All Posts By

Syed Waqas

Robotic Process Automation in Master Data Management (MDM)

By Robotic Process Automation

Global business are highly data driven. In recent technological progression Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has empowered businesses to improve, standardize and automate their manual, repetitive and time-consuming processes. Within the area of Master Data Management (MDM) businesses often face manual activities that need to be performed.

MASTER DATA MANAGEMENT

Any Business Information is usually a Master Data and management of these data sets makes up Master Data Management (MDM). MDM activity includes:

  • Creation: A sales person has a new customer and must be added in the system.
  • Updating: The address of the customer changes and this must be updated in the system.
  • Deletion (archiving): For over a year the customer has not bought anything from the company, therefore the status of the customer must be changed to inactive or be deleted from the system.
  • Cleansing: Based on deviations identified in data quality reports the proactive cleansing of records can be initiated.

ROBOTIC PROCESS AUTOMATION

RPA is a low-code business solution allowing software robots to automate and manage manual and tedious activity performed frequently by the humans. It is cost-effective and intelligent solution for automation. RPA has encouraged organizations to implement it in their business departments, like in Finance, HR or IT. The software robots use the user interface of existing applications and includes techniques such as screen scraping, rule-based engines and process workflows.

RPA implementation time is relatively short and is less expensive than human labor, an RPA software license is available for a fraction of FTE related cost and can perform the work of 3-4 FTE. Typically, RPA is implemented through a Center of Excellence (CoE) consisting of both business and IT involvement within the business itself and is closely aligned with the process specialist. This approach results in more business focused, tailor made solutions with attention to the details.

Implementing and Integrating RPA within MDM:

RPA has been successfully applied throughout the Finance domain, whether the standard Purchase-to-Pay, Record-to-Report or Order-to-Cash processes. A large corporate client has implemented RPA to enter invoice details into the ERP system, post manual journal entries and prepare financial reports by integrating multiple software applications. After the successful implementation of RPA within Finance, other business areas quickly followed such as HR, IT, Procurement, Tax and Internal Audit.

In order to gather more process improvement ideas, organizations are using Process Mining to identify and focus MDM areas and business cases. It helps in finding activities causing master data issues, performed by humans that take too much time, effort.

A suitable RPA business activity should be rule-based, repetitive and highly manual standard business process. The more mature a process in terms of standardized delivery, the more eligible it is for robotic process automation. But due to complexity or compliance constraints some operations require human involvement. RPA implementation to automate MDM activities has become more relevant and significant for businesses in digital transformation journey within MDM areas.

RPA Implementation Benefits:

  • Replacement of manual data with the help of automation
  • Ensuring consistency with data cleansing activities
  • Save time and money by automating installations and application
  • Power of data gaining predictive insight
  • Implementation of changing circumstances faster
  • Promotes consistent master data operations and output
  • Compliance to the process is guaranteed
  • Master data is up to date as required
  • Improved process design re-engineering and maturity

Conclusion:

Considering the relatively lower costs, RPA allows businesses to automate the manual processes that exists, and in this way, helps more steady master data operations and output within the organization. Businesses have opportunities to use Robotic Process Automation within Master Data Management and realizing their fast benefits. To achieve control of master data within the processes and standards, RPA is a solution

Robotic Process Automation in the Manufacturing Industry

By Robotic Process Automation

The early adopters of automation were the companies in the manufacturing industry, implementing mechanical robots into processing lines to perform daily production activities in the plant. While the robots are effectively helping in the assembly lines, the companies still face hurdles in handling operational procedures in back-office operations.

To achieve automated efficiency in areas other than the production line, the manufacturing sector is increasingly adopting Robotic Process Automation to improve back-office processes like payment and refunds processing; reconciling of forecast vs actual expenditures; customs import processing; the generation of commercial finance contracts; and many more.

What is RPA?

Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is a software robot that is integrated with business processes to automate certain activities, minimize human errors, and maximize productivity. It eliminates the need for employees to perform repetitive tasks by integrating software that performs the same set of steps as the employee.

The robot is designed to perform routine tasks across multiple applications and systems within an existing workflow. It performs specific tasks to automate the transfer, editing, reporting and/or saving of data. For example, RPA can automatically collect data from multiple sources, perform a data manipulation such as applying data formulas in Excel and then export or save the information to a readily available location.

