How many hours do your employees spend on tasks that could be automated? According to a global study “With an 8-hour workday being the global norm, according to the survey, the average employee loses 60 hours per month to easily automatable tasks”. This means that employees spend 3 hours per day to fill documents, enter data, to compile reports, instead of focusing on more strategic tasks that could help them develop better their talents. How can this problem be solved? There are many alternatives and organizations are focusing on workflow automation solutions. Some of them are the robotic process automation (RPA) and the adoption of a low-code platform to automate repetitive and tedious tasks. These two technologies could seem similar, but there are many differences between them.
Read on to have a closer view on low-code and RPA and to discover how you can automate your business with these technologies.
- What is RPA?
- What is Low-Code?
- Low-Code and RPA: A perfect Combo
- Automate your business with the right ally
What is RPA?
Let’s start understanding what RPA is. Basically, we’re talking about a technology that allows you to automate processes, as the word itself says. You can program virtual bots that automate all those processes that make employees waste a lot of time, like completing forms, migrating data, or filtering information. The aim of RPA is to free up employees from these tedious activities and to give them the chance to concentrate on more valuable tasks.
How does RPA work?
RPA is based on the use of software robots and according to IEEE Guide for Terms and Concepts in Intelligent Process Automation (June 2017) it is:
RPA is a preconfigured software instance that uses business logic and predefined activity choreography to complete the autonomous execution of a combination of processes, activities, transactions, and tasks in one or more unrelated software systems to deliver a result or service with human exception management.
Essentially, you can think of RPA as a software robot that is able to automatically copy manual and repetitive tasks in different applications according to pre-defined business rules.
However, Bernard Marr & Co. reports some of the uses of RPA:
- Call center operations. RPA can help consolidate all the info about a customer on a single screen, so the human customer service agents have the information they need form multiple systems to provide the best service they can.
- Data migration/entry and forms processing. Pulling information from legacy systems is easier with RPA and it avoids human errors. Moreover, if a paper form needs to be transferred to digital, RPA can read it and get the data freeing up humans.
- Claims administration. RPA can be a big support especially in healthcare and insurance to input and process claims, because it can do it faster and with fewer errors.
- Support the sales process. RPA can be used to streamline processes like updating the CRM, setting up the client in the billing system, and inputting data into sales metrics and monitoring systems.
- Help desk. With RPA is possible to diminish the workload of the human help desk by taking care of straightforward, repetitive issues.
Benefits of RPA
RPA brings important benefits that improve your business and simplify your workforce activities. Let’s see what kind of benefits it can bring:
- Higher productivity. Software robots do not get tired, so they do not have to stop for a coffee break which allows them to complete the same tasks about five times faster. Higher productivity can reduce expenses as well as give the possibility to achieve a rapid growth.
- Accuracy. Linked to the previous benefits we have an accuracy level increase, since robots are 100% accurate. Thanks to RPA you avoid mistakes related to tiredness or lack of attention which are common if people have to perform tasks at the end of the day, for example.
- Customer satisfaction. It is clear that freeing up your employees from redundant tasks allows them to give more attention to the customer service. As a result of this, your company is able to offer a better and a more specific customer service that can meet your clients’ requirements.
- Employee satisfaction. Yes, because RPA does not only increase the customer satisfaction, but also the employees’ one since your workforce can get rid of mundane tasks and find new solutions to improve your business. Furthermore, less headaches for them and we are sure they will be grateful for this.
- Accelerate the digital transformation. The application of robotic process automation represents a boost to digitally transform your company. As a matter of fact, according to a Pegasystems’ survey conducted on 500 decision makers, the 63% of global executives says that automation is a major component in digital transformation and 23% says that it is the most important component.
- Return of investment (ROI). Through the use of RPA, you will see your ROI rapidly increasing in weeks instead of waiting for months using some IT expenditures.
What is Low-Code?
Low-Code is a visual approach to software development that enables faster delivery of applications through minimal hand-coding. Low-code can be used to automate tasks, end-to-end processes, and complex workflows. Thanks to low-code you can re-imagine your processes and create them from zero, since low-code is opened to anyone, because it doesn’t require any programming knowledge to build your process.
