According to Gartner Research, robotic process automation (RPA) has become one of the fastest growing segments of the software industry due to the technology’s ability to mimic the tasks that humans would normally perform. . Modern RPA applications have evolved dramatically over the years, with improved tools to find applicable RPA examples and use cases across a multitude of industries including banking, finance, healthcare, and even IT operations. .
In the early days of task automation, RPA use cases were limited to simple office suite-oriented use cases that helped simplify the use of spreadsheets and accounting software. The current wave of RPA adoption has successfully targeted back office use cases such as finance, accounting, and customer service. But it’s the next wave of use cases, and the use of automated bots designed by skilled RPA developers, that will be a real game-changer for vendors like UiPath, Automation Everywhere, and Blue Prism.
Alex Lyashok, President and CEO of WorkFusion, sees the next wave supporting the creation of smaller, much more agile robots. These bots will scale up what people do to a more granular and interactive level, rather than replacing an overall process. âIf you don’t put a bot and a human in one workflow, you end up with the choice of automating very simple tasks or completely redesigning to completely remove the human from the process as the project gets too big. “Lyashok said.
Use cases for bank RPA
In fact, McKinsey has advised that automation experts no longer focus on uncovering cost reduction opportunities for bots and instead focus on improving the end-to-end customer experience through service RPA use cases customer. This approach is known as automation experience design, and it can help businesses benefit from RPA in ways that go beyond labor savings and cost reductions. This shift in focus allowed Carter Bank & Trust, a relatively small bank with around $ 4 billion in assets and 100 branches, to quickly grow to over 200 bots on the WorkFusion platform.
Matt Speare, CEO of Carter Bank & Trust, said this type of strategy âproves that any size organization can be very effective by being creative in the way they think about automating processes and leveraging using all the capabilities of a tool. like that.”
Speare expects this RPA use case in the banking industry to save around $ 5 million per year while improving customer service.
Customer service RPA use cases
One of the first use cases of RPA for Carter Bank & Trust was to develop an application to automatically confirm receipt of important customer messages. For example, Carter Bank & Trust has many business customers who want to make sure people only cash the checks they write to reduce fraud. They use an automation process called positive salary in which the customer hands over a record of all the checks he has issued which is remitted to the bank. In the past, a human had to copy this file to the system, make sure all the data was in the correct format, and then notify the customer that it had been received.
The bank programmed a bot to monitor the secure file transfer system, check for errors, upload it to the positive payment system, and notify the customer of the receipt. If a problem is discovered, it can also send an alternate notification indicating the problem so that the customer can submit a new file. At the end of the day, the deployed robot automatically generates a report of all files received, as well as any missing or problematic files that a human may need to investigate.
RPA use cases for financial transactions
Another use case for RPA is automating important tasks at the end of the day, when employees are getting ready to go home. For example, each bank receives a notice from the automated clearing house indicating which checks have been cleared and which have not. These are sent at the end of the day, until 6:00 p.m., indicating which checks will be returned the next day.
When a check is not cleared, it could be due to fraud, insufficient funds, or other reasons. This banking RPA use case cleans up the information, applies an error correction, and then freezes those funds. RPA bots reduce fraud and eliminate the bad customer experience that occurs when a customer receives an overdraft fee for spending money they thought was available.
âIt’s the kind of thing people can’t do in the middle of the night,â Speare said. “You could, but that would be a really boring job, so why not just automate these things.”
One of the main benefits of RPA is its ability to reduce errors, improve efficiency, and in some cases increase safety. The Houston Methodist Hospital used the WorkFusion platform to develop several RPA applications, called bots, to improve patient care.
Examples of RPA in healthcare
âWe take mundane tasks off our employees’ plates and give them more time to focus on meaningful tasks that cannot be performed by a computer,â said Linda Kulhanek, CFO of Houston Methodist Hospital. âIt makes them more efficient and effective and we hope it will bring more fulfillment to the work they do for our patients. “
They started the program about two years ago and now have around 10 live bots that generate around $ 2 million in annual savings and they have 100 more ideas in the works. They found that RPA can improve quality while minimizing labor costs. It is estimated that 30-35% of the work in healthcare organizations is administrative overhead that adds no direct value to patient care. âRPA is just starting to hit the tip of the iceberg in helping us minimize the time employees spend on non-value-added activities,â said Kulhanek.
A sample RPA automatically confirms Medicare numbers against a federal database for each patient on a daily basis. Previously, a human had to go through a database maintained by the hospital, find the number in the federal database, and then save the result to the hospital system. Now this process is automated and these employees can devote their time to more important tasks. Kulhanek said, âIt was never really about replacing employees, but making their jobs easier and more efficient.
Automate complex procedures
Another example of RPA is orchestrating the complex workflows required for new billing procedures. In April, a new federal program was launched to help compensate health care providers for patients who do not have insurance. The Health Resources and Services Administration has implemented a new application process designed to support testing and treatment of COVID-19 patients.
This forces hospitals to put in place a complicated new process to document specific information about patients and their treatment plans, and then send it to HRSA in the appropriate format. âWe can charge and get paid for these services instead of being completely charitable, so this has been a great opportunity for us,â Kulhanek said,
Reduction of contacts
With the rise of COVID-19, organizations are looking for opportunities to reduce human contact where possible. This is particularly critical in a hospital setting where employees are most at risk of contagion. Another important use case for RPA is to build applications that automate many processes that previously required human interaction, such as patient registration. This has helped the hospital cope with an increase in patient numbers, but can also help guide symptomatic patients safely.
âThese types of tools are going to help us meet the new preferences of our customers that they have developed to have a fully contactless yet engaging experience, from online scheduling to remote monitoring,â said Kulhanek.
The ability to automate repetitive tasks with RPA tools has a significant impact on a variety of industries including banking, finance, government, and healthcare. These RPA use cases and examples illustrate some of the different ways organizations have leveraged RPA.