What are the applications of RPA?

Below is a chart that lists several types of tasks by the back-office department that can be automated in most organizations:

HR  New employee forms  Employee termination documentation   Employee benefits 
       
Finance / Accounting  AR/AP tracking  Financial reporting   Vendor management 
       
IT  New user setup  Software requesting   Inventory tracking 
       
Sales / Marketing  Sales campaign email management   Outreach campaigns   CRM automation 
       
Others  Executive analysis reports  Regulatory compliance documentation  Inventory management 

Consider a process where the finance department needs to work with IT and sales to request multiple data sets, get input, and share the results. Rather than emailing those departments to pull the same data set every quarter to develop an Excel-based report, an RPA solution automatically performs the data pull and generates the entire Excel report. This not only saves time and effort across the various departments, but also enables the finance team to spend more time doing meaningful analysis of the reports and develop projections and deeper insights.

Use Cases of RPA in the Manufacturing Industry

Bill of Materials (BOM)

BOM is an important document in the manufacturing industry. It is a comprehensive record of materials and components required for producing or manufacturing a new product. The document gives employees details of what, when, where, as well as how to buy in the advancement of new products.

RPA bots with their ability to perform error free task function can complete the process with precision and in a timely manner.

Customer Support and Service Desk

Manual customer request handling can lead to errors and delay the response time, leaving customers unsatisfied. When RPA is employed, companies can reach multiple data sets stored at various locations from a specific location which allows the company to aid its customers better. An integrated chatbot application can play a significant role as a CSM solution.

Automating Administration and Reporting

Administration and reporting tasks are laborious but they can be easily automated.

  • Recording action items and meeting minutes
  • Recording attendance
  • Responding to FAQ emails
  • Scheduling meetings
  • Ordering supplies
  • Predicting computer problems
  • Creating and filing invoices

Invoice processing starts with receiving an invoice and ends when the payment is completed and recorded. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a more efficient way to process invoices.

All required reports for providing a clear and effective portrait of production can be developed precisely and timely through the aid of bots.

Data migration

Shifting data from the old to new system is a significant task in the manufacturing industry and there is a big chance of error. RPA can reduce the possibility of such errors and will be productive in performance.

Inventory Management

Automated emailing, filing invoicing and dispatching can improve operational efficiency, cost reduction, and enhance interaction with both suppliers and consumers. RPA-based automation provides inventory managers with real-time data about the inventory levels so that they can monitor these levels and make better decisions.

Regulatory compliance

RPA operations are transparent and accessible for analysis. This makes it simpler to make modifications to adjust according to compliance and regulations.

Management of IT Operations

Managing IT infrastructure and operations is a challenge. By using RPA, IT teams can have better visibility into the IT infrastructure and operations, thereby enabling IT teams to strategically manage IT resources without requiring a manual process.

Proactive Risk Management

RPA can provide organizations with proactive and fully automated audits for business processes. Automated workflows can predict risk and alert stakeholders of problems that may arise.

Benefits of RPA in manufacturing

RPA bots can handle rule-based repetitive tasks and minimize the need for human interference. In manufacturing the can:

  • Decrease time and human labor spent of routine tasks
  • Decrease the go-to-market time
  • Increase data quality and minimize process errors by reducing human interference
  • Maintain an audit trail
  • Error-free, consistent results
  • Employees can be utilized for higher-value work
  • Increased job satisfaction (not spending time doing repetitive, low-value work)
  • Faster, more predictable delivery timing
  • Documented trail of work performed
  • Identification of anomalies or other red flags
  • Cost savings
  • Reduced wastage and mistakes
  • Increased focus and efficiency
  • Enhanced back-office operations

Conclusion

It is the appropriate time for manufacturing domains to integrate the next wave of automation beyond their core processes and in non-core segments with RPA and enjoy a reduction in their expenses as well as a productivity enhancement. It will certainly be an advantage for manufacturing enterprises that wish to unlock their full potential in aspects like management, productivity, and administration, to consider the prospect of executing RPA solutions in their operating areas.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

By Robotic Process Automation

By Syed Waqas

What is RPA?

RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is a productivity tool that a person can use to make software ‘robots’ to perform repetitive, rule-based digital tasks. RPA robots mimic the human actions in a business or IT process. They are typically more accurate, faster, more consistent and can interact with applications to automate monotonous chores in the workplace.


