If you cant view this message, please click here.

Process break - #2 2017

Robotics - what is that?
We got this question quite frequently in the last couple of month. Usually, robots are used more often in mass production such as cars or to cut and shape metal. In this Newsletter issue, we would like to introduce robotics process automation (RPA) - the robots, what it can do and what it cannot.

prozessraum highlights unused capacity!

Optimize your business, the processes and the way, employees work - we support you.

prozessraum AG - Highlight capacity - Realize the potential

What can be achieved using a software robot?

A robot can perform simple and repetitive tasks in rule based processes in the same way, a human can. However, a robot does not require breaks or off-work time (we ignore planned maintenance for this matter).

Imagine, you would work for a bank and you open or close client accounts. There are many different product types (savings account, restricted accounts, rental deposit, etc.). For all these products, the process is slightly different for the setup and the termination of the client relationship. However, many of the steps to be done are the same (search or add the clients address, activate the product, enable the e-banking contract, order debit- and/or credit-cards, etc.). There are two possible solutions to automate theses steps and save capacity:
  1. With the full integration of the various applications (e-Banking, core banking system, debit- and credit ordering system, etc.)
  2. with the use of robotics software (also known as Robotics Process Automation, RPA)
The first solution would technically be very flexible, also in terms of changes within these systems as long as the data transfer between the systems is done in the same way as defined. The effort, financially and with internal ressources to implement this solution is very high and you have potentially dependencies on 3rd-party software vendors and other banks.
The second solution, with a software robot leverages the already existing graphic user interfaces and applications as a human would. The robot can perform the tasks a human does, as long as there are no cognitive skills being required (such as calling a client or gathering data from unstructured and always changing data sources).
The robotics software is able to recognize, fill and modify fields in various applications, including websites (SharePoint, etc.), mainframe systems and citrix applications. Additionally, a robot is reliable in exctracting data from one or many systems, compare them and store the output in another (or the same) systems. As such, a robot is also able to open and close accounts, e-Banking logins and ordering credit and debig cards through various vendor systems. In the end, the robot can create the required documents for the contract and print them. A human only has to pack the letter (e.g. at the end of the day) and send them. Alternatively, it is also possible for a robot to send predefined e-mails to the client.

A robot is therefore able, to perform tasks in a process of up to 100% (depending on the process and the requirements). If there is a logical processing error, usually one would again depend on a human who can take over the started task, correct the process input or fix another problem.

The limits of the cognitive skill and using a robot

Cognitive skill is a term referring to an individual's ability to process thoughts, feelings or other information based on knowledge, experience and through the sensorium of a human body.
As an example, a robot is able to reconcile two different signatures from the same person given in only a short difference in time. However, since a human is changing it's signature with the matter of years (faster, smoother, etc.), it will become more difficult for a robot to process such information whereas a human can easily recognize small changes and still be quite certain to have the signature of a given person (or not). However, a robot is - as previously mentioned - able to process a complex process with defined rules.

When should one not use software robots?
Software robots are following logical, structured flows programmed by humans. Therefore, first optimize your process (maybe, you do not even need a robot?) and consider the impact on your clients. Usually, software robots are more useful in the back office whereas in direct client relationships, you might still want to have a human advising your clients portfolio strategy (with the support of software...). Or do you like talking to a robot?

When saving capacity, consider of reinvesting some again into research or innovation. Simply making processes less expensive does not help to sustainably increase your revenues. That's why we usually do a holistic analysis of the process before starting to consider software robots to be implemented.

Are you ready for the implementation of a robot? Find out with a process assessment from prozessraum. Get in touch today.

If you would not like to receive future e-mails from us (4x a year), please click here.

prozessraum AG
Thurgauerstrasse 40
8050 Z├╝rich

+41 44 552 07 65