How RPA is helping businesses work smarter, better, faster

Covid-19 has caused business disruption across industries, countries and companies. The pandemic has forced business leaders to find ways to work more efficiently, while boosting productivity and innovation. It’s a tough task for many, with some relying more than ever on digital tools like RPA to get the job done.

Robotic process automation (RPA) is software that mimics human behaviour and works seamlessly with digital applications; it is often referred to as digital assistant that can work 24/7 with the right instructions. To find out how RPA is being used in seven different commercial settings, we asked Mazars experts around the world for real-world examples of RPA and its benefits.

To see all our Smarter, Better, Faster: RPA at work articles go here. Below is a preview of each one.  

Digital transformation in FS

The financial services (FS) industry has undergone rapid disruption for several years, and the impact of Covid-19 has only reinforced the need for innovation. Use of digital channels has significantly increased during the pandemic and it will be some time until clients start returning to physical branches on mass, if at all.

Today’s drive to digitise products and services is putting extra strain on back office departments, which are under pressure to speed up automation and increase their cost-efficiency. RPA can play a vital role in helping them to do this and enabling organisations to survive and thrive, despite the challenging circumstances.

Why RPA makes sense for financial services:

  • Tackling back office inefficiency
  • Meeting customer expectations to have on and offline interactions
  • Ensuring legacy systems work effectively
  • Provider younger generations with more engaging, technology-related work

Reduction of risks and costs in the pharma sector

Even before Covid-19, the pharma sector was already facing a range of challenges, including the increasing cost of sourcing and product development, data security and compliance with safety and quality standards. As it confronts these challenges head on, the pharma sector is leveraging and integrating RPA across business functions to aid with business continuity and transformation.

 Michael Fried, Principal Life Sciences, Mazars, USA, explains: “By cutting risks and cutting costs, RPA has several significant benefits for the world of pharmaceuticals. Through earlier safety signal detection and more efficient data collection and analysis, RPA reduces medicinal product development and costs. This ability to collate information and make better informed decisions also assists with medicinal product development and commercialisation. The industry is, of course, under huge pressure right now to reduce the price of existing medicine while investing in new ones. Up against such a task, RPA has the potential to help achieve both.”

 Satisfying food delivery demand

Perhaps the biggest impact of the pandemic in the food industry has been the huge increase in demand for food delivery services. In order to stay afloat, businesses which didn’t previously offer delivery have been forced to do so, by rapidly redirecting their resources, and reconfiguring their operations to enable this new way of working.

Through automating repetitive tasks, RPA has the potential to drive significant efficiency savings for food businesses as they strive to ramp up their delivery services. Howard Dorman, F&B Practice Leader, Mazars states: “Investments in RPA, especially in the Food & Beverage industry, are creating smarter and more efficient processes with tighter inventory controls which yields greater liquidity for businesses.”

 Finding finance savings in telecoms

The future of telecoms is under threat as Covid-19 and market forces hamper growth and innovation for businesses, large and small. Some of the greatest challenges this industry faces include falling consumer sales, fiber deployment on hold and store closures.

RPA can be a top priority solution for the telecom businesses, especially in cost reduction and efficiency gains that are essential for survival. Firms that prioritise RPA technology in the coming months will find themselves at a competitive advantage to not only survive the current conditions, but also be ready to thrive when the market improves.

 Next generation ecommerce

Many retailers face an unprecedented demand, combined with supply chain and logistics challenges caused by the pandemic. Experts predict retail ecommerce sales will reach $4.13 trillion by the end of 2020, up from $2.84 trillion in 2018, and that the pandemic has accelerated the shift away from physical to digital shopping by around five years.

In this environment RPA offers huge operational advantages in several key areas. Providing fast, easy and cost-effective implementation, with the ability to integrate with different systems without requiring a complex change in management programme.

 From crisis to innovation in transportation

Some of the most significant damages that brought the pandemic to the transportation sector include, a sudden and dramatic drop in activity and a lack of cash. Remco Schoonderwoerd, Transport & Logistics Leader, Mazars, explains: “For some transport and logistics companies, Covid-19 has been a time of going above and beyond for clients and customers. For others it has been a time of difficulty, searching for ways to fill supply chain gaps and struggling to operate as normal. Companies that have responded well have most often been those with standout technology in place. Access to RPA as well as cybersecurity and advanced IT skills has given businesses the competitive advantage by enabling their teams to work effectively, securely and remotely at a moment's notice.”

RPA can provide an affordable solution for improving financial efficiency and treasury optimisation in the transportation industry.

 Driving public sector efficiency

The public sector faces issues that require immediate attention, from inefficiency, bureaucracy and poor customer service, to manual record keeping, siloed infrastructure and legislative restrictions. Within this landscape, RPA is a vital step towards digital transformation, with the power to cut costs, boost efficiency, improve customer experience, and enable numerous competing demands to be managed more effectively. By automating numerous repetitive and mundane tasks, RPA also brings the added benefit of freeing up public sector workers to focus on more strategic, value-add activities, aiding employee engagement.

Milan Sheth, Executive Vice president IMEA (India Middle East and Africa), Automation Anywhere, states “Building business resilience has moved to the top of the agenda for each and every organisation. Intelligent automation lays down the most efficient and scalable infrastructure allowing public sector organisations to seamlessly integrate front and back end operations for improved efficiency and customer experience.”

RPA is helping organisations survive – and at times thrive – in the current business environment by allowing businesses to benefit from a quick deployment and return on investment, delivering improvements on their customer experience, ensuring employee satisfaction and the optimisation of team capacity.

To read the articles and find out how RPA is helping businesses work smarter, better, faster, go here.