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Robotic Process Automation: Repetitive Processes

By Dick Weisinger

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is software that performs tasks that previously had been done by humans. It typically refers to tasks like data input, copying of data from one system to another, or simple workflows that need to check and verify.

An example of RPA might be the processing of an application submitted on a handwritten form. The system could scan the application, identify and interpret the handwritten data in fields on the printed page, populate a database with the electronic information, initiate credit checks, score the application, and potentially even automatically approve or deny the application. It’s a process that in former days may have crossed the desk of multiple staff members and required hours of human processing time. It saves time in processing and also provides faster responses and interactions with customers.

Jim Maholic, Technology Writer and IT Strategist, said that “it’s like a time machine that replaces tedious work to create more time for productive work. Automation improves the experience for both employees and customers.”

Some of the advantages of RPA include:

  • Frees up time previously spent by staff employees.
  • Saves money and often provides a high ROI.
  • Helps a business better comply with regulatory requirements
  • Ensures a repeatable and typically error-free handling of the process

Cathy Tornbohm, an analyst at Gartner, said that “if you need something that’s going to be ready very quickly, that needs to work across many applications and is rules-based, then RPA could be the right tool for that problem.”

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