5 Things I Learned at the CIO Association of Canada's Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Event

By Wendy Cameron, Sales Associate at West Canadian Digital Imaging

As a sales person, it's my job to provide expertise on the solutions we offer. Our business is always innovating and adapting to bring new technologies to the table that will help increase efficiency and reduce costs for our customers, and one of the ways we're doing that is with Robotic Process Automation (RPA). 

On Thursday, Feb. 13, Mark Ellis, our Digital Transformation Specialist at West Canadian gave a presentation on RPA at the CIO Association of Canada's Edmonton Chapter event. The presentation was informative and educational, covering the basics of RPA and its common use cases. 

Here are five key learnings I wanted to share from Mark's Robotic Process Automation presentation:

       1) What is RPA? 

Contrary to popular belief, Robotic Process Automation has nothing to do with human-like robots replacing real people in the workplace. Instead, RPA actually enables us to do our jobs more effectively, increasing efficiency within our organizations.


According to Forrester Research, RPA is "the application of technology that automates workflow processes, primarily for administrative work." RPA software can help automate large volumes of manual, process-oriented work that is done on computers. 

       2) Why do companies use RPA? 

There are several reasons companies might implement RPA, but the most notable are efficiency and cost savings. According to the Process Excellence Network's recent global survey, 37% of organizations cited efficiency as their main driver for implementing RPA, while 27% cited cost savings.

       3) What departments can benefit most from RPA? 

Use cases for RPA can exist within any business function. However, the technology is most often used today for finance (60%), customer service (46%), shared services (41%) and data management (41%) departments, followed closely by human resources, information technology, and sales and marketing.  

       4) What are some examples of RPA in action? 

RPA can be used to automate virtually any digital activity or time consuming manual task. By creating a workflow for the RPA bot, it will follow a set of rules for any desired outcome that can be completed on a computer. Some of the most notable examples of where organizations use RPA today are: 

  • Customer and employee on-boarding 
  • Order scheduling and shipment tracking 
  • Membership and/or loan applications 
  • Regulatory and compliance reporting
  • Supply chain management
  • Contract management
  • Insurance claims handling
  • Credit collections
  • Shipment load research
  • Financial account aggregation
  • Insurance patient eligibility verification
  • Sales operations 

       5) How do I get started with RPA? 

Automating processes with robotics can seem like a monumental task, but with these few guiding principles in mind, it's easy to get started. 

  • Look for broken processes — Find areas where people are spending too much time on manual or redundant tasks. 
  • Focus on improving business efficiency — Where are the most common areas your employees are wasting time? Once you've found them, ask how RPA could solve the problem. 
  • Use RPA tools that allow the processing of unstructured data — Can the RPA tool process emails, text files and other types of unstructured data? If not, look for one that does. 
  • Use tools for productivity, not replacement — RPA should enable your employees, not replace them. 
  • Let the technology do the work for you — If the data exists, it should never need to be retyped again. 

Ready to get started with RPA?

Book an RPA discovery session with our Digital Transformation Specialist, Mark Ellis, to begin the process of identifying areas where RPA could bring efficiency to your organization. Click the link below to get started.

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