Benefits of Low Code
Adopting low-code means getting different benefits that only a technology like this can bring. For instance, with low-code you have:
- Creating forms in an easier and faster way.
One of the top 4 low-code benefits in maintenance is the possibility to visually configure forms and apps instead of hand-coding them. Actually, you just have to drag-and-drop features on your form, without focusing on the syntax of the code, and concentrating your work on the aesthetics of the form you want to create. Thanks to low-code, creating, for instance, workorders, equipment management forms, and checklists is easier than ever.
Furthermore, low-code guarantees a rapid development of the apps, a Forrester research reports by saying that “the vast majority of companies reported that their low-code platforms helped them accelerate development by five to 10 times. […] Companies shared that visually configuring new applications using these platforms has helped speed up development and allowed the businesses to provide real-time feedback on the resulting applications’ functionality”.
- High Accessibility
Another benefit in maintenance given by low-code is the high accessibility this technology can offer. In fact, through its immediate interfaces and the possibility to visual configure forms and apps, anyone can do it, even those who don’t have a programming background. This allows to have final users of these apps who become the developers, so they have a deep knowledge about the business needs. As a result of this, you have more specific and pertinent applications because they now collaborate with IT department. Moreover, low-code technology marks the entrance of citizen developers who can create much needed apps, thanks to a simpler development path. This approach allows the launch of new ideas which can be iterated more quickly.
- Cost reductions.
Linked to the previous benefit, low-code technology guarantees a significant cost reduction. As a matter of fact, Forrester reports as “low-code platforms allow architects and developers to quickly build minimum viable products to validate ideas and customer requirements before wasting precious resources on features and functionality that customers may not value”. This is a big advantage that avoids you to waste energies, time, and money.
- No more paper, digital data only.
One of the big advantages is to get rid of paper and all the complications that this kind of element implies. Actually, compiling a workorder on a paper causes more delays and disruptions, because you don’t have data accessibility in real time. There’s a big waste of time in terms of coping data on computer or waiting for the technician to come back to the office with all documentations needed to create the invoice. Moreover, sheets can be ruined or lost, and this may cause more delays and create more problems.
Low-Code and RPA: A perfect Combo
As we understood, RPA is suited for structured, quality data, so implementing RPA in a system where data is unstructured can be complex. Furthermore, it could happen that you need to build a new system or to update the existing one to get the full benefits of RPA.
In both cases, you could spend many years and several money trying to find a solution to automate your business. What could be the best idea to overcome these complications and being able to automate your business processes? Here it comes the low-code technology.
As a matter of fact, low-code is an end-to-end solution which can work with legacy systems and unstructured data through APIs. We’ve seen how fast you can create your process thanks to low-code, and this can be done by anyone, always thanks to its high accessibility. These advantages consent you to save time (building processes with low-code requires weeks and not months) and money (since you don’t have to hire a professional developer to do it). With RPA methodologies, low-code can also be used to develop process automation applications that integrate with your existing systems.
Automate your business with the right ally
Low-code and RPA are useful technologies that can apport a significant boost to your company, but how can you adopt them? You need the right ally that provides you the automation that you’re looking for. Here it comes TDox, a multi-experience development platform (MXDP) that digitizes your processes in low-code mode and it makes them available on various devices, such as smartphones, tablets, computers, barcode driven devices, rugged devices, and also smart glasses.
If you work in the logistic sector, construction industry, maintenance operations, or quality inspection, well TDox offers you different solutions to automate your processes and to create different apps to perform these activities. For example, through the use of low-code, you can build inspection checklists, maintenance test reports, proof of delivery forms, construction site inspection reports, work orders, expense reports, and so on. All these applications can be found in the TDox super app, so there will be no more dispersive organization, but just one place where you have everything you need to work.
Then, with the use of RPA, TDox automates all these processes, it facilitates the data entry, communication (since you can generate orders and assign them to your workforce who will see the tasks to be performed on their mobile devices), and even data collection, because the platform helps you the compiling of the forms by suggesting you the right option to accelerate this activity.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us to know more about TDox and what it can do for you. Furthermore, if you are interested in seeing what TDox looks like in action, request a free demo, and discover a new world of opportunities.
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