Every business, across every industry sector, has certain mundane tasks it would rather not have to do. These are the repetitive, routinized tasks that are time-consuming to complete, but have to be done for the sake of the business. Think of chores like data migration, in which data has to be transferred from, or checked against, one application to another.
Fortunately, this is where Robotic Process Automation (RPA) enters the picture. RPA refers to software “robots” which are capable of automating many of these repetitive workplace tasks. Not only does this mean freeing up for more productive work the human worker who would previously have had to do these jobs, but it also can ensure that the tasks are carried out faster, more efficiently, with greater levels of compliance, and, in many cases, with fewer errors.
Because every business has its mundane tasks, it’s no surprise to hear that RPA has been widely adopted across multiple industries. According to a report by Forrester Research, spending on RPA hit $1.5 billion in 2020. In each case, bots are able to make the workload easier for businesses and their employees. What changes are the specific tasks that RPA is called on to assist with.
Here are six examples of industries RPA is helping to transform.
Banking and financial services
One of the premier use-cases for RPA automation, banking and financial services make the perfect case study. The financial sector is swimming in an enormous number of documents — ranging from accounts to transactional information about deposits, withdrawals, transfers, and more. RPA can be used for a slew of applications in banking, such as automatic report generation, customer onboarding, automated account opening, Know your customer (KYC) and Anti-Money laundering (AML), loan processing, and mortgage lending.
However, one of its most potentially valuable applications involves compliance, ensuring that human employee actions are in line with the latest governmental or other regulations. In doing so, it can not only save banks and other financial institutions money by carrying out some of the above tasks more rapidly, it can also save them from potentially devastating fines.
RPA bots can be used to greatly reduce the time insurance companies spend manually processing claims. Jobs like working out vehicle total loss normally requires multiple people to access different insurance systems, to order loss letters, place those letters into envelopes, and then mail them out. Bots that work 24/7 can greatly speed up the rate that this processing is done, saving tens of thousands of labor hours per year. It also improves the customer experience due to the faster handling of issues. RPA bots can additionally be used in the insurance industry for, among other tasks, policy cancellation, sales and distribution, process and business analytics, and more.
Travel and tourism industry
RPA can assist with previously human-executed tasks like canceling airline tickets and issuing refunds. It can also assist with booking process automation, assist travel agents with entering and updating Passenger Name Record (PNR) information, data validation, and improve the customer experience through robot chat technology: monitoring live chats and chiming in with automated information in response to queries where necessary.
In addition, RPA can be utilized for competitor analysis, by tracking competitors in the marketplace and offering alerts whenever they change prices or strategies. In a fast-paced industry, where customer satisfaction is paramount, RPA can be a game-changer for those in travel and tourism.
Using bots in a field called “human resources” might seem contradictory, but they have their place here as well. RPA bots can be utilized to great effect for processes such as onboarding, which routinely requires a lot of paperwork in order to get new employees up and running. This is a job in which it’s necessary to enter employee information into a number of different systems, often requiring copy-and-pasting from one application to another.
Other HR jobs that RPA can help with include screening resumes and shortlisting candidates, offer letter admin, tracking employee attendance, payroll management, travel and expenses documentation, and more.
There are plenty of high frequency, repetitive processes in telecommunications which are essential for delivering service to customers. Many of these are ones that RPA tools can help with. One prominent example is customer service, with RPA tools useful for providing automated responses to certain queries or routing messages on to the right person.
They can also quickly pinpoint any eligibility on the part of customers for certain promotions. However, the possible use-cases don’t end there. They can additionally be used for generating reports for stakeholder information and carrying out competitor price checking.
Healthcare is a tough, and heavily regulated, industry that RPA can play a vital role in. Possible tasks ripe for automation include patient scheduling and reminders, eligibility checks, processing claims, billing, and data entry. RPA bots can also play an important part of compliance by making sure that process steps are fully traceable and documented, organized into properly structured logs. The use of RPA in this application can ensure that healthcare companies are in a position to be able to deal immediately with even unexpected external audits.