RPA In The Corona Crisis - How Companies Can Benefit
Bots & People
3 min read
The use of RPA in the Corona Crisis can help keep operations running. But how? Selling online instead of on-site, video conferencing instead of events, and home office instead of shaking hands: The Corona Virus has abruptly changed the world of work. Suddenly, digitization can no longer be postponed; it is more important than ever to remain competitive. The effects of COVID-19 are plunging the world into recession. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is already predicting a 7.8 percent slump in gross domestic product (GDP) for Germany. Companies will have to adapt to the new circumstances and the decline in demand and cut costs; short-time working and layoffs will become more likely. In short, companies should focus on their core business and streamline processes.
RPA in the Corona Crisis - Identify and Automate Central Business Processes
At the beginning, it is important to recognize which business processes are indispensable for business operations - priorities must be set. Monotonous, recurring and data-driven routine tasks can be automated here. Software bots can take over tedious processes while employees focus on value-added work.Especially when employees have to be laid off due to a lack of orders, the remaining staff can handle the same workload through automation as the larger team did before. Accounting, human resources, supply chain management, sales and customer service, for example, offer high automation potential.
Stabilize Cash Flow with RPA
The use of RPA in the Corona Crisis is conceivable for simple tasks such as filling out an application for short-time allowance, but also for more complex business processes. Especially in times of crisis, a functioning cash flow is central for every company. RPA bots can, for example, comb through invoices and regularly ask debtors to pay.In the next step, they check incoming payments and update the databases when the money is received. Accounting staff no longer need to send out numerous reminders, but can take care of more complex challenges. Using natural language processing and machine learning, bots can even negotiate discounts with customers for early payments. In extreme cases, automation can help avert insolvencies.
Automated Processing of Customer Orders
Other standardized customer inquiries can also be answered using RPA tools, allowing remaining employees to focus on more difficult customer conversations. Customer complaints can be analyzed directly with Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
Process automation can even help automate the handling of complete customer orders all the way to delivery - without any physical employees at all. The software bots automatically confirm receipt of orders, send invoices and payment requests, print delivery bills, and also adjust inventory levels after shipment. This also automatically reorders when a product is missing from the warehouse.
When employees change or go on short-time working for a transitional period, a lot of work arises in the area of payroll accounting. Robot-controlled process optimization can help here, too. Data changes, new wage tax classes or allowances can be automatically transferred to the system. The RPA bots can check whether payroll forms and applications are error-free and plausible.
Automation can reduce a company's workload without sacrificing it. Robotic process automation is quick and easy to implement. In addition, the software bots are flexible and easily adaptable. This is particularly advantageous in uncertain times of crisis when demand is difficult to predict. Nevertheless, bots cannot replace employees entirely, of course. However, they can help to survive the recession and structure companies in a future-proof way.
More Crisis-Proof with RPA
Bridging the crisis does not have to mean returning to the old normal. The time with the Corona virus can also be an opportunity to successfully restructure companies and work more efficiently and productively in the long term.
Process automation can help weather the impact of COVID-19 and prepare for future crises. The more efficiently and cost-effectively companies are structured, the more crisis-proof they are. Companies that invest in automation now can benefit quickly, but more importantly, in the long term.
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