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Robotic Desktop Automation in Business Process Outsourcing

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published on 20 January 2021 | Reading time 3 minutes

 

Robotic process automation (or RPA) is a form of business process automation technology based on metaphorical software robots (bots) or on artificial intelligence (AI)/digital workers. It can be „attended” (by the user), not attended or semi-attended.

 

 

Robotic Desktop Automation (RDA) is a software class that is used to automate activities performed on a single workstation. In the course of the activities performed by the robot, it can, if necessary, give control to the person supervising a given workstation – so that he/she can make a decision that requires experience and intelligence.


In our case we have as many work-stations as employees and as many processes as employees multiplied by clients. And each one is different. RPA can be compared to a heavy and very expensive harvester which is no good for lawn mowing in the city where every garden is different. That’s when RDA comes into play.


What tools do we use?

When we use corporate software from Microsoft, the best and most effective tool in our BPO line of financial and payroll accounting is the Microsoft Excel environment. For simple transformations, the Power Query is enough. However, when the processes are very or extremely complex and require constant control, mapping and comparison of accounts as well as supplementing values on the basis of dynamically changing data, we have to use the so-called “macros”, or Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). Macros are not, as some might think, a tool for colouring cells. It is the full-time programming language of Excel and other Office programs that can take over the control of any Windows devices (yes, even mouse and keyboard) and work for you.


How can we utilize it?

Internationale clients

In 2020, we built two extensive applications that are semi-attended by the user for our inter-national client which hires out e-scooters in many cities in Europe. The user's activity is limited to indicating the source files in the folders. The application is able to perform very complex accounting activities for more than 50,000 invoices and give a flawless balancing report ready to upload or send in about 10 minutes. Consequently, the accounting team in Portugal has gained much more than just time. The same restructuring also took place for this client in Paris, although fewer bookings were involved here. Accordingly, the savings were not as extensive as in Portugal, but still significant. Another added benefit is the increased international cooperation with the client.

 

Covid-19

VBA comes in handy fighting corona virus? In Kiev, Ukraine, because of the Coronavirus, there is a requirement for each employee to fill in the table received from HR on a daily basis. Day after day. And there are several dozen people. Then, on the basis of individual files, a combined report is made, which must be flawless and sent back. Otherwise, someone may not go into quarantine and infect others. Every single day.

At one of our clients in Kiev, the creation of the weekly protocols of the contact persons in the office could be considerably shortened through the use of VBA: „It is very important for those employees who visit the office more than once a week. We expect 35-45 people to use this macro-file soon. The estimated percentage of speedup is approximately 90 per cent. The estimated real total time saved is 11 hours per week. So it is 44 hours in a month for our office. The accountants and lawyers in Ukraine often have a lot of urgent tasks and these saved hours are very significant for us.”


Engage clients in automation processes

Creating automations for our needs is great, but it is even better if we can directly involve the customer in this process. The advantages of this approach are incredible. One of our clients was involved in the automation process and thanks to this cooperation and several mutual teleconferences (agile sprints); it was possible to create a list of requirements for two different applications that allow connecting different systems together. The time saved is the one result, but relations with the client have been further strengthened in the process too.

 

Conclusion

Robotic Desktop Automation (RDA) is well suited for fast, accurate results and is not nearly as expensive as RPA robots, which require continuous maintenance by expensive, external companies.

The advantages are obvious:

  • Time saving,
  • stress reduction,
  • promotion of communication,
  • more time left over for improvement processes.

Contact

Contact Person Picture

Krzysztof Stajkowski

Business Process Outsourcing

+48 22 2440 081

Send inquiry

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