What these RPA robots can do?

The RPA robots can:

· Extract structured data from documents

· Log into and run applications

· Open emails and attachments

· Fill in forms

· Read and write to databases

· Make calculations

· Connect to other systems

They can manipulate data, pass data to and from different applications, trigger responses, or execute transactions. They use a combination of user interface interaction and descriptor technologies.


How RPA helps in businesses?

By enhancing business productivity and efficiency, RPA serves as the new technological relief for companies.

RPA helps businesses to:

· Scale faster – by making the decision-making process faster, with accurate and high-volume complete data.

· Reduce cost – by automating manual activities and time-consuming tasks.

· Grow revenue – by reducing cycle time and capturing additional revenue streams.

· Enhance customer experience – by providing better customer service and product interactions.

· Improve compliance and regulations – by ensuring compliance through automations enforcing business rules.

· Build a foundation for AI – by collecting, cleaning, and organizing data used in AI solutions.

· Elevate employee experience – by improving employee experiences and automating repetition.


What industries are taking advantages from it?

RPA robots are being adopted and used globally and impacting positive effects on the business productivity. Industries like insurance, banking, and financial services have started to experience the result of their acceptance of RPA. And more are taking interest in enhancing their investments.

· Technology

o Hardware and Software testing for functional, load and mobile performance

· Manufacturing

o ERP Automation

o Automation of Logistics Data

o Data Monitoring

o Product Pricing Comparisons

· Telecom

o Collecting & Consolidating Data from Client Phone Systems

o Backing up information from client systems

o Uploading data

o Extracting data about competitor pricing

o Phone Manufacturing Information

· Professional Services (Education-Retail-Hospitality-Consumer Goods etc.)

o Data Verification

o Payment Processing

o User Account Creation

o Order Processing

o Data Entry

o Extracting product data from Manufacturing websites

o Updating Online Inventory

o Email Sales

o Automating Transactions

· Financial Services (Insurance & Banking)

o Automate Data Validations

o Data Migration between Banking applications

o Customer Account Management

o Report Creation

o Form Filling

o Loan Claims Processing

o Updating Loan Data & Backing up Teller Receipts

· Healthcare

o Patient Data Migration & Processing

o Reporting for Doctors

o Medical Bill Processing

o Insurance Data Automation & Claim Processing

o Claim Status & Eligibility Automation

o Patient Record Storage

RPA robots are also being used in Public Sector & Non-Profit / NGOs.


Some researched facts & mentions:

As per Gartner, Global robotic process automation (RPA) software revenue is projected to reach $1.89 billion in 2021, an increase of 19.5% from 2020, according to the latest forecast from Gartner, Inc. Despite economic pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the RPA market is still expected to grow at double-digit rates through 2024.

 

“The key driver for RPA projects is their ability to improve process quality, speed and productivity, each of which is increasingly important as organizations try to meet the demands of cost reduction during COVID-19,” said Fabrizio Biscotti, research vice president at Gartner. “Enterprises can quickly make headway on their digital optimization initiatives by investing in RPA software, and the trend isn’t going away anytime soon.”

  • COVID-19 Increased Enterprise Interest in RPA
  • Organizations Are Expected to Grow their RPA Capacity
  • Future RPA Clients Will Come from Non-IT Buyers

“Robotic process automation (RPA) is still in early stages of implementation at many companies, but it is already solving some of the age-old data entry problems that have cost organizations years of frustration and lost productivity. The frustration comes in when a user must update three separate systems with invoice data because the systems can’t talk to each other.

With RPA automation, user data entry can be emulated. The RPA automatically populates all of the different data entry points and systems with the same data, so the user doesn’t have to rekey it multiple times. Since the RPA does this repetitively and changelessly, there is also no risk of human error.”  Mary E. Shacklett. President of Transworld Data


What RPA services are available?

Following are the Top Ten RPA services as rated by Gartner:

1. UiPath Platform

2. Automation Anywhere Enterprise RPA Platform

3. Blue Prism

4. TruBot

5. AutomationEdge

6. Microsoft Power Automate

7. Appian RPA

8. WorkFusion Intelligent Automation Cloud

9. Kofax RPA

10. ANTstein