RPA — What does it mean and why do business controllers find it useful?

RPA

New year, new blog!

There’s a lot of information about IoT, cloud and project references on our website but this doesn’t paint the whole picture of what we do here at AJR Solutions. One of the subjects we haven’t yet talked about is software robotics, and how it can be applied to every day business practices. One wouldn’t necessarily link the kind of robots we see in scifi movies to the work of a business controller and moreover, you might even wonder what business controllers actually do.

Business controllers are the best friends of executive team members because they find the answers to why revenue has dropped or why costs are rising. Data analytics has become a trend in the IT sector within the last years, but business controllers have already made use of big data analytics for decades. Especially large multinational corporations generate massive amounts of data every single day. This data is collected from numerous systems and from multiple subsidiaries and units.

Variation of data sources and data entry practices leads to difficulties in consolidating information. However, good news is that the more vast the problem, the more benefits the implementation of software robotics can offer. Robotic Process Automation, ‘RPA’, is not as much of a completely new idea but more of a new concept developed to describe evolving technologies. Different kinds of automation-enhancing programs and scripts have existed for a long time, but only now has the integration between systems reached a point where robotics can be used to efficiently create a ‘system of systems’

By utilizing the Robot Framework and its libraries one can easily collect data from databases, Excel files, websites, reporting systems as well as ERP and CRM systems. Data input can also be automated which increases productivity and decreases errors. The benefits of RPA can be demonstrated with a case example, where a multinational corporation adapted a new system for their finance department. This system collects data from Excel files, Oracle Hyperion and template files forming an automated monthly Powerpoint package. The system was installed at the headquarters, several business areas and multiple foreign subsidiaries. All in all, savings consisted of tens of working days every month.

Business controller’s time is extremely valuable since the workloads cannot be easily shared and they pile up at the turn of each month. Therefore, optimizing working time at that time period is incredibly important. Savings gained by RPA not only show in saved working hours but also in the decrease of errors in data. We believe that RPA can help a company work more efficiently and concentrate on their core competence.

So now’s time to ask yourself: What should you automate with RPA?