RPA – Robotic Process Automation or automation of process with the support of robots – is not a science fiction theme, but a reality that has been present in many companies for some time. And this is a good start to enter the world of digitalization and save a lot of money!
Current technology allows to configure computer software, or a “robot“, to perform (emulate) and integrate actions, that a human being uses to execute business processes in computerized systems (IT). The RPA robots capture data and manipulate applications, just like humans, and can even interpret and trigger actions to other systems, answer by emails or others means of communication, fill out forms, format data, read texts and search for data on Web or in documents, generate reports and many other tasks, especially those in large quantities, variety and repetitive. All of this with the advantages of RPA robots working 24/7 x 7 days a week, making no mistakes and costing much less than an employee! In addition, they use existing user interfaces, requiring no intervention in the IT infrastructure – on the contrary – their implementation is very fast, allows for high scalability, minimizes interruptions between underlying systems and has low investment with practically immediate results. See in the image at the end of the article some examples of gains that can be achieved with the implementation of an RPA.
Despite this, it is not a universal and miraculous solution: the processes to be automated need to respect some prerequisites for a successful implementation:
- Stable, standardized and rule-based processes
- That are highly manual and repetitive
- With low occurrence of operational exceptions
- Structured and digital data
- High volume of transactions
The most successful sectors with RPA solutions observe the requirements mentioned: high technology and telecommunications (such as reports, opening accounts, drafting service contracts), banks (card activation, account opening process), water and energy supply (account generation, inclusion and verification of consumption readings), health and insurance services (handling claims, preparing offers, reports, refunds) and manufacturing (preparing parts lists, production preparation activities).
Staufen has its own global experience to support the application of RPA in several areas, such as Supply Chain Management, HR and IT Services, in addition to Finance. The scope of support ranges from performing “quick check” assessments to prioritize processes, which includes proof of value (selection and suitability testing of processes for pilots, mapping and redesigning processes under the Lean perspective, tests and release, qualification of employees and support for Go Live) until the development of strategies for RPA, roll out planning and qualifications, in addition to post roll out follow-ups, with duration according to the complexity of the processes.
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Vicente M. Sinkunas Jr. is a master in Management and Technology in Productive Systems, project manager and senior consultant at STAUFEN.
He has been an executive and specialist in the automotive industry. He has Lean certifications for the manufacturing and administrative areas