For many tech companies, legacy manual processes may be holding back the organization from achieving streamlined operations, a faster delivery or a better customer experience. While robotic process automation (RPA) has been around a long time, its combination of machine learning, AI and natural language processing has only recently reached a level of maturity where it can be easily and cheaply deployed across a variety of use cases.
As the fastest growing enterprise software category, RPA should be a no-brainer as a potential area of investment. To help tech companies identify opportunities for RPA, I’ve put together a few examples of RPA projects that any tech company would benefit by replicating.
Companies like Apple and Google rely on their supply chains just as much as old school manufacturing or retailers do. Their cutting-edge computers, tablets and phones still need to get from point A to the customer as fast as possible. Surprisingly, much of supply chain management continues to be executed manually.
While there are numerous opportunities for RPA to make improvements in supply chains, we’ll focus on customer service, which plays an essential role. When a customer wants to know where their recent purchase is, the answer can sometimes involve a customer service agent searching in multiple systems and writing an email response. We developed an intelligent bot that makes use of RPA for enterprise systems interactions, enabling the virtual agent to field the customer request, source that information from the ERP and relay the location of the package back to the customer. Meanwhile, human customer service agents can spend their time on more complicated customer needs.
Business Process Outsourcing
BPO, where both front-office and back-office tasks are outsourced to third parties, can place a heavy burden of manual tasks on employees. When a company like Microsoft outsources work, which they do frequently, there’s document creation and storage, as well as invoicing and purchase orders associated with each vendor. A team of people orchestrates all this behind the scenes.
We’ve helped BPO’s automate some heavy lifts. One RPA pipeline we implemented automated the entire lifecycle of invoice processes, including receipt of invoices, organization and folder structuring and the reconciliation of invoices. The results were pretty jaw-dropping. We reduced errors down to 0 while producing unlimited invoices per hour, and the client saw a cost of savings of over 30 percent.
Tech companies have a ton of content. Whether it’s for a website, sales collateral or customer documentation, there’s an ongoing need to surface the right content at the right time. RPA can play a pivotal role in content curation, as well as monitoring how well it’s received, and in the migration of it from one system to another.
For one client, we implemented an RPA-based approach for their content migration to a new website and content management system. With an expanded digital footprint, their website needed a framework that was repeatable and automated. We developed a bot-based infrastructure that was leveraged to replace a manual content identification and migration process. Thanks to our RPA work, they saw a 50 percent reduction in content migration costs and were able to go live with the website in a third of the anticipated time.
Large tech companies may be leading the global economy in digital innovation, but many aspects of their businesses can still be bogged down in manual processes. As they seek to reduce waste and get products and experiences into the hands of customers faster, we recommend looking into RPA. Its ease of deployment and proven track record of success make it an essential step on the path to automation.
EVP, Technology Vertical & Partnerships