RPA or robotic process automation is an advanced technology that combines artificial intelligence (AI) and automation that is designed to perform rule-based, routine and repetitive tasks. Just like any other business, more and more business process outsourcing companies are now relying on automation services to automate manual processes and empower employees to devote more time to high-value projects. RPA gives BPO firms the capacity to remain competitive.
According to the report from Grand View Research, the global robotic process automation market size that was valued at USD 1.89 billion in 2021, is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38.2% from 2022 to 2030. Key factors that are expected to boost the market growth are – the need to optimize operations to gain improved productivity and generate maximum return, integration of the latest technologies, and changing business processes across enterprises. Intelligent automation is also anticipated to eliminate more than 40% of service desk interactions by 2025.
Robotic process automation (RPA) is now becoming a promising alternative to traditional labor-intensive BPO operations. The BPO industry has to handle routine, rule-based tasks and can successfully perform such tasks by integrating RPA into their processes. RPA software can analyze large amounts of data with computing, which leads to flexibility, cost reduction, timely execution, and transparency in any process.
RPA Benefits for BPO
- Boosts productivity: While human employees work on jobs that specifically require their skills, robots can easily handle the most time-consuming tasks such as data entry, copy paste tasks between business systems and more. According to KOFAX, when configured properly for a workflow, software robots can increase a team’s capacity for completed work by 35% to 50%. At the same time, they can work faster, cutting data processing times by 30% to 50%. By sharing the back-office duties between humans and robots, businesses can easily increase productivity with the same amount of time.
- Increases operational efficiency: As robots can work tirelessly for 24 hours a day, even a single RPA robot is equal to two to five full-time employees, RPA can significantly improve operational efficiency. Rule-based tasks can be performed more accurately and quickly with automation. It can also reduce process cycle times up to 90%.
- Improves data accuracy: RPA services minimize human intervention and eliminate human errors, which improves data accuracy. BPO companies dealing with diverse processes may have to handle many types of data that are confidential and needed to be entered without any errors. For instance, medical data entry requires patient details to be entered carefully, as even a single mistake would affect the treatment decisions and thus, patient care. Automation provides 100% error-free data.
- Improves the customer experience: Providing better services with high quality and greater accuracy can improve customer satisfaction. RPA tools make it easy to meet highly varied customer demands faster. By handing over the routine, repetitive and dull tasks over to the robots, employees can better concentrate on customer care. Even a larger amount of work can be done in a relatively much shorter period, which makes customers happy.
- Enhances data security: Data security plays a key role in running your business smooth. Any data access can be well controlled and documented with robots, which prevents any chance for data leaks and breaches. The use of RPA also reduces the number of human touches that businesses require to process sensitive information. RPA implementation is ideal mainly for areas with strict personal data regulations.
- Boosts cost efficiency: With RPA speeding up processing times and reducing errors, processing costs are reduced and per-employee output increases, which leads to efficiency improvements. Labor costs can also be reduced by hiring only the necessary number of staff.
RPA Applications for the BPO Industry
Customer data collection and updating
This application is mainly useful for call centers, as the agent has to quickly identify the customers in the system during the call to get the necessary information like order status, order number, etc. Multiple logins may be required, and they may have to navigate through various applications to update information across multiple fields, which will irritate the customers online, resulting in customer dissatisfaction. Such time consuming tasks can be automated using RPA software. RPA allows data integration and better workflow. Automating steps such as application launch, mouse clicks, and field entries, eliminates the need to switch between various applications. Data integration can also be done using CRM software or any internal systems or third-party tools, to reduce the risk of potential clerical errors.
Employee data management
RPA tools can also streamline HR operations in the BPO sector. Employee data management is one of the main areas, where the HR department faces key challenges. HRs may have to deal with massive amount of data related to payroll management, benefits enrollment, form filling, compliance reporting, updating & validating records, and such repetitive admin tasks. Managing all such data manually can be hard and time consuming for HR teams.
RPA services can make it easy to handle such tasks related to employee data management, which also minimizes the risk of incorrect data entries. RPA tools are also available to –
- perform data cleansing at regular intervals to ensure data compatibility across multiple databases
- automatically generate the important documents that employees need
Financial processes handled by BPO companies for clients or for their business itself can benefit from automation support to reduce errors and streamline workflow. Handling invoices is one of the most paper-intensive back-office operations. Manual invoice processing is a tedious process, as the entire data needs to be manually copied from a PDF or a paper receipt to the ERP portal, which obviously results in human errors. RPA solutions are mainly ideal for such paper-intensive tasks, wherein the software scans the invoice regardless of the format and then converts the same into an image or a text-searchable document. RPA streamlines this process with timely payment handling. RPA software bots can automate everything right from data input to downloading invoices and error reconciliation and generating feedback in case of inconsistencies.
Data Entry & Validation
Data entry automation allows the BPO sector to reduce those common mistakes and get the job done faster. RPA tools can assist in cleansing, extracting, and processing data effectively, which also helps maintain data quality and consistency. RPA also expands the data entry professional’s capabilities by enhancing documentation systems and infrastructure. It can speed up data entry and free up staff’s time for other activities. Automation of data entry processes can –
- increase the speed of data collation while compiling huge volume of data
- link external systems to ensure better coordination and more productivity
- ensure a high level of accuracy that complements the structured data entry
- help meet accuracy, integrity, and consistency of the highest standards
Customers are looking for flexible, unique and innovative solutions. Businesses looking to save costs, improve quality and meet customer needs can rely on RPA services. Besides BPO, other industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, telecom, BFSI, and public sector can also benefit from RPA.
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