Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is in the news as an unavoidable trend in manufacturing and it’s showing up in the service industry, construction and retail. A relatively unexplored area is compliance management. A robot can be created to ensure that documents held in email, on a shared drive and even on local machines are objectively managed according to the organization’s business rules.
Scenario: An email with an invoice attachment is sent to an employee, not to accounts payable, because the vendor has a relationship with the employee and believes that the invoice will be paid more quickly with that personal touch. Not in my experience! With RPA, a robot can sweep the Exchange server every 6 – 8 hours, looking for variations of “Invoice” or “Inv” or “Please pay” or “Remit to” in either the subject line or in an attachment and send it to Accounts Payable with a date/time stamp when it was sent to the individual mailbox and when it was sent to AP. It can even look for an early pay discount and flag those invoices. No more missed opportunities! A daily report can be sent to the controller of invoices received for enhanced cashflow management.
Scenario: Under the GDPR or CCPA, a customer enacts their rights and calls in to request their information be removed from a company’s systems. The call desk confirms the information to be removed and initiates a robot from their desktop that creates a request ticket, searches through databases, shared drives, Exchange and local drives to locate any instances of that customer’s data, remove it from the databases, drives, email, send a letter to the customer confirming the data has been removed, and then, remove the data from the system used to create the letter, leaving only the initial time of the request and the time of the removal in the ticketing system.
Scenario: A research scientist’s log book is an excel spreadsheet on a shared drive. The robot sweeps the shared drive on a scheduled basis (hourly, daily, monthly) and updates an enterprise database with the findings and the intellectual property is preserved and made available to a wider researcher base.
Scenario: A genetics testing lab receives swab kits from physicians and clinics through USPS and UPS. Some of the kits will be reimbursed by insurance and the lab would like to know which before they process the kit. Setting up a shipping account for the physicians and clinics to use allowed the lab to start the insurance claim process at the time of shipment rather than at the time of delivery. The robot was used to check the shipment activity on an hourly basis, reconcile the shipment number against the kit number used and look up the insurance information. The robot then sent out the claim to the insurance company to determine payment. If the claim was denied, then a notice was sent to the physician to ask the patient if they would be willing to pay for the kit to be processed. When the kit arrived at the lab, the lab knew which kits were revenue-generating and which they could destroy without processing.
Scenario: The Customer Support Experience. Most large service organizations subcontract support and customer education. They often have multiple levels to theses services. These organization’s systems are often not well integrated due to the time and labor of maintaining APIs. Their customers feel the disconnection through answering the same questions over and over and over. Now, they utilize a series of Robots to make sure systems are up to date. In every communication transaction they have a sender and receiver - human or system. We created a button that copied new specific information from one system and populates the company’s next level of support system in real time, reformatting as necessary. When the next level of support solves the problem, information is then sent back to the first level of support system with the solution and updates. The contracting organization is updated so their business intelligence team can track problems in real time. Most importantly, customers feel like they are dealing with one organization and everyone is in the loop.
Scenario: Applying for Bank Loan: More goes into qualifying for a loan that you may expect. Banks and Lenders have to review all current loans and accounts to determine your loan risk. Many organizations still do this by reviewing accounts and working through your information. We created an RPA solution to be able to receive a loan application and automatically review specific data within your accounts within the organization. Through predetermined variables and in accordance with information governance business rules, the application and information was made available to the loan officer for validation and final approval. Now the loan officer is informed and ready to assist the customer within seconds rather than hours or days.
Scenario: Construction invoice creation: Most all construction companies are utilizing construction management software of some type. These tools manage the projects and hours by classification and workers. In many cases they also manage equipment rental and other construction expenses. At the end of each month, the construction manager on the job has to submit hours and expenses to billing so the client is billed - frequently hours of “personal time” during the evening and weekends. We created a series of robots that pull specific fields from one system and/or spreadsheets and place this data into the ERP for billing. The Robot does this work on specific days of each week and notifies the managers of record so they can validate the work going into creating the invoice. AR is notified and their information is validated. Once the information is billed a copy of the invoice is then attached to the project.