risks. Likewise, RPA increases compliance by ensuring consistency with various industry and government-required regulations.
Which Industries Benefit From RPA?
Any industry can garner significant benefits from leveraging RPA software. Deployment is simple, and application and capabilities are vast. For manufacturers, the industry is always pursuing better, faster and more cost-effective methods for service and delivery with continuous focus on quality and efficiency. RPA technology can assist with supply chain processes, quality control, inventory management, order and payment processing, and customer service and support.
RPA at Work
Thompson Tractor Company, a full-line Caterpillar and Hyundai equipment dealer, specializes in the sales and rental of service and parts and is recognized as a reliable provider of industrial equipment and related services nationwide. Leveraging Microsoft’s Power Automate digital process and RPA technology, and Microsoft’s Power Apps, a custom application solution was built with automated workflow processes applied for Thompson to help manage, schedule and dispatch industrial equipment in a cloud-based infrastructure. Thompson can automate processes, uphold data integrity and achieve real-time visibility.
Turning to healthcare, the industry is challenged with high costs, volume and stringent regulations while maintaining quality and urgency of care. Opportunities in this industry to leverage RPA can automate appointment management, data entry, claims processing and managing billing to name a few.
RPA at Work
As a multi-specialty telemedicine provider for hospitals, clinics and remote locations nationwide, the healthcare organization offers 24 inpatient and outpatient specialties via virtual consultations. Due to their rapid growth and volume of data, the organization was challenged with time-intensive and antiquated back-end processes that were creating a backlog of invoices and accounts payable. Dependent on manual processes, an employee was responsible for collecting data from various sources and manually reconciling costs to generate invoices and finalize payment – thus, the cash flowing out was not equivalent to the cash being collected. Cherry Bekaert Digital Advisory in partnership with MuleSoft, built a demo RPA solution to automate the reconciliation process, which when applied, will increase speed, accuracy and enable staff to focus on higher-value tasks.
RPA’s implications on middle-market organizations can be a game changer. As a middle-market growth enabler, RPA can optimize costs, attract and retain talent, increase productivity, drive innovation, and enhance positive experiences and opportunities. With so many benefits and a strong ROI, RPA is a technology that will continue to grow, extending its connection to other emerging technologies and value across all industries and enterprises.
About Cherry Bekaert Digital Advisory
Cherry Bekaert’s Digital Advisory team is comprised of strategists who have broad industry experience and keen business acumen. Utilizing an agile and flexible approach, we help examine what you want to achieve with a focus on people, process, technology and culture. We are here to help organizations manage risks, enable growth and support sustainable operations. Leveraging our strategic process, we help digitally enabled organizations, especially middle-market companies, do more with less. Cherry Bekaert stays on top of the latest technology trends, but we know that technology is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Cherry Bekaert is here to guide you on what technology makes sense to adopt as it pertains to delivering the highest value to your organization.