Process automation is the use of digital technology to handle processes, streamline then, and reduce the amount of time they take. This is usually a combination of interactive software, bots, and artificial intelligence. A single digital umbrella handles all of these processes and unifies them into a cohesive whole. In short, it is a tool for starting a technological revolution and you need to be on it, sooner rather than later.

We have talked about Digital Process Automation before, as well as Robotic Process Automation which are two different technologies used to automate processes. It’s a rapidly growing market for businesses looking to get more value out of their time and get away from outdated routines and processes.

Many businesses continue to adopt process automation; including financial institutions. They are seeing remarkable time savings and reduction of human error while becoming more agile and digital.

Quick Definitions

Digital Process Automation (DPA): Digital process automation is a type of automation which uses a software to streamline or automate end-to-end workflows, tasks and activities. It looks to remove as much manual work as possible, so people can focus on decision making.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Robotic process automation is the use of easily-programmable bots to handle business tasks considered mundane and tedious. Generally, the bots handle one task at a time but often have greater capabilities.

Both DPA and RPA look to increase efficiency by reducing or eliminating tasks that don’t add value. These ones are usually time consuming; for example data entry. (Find more examples here) They are often working in tandem because each one plays a different role. One focuses on the tasks involved in a business, while the other focuses on the overall end-to-end process. DPA can help direct RPA in what tasks to prioritize, while RPA can do the heavy grunt-work of fulfilling the tedious activities required to run a business.

3 Real-Life Examples of Process Automation Improving Efficiency

Process automation is currently in operation in several businesses and industries. It supports logistics, for example in hospitals, as well as streamline bank operations. Here we present some examples.

Example 1: How Banks use RPA and DPA for Loan Requests

Banks have created interactive forms for loan applications. As opposed to pages and pages of information filled out on a PDF, a customer that seeks to get a loan can fill and submit the request easily in a matter of minutes rather than hours. The loan officer can either have the form available online or can send an invitation to the client directly. After the client submits the form, all involved parts will receive exactly and only the part of information they need to move forward. A business can send automatic replies, confirmations, communications as part of the workflow (DPA).

As part of the process, applicants may need to submit financials, previous addresses, and employment history. If a loan applicant fails to provide that information or lacks the documentation, a human loan officer needs to manually research it and enter it into the loan processing system. Otherwise, they have to delegate to a data entry technician and spend time verifying that all of the information is accurate. The verification requires making phone calls and sending letters to confirm employment and financials with the potential borrower in question.

RPA reduces the need for humans to do all the verification. The bots can locate all of the information and retrieve it in a matter of minutes. After that, managers can receive an automatic notification indicating that the case is ready for quality verification, (if the process has been automated in full with DPA) or the loan processor can send an email to notify the responsible party.

Example 2: Using DPA to Automate HR Processes

Human Resources often has its hands full when recruiting new employees and managing current ones. Paperwork has to remain updated for financials, benefits, etc. Certain HR processes are tedious for the employees and internal users to handle, even with a computer and new technology. These include IT set up of new workstations for multiple candidates and ensuring they have secure accounts. All happening simultaneously.

When you use DPA to handle these processes, it reduces the need for in person requests, emails, phone calls. It also reduces the amount of back-and-forth between departments. Human Resources can reduce the time required to update processes by 30-45 minutes. There is no need for emails or spreadsheets to organize the candidates and current employees. Instead, the line of business can send automatic communications, invitations to fill in forms, requests to each involved part, exactly when they need it.

Example 3: DPA Implementation for Vendor Credentialing and Management

For some organizations, such as banks, it could take up to 3 months to onboard new vendors. Due diligence, compliance, many approval steps and the amount of manual work is extent. When you automate the process, you can publish a Vendor Portal where new vendors can upload their information and automatically start the credentialing process. Each involved part receives required information exactly when is needed and only what is needed. Communications, notifications, status update, etc are sent automatically after each decision is made. No more calling the vendor to ask for missing information. No more callings from the vendor to know status.

All transactions, interaction, communications and documents are linked to the vendor profile. No more guessing or searching in the email. DPA simplifies vendor management and allows for faster decision making, tracking, visibility and transparency. It makes easier to ensure vendors are compliant with regulations and that their credentials are legitimate. It can also find alternatives to current vendors and identify if there is a vendor that already provides the solution you may be looking.

Simplify Process Automation With Virtus Flow

The examples above are just a few cases of process automation improving business operations. Virtus Flow has spent years refining its automation tools and software. Our digital workflows can assist any business in search of efficiency, transparency and agility. Even if you have no idea where to start from, we can help you to identify which areas have room for improvement.

Visit our process library to learn more about automated processes.

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