RPA in business transaction services
With RPA, businesses can automate mundane rules-based business processes, enabling business users to devote more time to serving customers or other higher-value work. Others see RPA as a stopgap en route to intelligent automation (IA) via machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) tools, which can be trained to make judgments about future outputs.
Bots are typically low-cost and easy to implement, requiring no custom software or deep systems integration – Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
New techniques are being identified to leverage the power of RPA to realize more than a dozen benefits, such as reducing processing errors, freeing up teams to perform more knowledge-based work and accelerating the divestiture and integration life cycle.
The most recent innovation is robotic process automation (RPA). Many companies have started to use RPA for their data migrations or have begun to pilot its use within their enterprise as part of their innovation initiatives. This application of RPA is just scratching the surface of the potential impact of this technology in business transactions.
Processes to consider for RPA
- High-volume repetitive transactions
- High levels of manual data capture and entry
- Interaction with multiple applications or systems
- Multiple tasks to perform a process
- Definable business rules and exceptions
Activities typically performed by RPA
- Data entry, validation and manipulation
- Data transfer between applications
- Automated formatting
- Copy-and-paste operations
RPA can solve these challenges and many more with minimal investment in the following ways:
- Standing up a new organization. Supporting the creation of a divested organization with data entry in back office roles in finance, HR, purchasing, supply chain and other shared services to increase the value of the transaction, instead of increasing headcount
- Integration synergy. Achieving synergies by migrating the data entry roles and support roles above to RPA in acquisitions
- Interim system integration. Establishing interim integration between disparate systems that cannot be quickly integrated through traditional technologies, enabling the buyer to begin to unlock value from the newly purchased entity
“The value of RPA has been proven in the market, yet only 50-70% of these projects are successful. Those that are successful tend to have very strong project management support from a trusted advisor with significant experience with RPA .” –Weston Jones, Partner, Global Robotics and Intelligent Automation Leader, EY Advisory
What companies are using RPA?
Walmart, Deutsche Bank, AT&T, Vanguard, Ernst & Young, Walgreens, Anthem and American Express Global Business Travel are among the many enterprises adopting RPA.
Walmart CIO Clay Johnson says the retail giant has deployed about 500 bots to automate anything from answering employee questions to retrieving useful information from audit documents. “A lot of those came from people who are tired of the work,” Johnson says.
David Thompson, CIO of American Express Global Business Travel, uses RPA to automate the process for canceling an airline ticket and issuing refunds. Thompson is also looking to use RPA to facilitate automatic rebook recommendations in the event of an airport shutdown, and to automate certain expense management tasks.
“We’ve taken RPA and trained it on how employees do those tasks,” says Thompson, who implemented a similar solution in his prior role as CIO at Western Union. “The list of things we could automate is getting longer and longer.”