Order processing in offices

RPA: The Secret Weapon for 50% Faster Order Processing

RPA: The Secret Weapon for 50% Faster Order Processing

What is RPA?

Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is a cutting-edge technology that utilizes software robots or “bots” to automate repetitive, rule-based tasks traditionally performed by humans. These bots mimic human actions within digital systems, enabling seamless execution of tasks across various applications and systems without the need for human intervention.

Why RPA Matters for Order Processing

In the B2B world, order processing is often laden with mundane, repetitive tasks such as data entry, invoice generation, and order verification. These manual processes not only consume valuable time but also leave room for errors, leading to delays and inefficiencies.

In situations where an order is much more than a SKU from an eCommerce catalogue, there can be complications to consider in terms of materials required for manufacture, timescales for production work, storage in a warehouse and the logistics for final delivery. ERP applications can be great, but they usually require a lot of administrative effort to operate them.

By implementing RPA in order processing workflows, businesses can streamline the tasks by replacing manual actions on systems with software robots executing the activity.

RPA can perform the actions as fast if not faster than a person, the robots can operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which can potentially shorten order processing times.

In routine, repetitive tasks human errors are inevitable. RPA eliminates the risk of human error by executing tasks with precision and consistency, leading to fewer order processing discrepancies and improved customer satisfaction.

Combining people and RPA software robots

By using RPA software robots to process the day to day routine type orders, people are able to assist with any errors encountered by the RPA processing and with any orders that are unusual, complex or exceptional in some feature.

This enhances the value people can contribute and relieves them of the mundane activity.

By separating the work people will continue to perform, the implementation of the RPA functionality benefits from focusing on the core tasks that represent the large volume of the processing. This keeps development costs down, testing costs down and reduces the implementation time.

Enhancing the ERP Investment

An ERP implementation is about managing core functions of a business including:

  • Finance & accounting
  • Procurement
  • Manufacturing
  • Inventory Management
  • Order Management
  • Warehouse Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Project Service Resource Management
  • Workforce Management
  • Human Resources Management

To utilise all of the features often requires a lot of manual work on application to get data in, out and review the current values. With RPA able to perform the regular work that people do on an ERP system, it is easy to see why automation can deliver improved cycle times across a business.

Order Peaks and Troughs

For a business to be viable there is normally a core level of orders that need to be processed and the staff required to process the workload need to be available. The challenge for staffing usually occurs when there are significant peaks that occur to the level of orders which need to be processed in a given timeframe.

Asking staff to work overtime can be a viable option for short term peaks but excessive hours can lead to more human errors in the processing. Deploying extra temporary staff to meet peak workload can be a solution but they may require training in order to become effective.

An RPA software robot once implemented can work at the same speed as a person but as it can work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it offers the capacity to perform the work of 4.2 people.

Such a solution could offer the capacity to deal with peaks in workload without additional costs during the normal processing levels.

Flexibility in Order Processing

Automation is most effective when there is a sufficient volume of orders to be processed that require the same processing logic to be performed.

For businesses that require a lot of flexibility in the processing of orders, the cost of developing the number of processing variations for the automation may out weigh the benefits delivered by the automation.

The greater the flexibility required may make it difficult to recruit and train staff so that they are capable of processing the orders. If that is the case, there can be benefits in looking at the detailed tasks that make up the processing activity to see if a blend of manual and automated activity could reduce the workload for each person while still providing the overall flexibility required.

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For more information contact Ether Solutions

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