Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Employing a Virtual Workforce

Posted by Chuck Branum on May 11, 2021 10:01:59 AM

Just ask your Customer Service Representatives, "What is the toughest or most annoying part of your daily tasks?" The answer may not surprise you. You may find that your workforce is spending a large amount of time on things that are necessary, but repetitive. Frankly, these items do not add significant value to the business and, in turn, they diminish employee satisfaction. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is built to handle tasks that are slowing down your employees, as well as ones that are just very boring for them to do. A trusted partner can help you figure out where automation can add to the efficiency and effectiveness of your Contact Center or Back Office.

Robotic Process Automation is a solution that allows you to perform rule-based work by using technology to interact with any software application or website in the same way a human would. We can do this by moving these mundane, tedious, error-prone, boring, repetitive workflows from humans to machines to free people up to be engaged in more meaningful work.

So, what are these robots and what exactly is it that they do? Basically, they are a piece of software that can imitate any employees' desktop activity. This could be a mouse selection of a certain field or piece of data, it could be field entry – like typing in text, copying and pasting, screen navigation, or writing to different databases simultaneously. Think tedious tasks...

Four Major Benefits to RPA

  • They can work tirelessly around the clock – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They take no breaks and they don’t ever complain. As you can see, there is a huge advantage to employing a robot for some of those mundane, routine tasks.

  • Robots are faster than the average employee. In fact, they can handle a process 4-5 times faster than a human being. Keep in mind that they can still face the same challenges as the employee in terms of third-party application responsiveness or slow network speed. However, even with those challenges, the robot will be much faster.

  • They complete far more work items per day/week versus the average employee.

  • They don’t make mistakes. They do exactly what they’re programmed to do, from point “A” to point “Z.” They won’t forget any steps in the process, they wouldn’t grab the wrong field and paste it into an email… well, you get the point. At the end of the day, with RPA, more processes are completed flawlessly.

Use Case

A customer wanted to resolve a workflow in which they receive more than 20,000 invoices in 100 different formats that need to be read onto various applications. The current process was tedious and monotonous, slow, and error prone, and the employees working on it weren’t happy to have this work.

Two RPAs were recommended. The first was a Customer Constraint Process. The unattended robot, or RPA, automated the process to build the report and generate the client email as part of this process. The second automation deployed automated their Quote Remittance Process.

The first process included automating quantities of items and lead times, then comparing dates and building the Excel spreadsheet before sending an email to the client. We wanted to determine if the robot could follow the same steps in the process that an agent does today.

The robot was able to gather the info, build the Excel spreadsheet, and create the email – faster than a human and without errors! We were able to validate that Robotic Process Automation can completely automate the process of generating the Customer Constraint Report. This allowed us to prove that ConvergeOne can effectively manipulate this customer’s systems, automate the processes, save time, reduce labor requirements, and reduce errors.

The second process was to automate the Quote Remittance process, including opening the application, assigning a quote, editing quote details (as necessary), entering the data for the quote, and responding (upload). The robot followed the same steps in the process that an agent does today. By automating the process, we were able to lower the operational cost and provide a cost-effective, scalable digital workforce to facilitate growth.

In the end, both processes were extremely successful, and we were able to:

  • Replicate the actions of the employees, saving time, reducing errors, allowing faster response times, and allowing people to focus on higher-value activities.
  • Handle exceptions with Attended Automation for further gains.
  • The robots served as digital staff augmentation, reducing the operating costs and staffing requirements.
Other areas where RPA is helpful include Accounts Payable, HR, IT, Onboarding, Offboarding, etc. Potential savings in the millions!

The adoption of Robotic Process Automation is so helpful to so many industries. Once RPA is deployed in your environment, it is just a matter of finding additional areas within the business where automation can assist. The opportunities are endless.

Get NICE RPA Licenses for Free with ConvergeOne

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has a proven ability to drive greater operational and cost efficiencies for organizations, and ConvergeOne with NICE has the means to help businesses to better weather the global economic storm. This is why we made the decision for a limited time to make NICE RPA licenses freely available to all enterprises, anywhere in the United States, to help alleviate operational pressures, one process at a time.

Claim Your Free RPA Licenses

Topics: Contact Center, Customer Experience


Chuck Branum
Chuck Branum  -- Chuck Branum is a Business Development Manager focused on Workforce Optimization.