Implementing Robotic Process Automation is pretty straightforward, provided you have a clear roadmap, goals, and vision. RPA is already delivering value in multiple industries, with early movers gaining early traction and benefits of the technology. McKinsey says that 45 percent of the jobs we do can be automated. Some of the highest-paying jobs in the world can be, at least partly be automated, including those held by doctors, CEOs, and financial managers.
Robotic Process Automation is an opportunity to tap into AI and automate these menial tasks that often end up hogging important hours for employees. According to Forrester Research, automation will replace 230 million knowledge workers or nine percent of the global workforce.
Acknowledging that, it still is a fact that RPA can make businesses more efficient, scalable, cost-effective, and productive. While taking away repetitive tasks, automation can help reduce the probability of errors and lead to more streamlined operations for businesses across manufacturing, pharma, and retail.
Let’s look individually at these industries and how automation can disrupt them for good.
As industry 4.0 becomes the song of the century for manufacturers, they look for ways to deploy automation and IoT within units to streamline assembly lines and manage production intelligently. Time-intensive processes such as inventory management, procurement, and payment processing need to be optimized for more cost and time savings.
While cost reduction is not the only motto of RPA, organizations dealing with cost crunch and limited budgets and leaking money, look to deploy AI and automation for that purpose. Besides that, RPA can be a driver for agility, flexibility, and scalability within manufacturing units.
Here’s what automation looks like in a manufacturing setting:
- Streamline back-office operations – Pain points in the back office include lack of skilled labor, ever changing regulations and compliance, and inventory management. RPA can help relieve costs and enhance services by streamlining these processes by predicting inventory turnover, identifying deficiencies in operations, and more.
- Accelerate production – By making data accessible from in and around business, automation can be used to improve critical decision-making. The proper capturing, analyzing, and leveraging of data can help manage production within a manufacturing company.
- Manage logistics records – It is a highly tedious job for manufacturers to keep track of every freight and carrier that enters and leaves a warehouse. The entire process involves notifying customers about estimated arrivals, shipping charges, and maintaining information on every transaction. RPA improves logistics operations by automating notifications, scheduling, and real-time reporting of logs for every carrier- significantly reducing the time and cost of maintaining these records.
- Minimize errors in Bills of Materials (BoMs) – Manufacturers often have a wide list of products, sub-components, and other details to maintain within a BoM. Therefore, mistakes are common when BoMs are managed manually. RPA can help eliminate errors, making BoM systems more agile.
- Eliminate errors in invoicing – Manufacturers handle a large volume of invoices. Paper-intensive invoicing can induce inefficiencies and errors in the process. RPA in invoice processing can automate data input and error appeasement. OCR and Natural Language Processing can be helpful in reading useful information from input data and generating and reading invoices.
Robotic Process Automation typically results in nearly 20 percent cost savings for manufacturers, according to Capgemini.
According to the London School of Economics, a digital workforce that puts in 24/7 work can bring businesses’ ROI up to 600 percent to 800 percent in three years. The emerging robotic workforce can tackle multiple routine administrative tasks that don’t need human logic or judgment.
The pharmaceutical industry has several such kinds of processes. Automating these procedures using RPA can enable better collaboration across the supply chain, reduce costs, and increase operational efficiency.
At the same time, engaging robots in menial tasks can free up employees to focus on more meaningful, value-adding work, including increasing customer engagement.
Here are a few ways how RPA can positively impact the pharma industry:
- Accelerating clinical trials and drug approvals – RPA is of the greatest value for rule-based, repetitive processes such as those in drug development. RPA use can support consistency in data entry, audit readiness, and quality control. One practical example can be the process of regulatory submissions. This is a time-intensive process that involves activities to track the status of documents and compile records to create a dossier. EY estimates that when RPA is used in this process, it can reduce the processing time by 65 percent.
- Amplifying the relevance and responsiveness of sales reps – RPA-enabled bots are equipped to become the face of enterprise apps in pharma. They can enhance sales force operations by aggregating data to enable salespeople to focus on high customer engagement and conversions. By recording sales processes and activities, retrieving timely and accurate sales data, and managing orders and inventory, robotic process automation can enable better sales efficiency on the go and the premise.
- Individualized marketing – In healthcare and pharma industries, chatbots and RPA can create a mechanism to connect with key stakeholders. In this regard, RPA can be used to provide tailored knowledge to the customer and act as a virtual medical companion for patients. Chatbots can individualize customer experiences and hold the potential for easier and faster healthcare delivery, improving response times, and patient experience.
Robotic process automation in pharma can cut back on sensitive time and costs while enhancing customer satisfaction.
According to eMarketer, the retail industry will reach $27.7 trillion in global sales by 2020. Besides adopting innovative practices to entice customers, big businesses in the retail industry have been eager to adopt technologies to support the reality of retail automation.
Regardless of e-commerce or a brick-and-mortar business, the retail sector involves various processes where time consumption and human errors pose a serious threat. Right from the stage of production to sales analytics, there are several places where RPA can automate tasks and improve process efficiency.
Here are a few instances:
- Trade promotions automation – Principally, trade promotion creation and analysis have been manual. Often spreadsheet-based, these activities represent the second-biggest expense for retailers and need ongoing data collection and analysis. RPA can help eliminate human errors and increase efficiency while augmenting the ability to accurately and quickly track and analyze the performance of trade promotions.
- New product introductions – Introducing new products and product lines requires significant investment and collaboration with multiple departments such as marketing and manufacturing. RPA can automate these processes related to monitoring and alerting you about client feedback in real-time. Retailers can then adjust pricing, inventory, and production accordingly. RPA can aid in modifying the product according to customer sentiment and behavior via social media analysis and past purchases.
- Customer support – Customer delight is critical to the survival of retailers in this digital day and age. RPA can help you offer better customer service 24/7. Send real-time updates to customers, record their grievances, or use bots to facilitate conversations with service reps. From the moment an order is placed, RPA can be your tool for offering standout customer service.
There are substantial use cases of robotic process automation for all industries, including manufacturing, pharma, and retail. However, to make the technology work for you, you need specialists who can imagine the change for you and make automation happen.
At Acuvate, we believe in a secure, rapid, and agile transformation. Access our specialists today for RPA implementation or migration.