For those of us involved with the outsourcing industry, there is a term difficult to avoid as of late… Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
As is often the case when these terms rise to prominence we sit back and wonder what this great new approach is, so what is RPA? In a nutshell, it`s completing a process with an automated approach. Images of robots may spring to mind and in some cases (say the car industry) you would be correct. In terms of the Back Office, however, we are talking more about software and automated systems.
The very concept of outsourcing is to reduce costs and improve processes, so there is little wonder RPA is a hot topic. Yet it is important to recognise that RPA has played an integral part of many outsourcers solutions for numerous years. Many of us will have interactions with it on a regular basis with the likes of, Intelligent Voice Recognition (IVR) or Optical Character Recognition (OCR). These systems have helped save invaluable amounts of time for many organisations; the implementation of such systems can offer great ROI.
The areas in which technology is expected to change our use of RPA are that of cognitive systems or artificial intelligence (AI). There are still many limitations with these technologies and, at present, finding systems of that type that can replace cost effective manual operators is difficult.
Recently DDC Outsourcing Solutions (DDC OS), entered into a project with a retail organisation, that when originally briefed over to us would have required manually updating files and creating multiple correspondences. In order to avoid such time consuming and ineffective processes, our development team are creating an automated system that will avoid any such manual intervention. We look forward to sharing with you the success of this project in the coming months.
John Callachan, Solutions Director of DDC Outsourcing Solutions and recently the NOA’s Solutions Director of the year was keen to pass comment on this;
"Although it is an exciting prospect, it is important as suppliers, and as customers, we understand that RPA must make business sense before considering its implementation. We have seen many basic tasks over the years move from manual process to RPA and have seen exceptional results, this will continue, and I suspect this will be at the natural and effective pace we have seen it develop at already.
I’d be more than happy to discuss my thoughts and DDC OS’ current and future approach to RPA if people wish to get in touch.”