April 24, 2018
Everyone is being asked to do more with less. It’s no longer a request when budgets are tight, it is now an expectation of everyday business. Most organizations can find corners to cut and tasks to put off as “non-essential”, however, this is a very short-sighted approach that will eventually bring even the best performing groups crashing down. Every organization has those special workers whom they can trust with anything. Unfortunately, they typically end up being the person who is penalized for being so good. Increasingly, work is piled on them as resources are cut. Eventually, this person will get frustrated and leave the organization. If you’re lucky, they’ll stay with the company but move to another department. The more likely scenario is they’ll leave for another company and yours will have just lost a great employee.
So how can organizations avoid this cycle of madness? Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the answer. If you’re like me, the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term robot, is Johnny No. 5 or maybe even C-3-P-O. Robots have come a long way since the 1980s. RPA doesn’t involve a cute, mobile and witty hunk of metal. RPA involves a computer executing tasks that are generally repetitive and transactional in nature.
Have you ever thought to yourself, I wish I could have a clone that would do all of the things that I don’t have time for, or simply don’t like to do? I know I have. RPA acts as that other version of you to complete tasks so you can focus on the value-add topics that really drive results for your organization. Leveraging RPA is a strategy that future-proofs your organization.
Configurable rules are used as guidelines to ensure the robot executes tasks just as someone within your organization would have manually. No longer does your team have to spend time keying the same information over and over again. They do not have to continually select the same values from drop-down lists for every payment that is received. RPA can be leveraged across your entire credit-to-cash process. Credit reviews for stable, less strategic clients can be completed automatically, forwarding only exceptions for credit professionals to review. Deduction identification and disputes are also handled with intelligent workflow rules. Thresholds can be established to automatically write-off small deductions, automatically re-invoice invalid disputes or route certain disputes for resolution and approvals. Collection reminder emails can be sent automatically, freeing up your collection team to focus on more strategic communications. Even cash application leverages RPA. As payments arrive, remittance details are automatically matched to open invoices, clearing them in your ERP system and immediately removing them from your collector’s contact queue, allowing them to focus on only the items that are truly outstanding.
Robotic Process Automation is essential for an organization to remain competitive. Remove yourself from the maddening cycle of “improve, cut resources, results slip, improve, cut resources … repeat.” Reward your hardest workers by taking the mind-numbing tasks off their plate. Keep them engaged and leverage their talents to instill a continuous improvement mindset that will really drive your results to the next level.