Surrender Your Desk: It's Time To Let The Robots Take Over
Thinking about a robot takeover sounds like a scene from a science fiction movie. However, those of us stuck doing the more repetitive, routine office work day after day might think differently. Finding a way for robots to take on these tasks instead might be a really good thing. We’re talking about the projects that most of us don’t enjoy, such as manually entering customer information into three separate databases to update an address—all time consuming and tedious.
The monotony of these tasks can reduce focus. Most organizations know that mistakes cost money and can create unhappy employees—which then creates unsatisfying customer environments. And the issue is two-fold. In addition to losing customers, you now have disengaged employees. They can leave the company, which requires more hiring and training to replace them, affecting efficiency and bottom-line costs.
The solution? This is where we channel the Terminator and bring in the robots to save the day. Software robots to be exact. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is smart software that can do repetitive processes quickly, efficiently and accurately. It uses visual recognition technologies to see the work, and provides the robots with a script to tell them how to execute a particular task. Plus, most RPA solutions don’t require programming (meaning you don’t have to understand or write code) to work with applications that you already have. These software robots are smart.
These robots don’t replace the human workforce, but instead focus the efforts of the software robots on thoughtless tasks like data entry for profile updates, claims processing, and shipping notifications, allowing employees to focus on more strategic projects. Different groups can benefit from letting software robots do the mundane work for employees, including:
Workers—employees can now be freed up from their more repetitive tasks to focus on creative, customer-facing work that is more interesting to them and of increased value to the company. With RPA in action, more employees can now develop their skills and their careers, broadening their horizons while the software robots work all day and night inputting customer data. This provides opportunities for a better career path, which may help motivate employees to stay with a company longer, reducing turnover and the need for training more (new) employees.
Companies—software robots can work around the clock, on weekends and holidays, and they don’t require benefits or need coffee breaks, summer hours or parking spaces. RPA software can complete tasks that used to take days or weeks in a matter of hours. In addition, this software is a low-cost way to quickly ramp-up more productivity during seasonal or peak times when workloads tend to spike upward (think tax season or open enrollment periods for insurance or holiday retail seasons). Another benefit can be found in reduced errors. The improved accuracy of RPA can minimize mistakes to save businesses money. This is important in industries where regulatory compliance is an issue and accuracy is critical to meet certain regulations (to avoid fines for violations). Along with compliance, increased security is another benefit of RPA—sensitive tasks and information can now be processed by RPA, rather than employees, protecting the integrity of the sensitive material and minimizing privacy risks.
Letting software robots take on our repetitive tasks can improve productivity, quality and security, help with compliance efforts, and reduce costs. Most importantly, it will help employees move on (and up) from boring, mundane tasks to take them from a job to a career—one that is better for them and their employer.
Jenni Palocsik is the director of solutions marketing for Verint.
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