RPA: A Shift From Monotony To Thinking

By Aniruddha Mehta, AGM QA IT, Alembic Pharmaceuticals Limited

Aniruddha Mehta, AGM QA IT, Alembic Pharmaceuticals LimitedA Student To Einstein:

2 years ago you had given the same question paper as in today’s examination.

Einstein:

The questions are same but the answers have changed…

“Can I search for emotions in this speech?” That is where we are heading to, when it comes to technology. The questions still remain the same; How can I increase productivity? How can I improve the numbers? How can I make correct decisions?

It all started with IR 3.0, where the need remained the same, but the solution for the same was the digitization of electronic systems across manufacturing companies.

Today with IR 4.0, the need again is the same, but the solution is different where every organization is talking about the nine pillars of technology

• Autonomous Robots

• Big Data Analytics

• Cloud Computing

• Internet of Things (IoT)

• Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing)

• Interoperability

• Cybersecurity

• Augmented Reality

• Simulation.

Let’s connect the above scenario with Robotic Process Automation.

“A powerful automation solution which can make or break a process, if implemented correctly can achieve increased quality, consistent quality, improved process monitoring and analytics and process scalability”

Introduction

An Indian Pharmaceutical Company has automated their audit process, which is a unique case study where a non-core work area uses RPA as a solution. A regulatory audit is a non-core area for a pharma company but of major significance for them. Applying machine learning where the auditor would demand for data, based on the documents viewed; is an innovation - a mixture of Attended RPA and Unattended RPA.

Attended RPA: This includes scenarios where decision making and/or user input is required, such as desktop automation. These software robots work at an employee's workstation and are triggered by two situations: a user's command and instances were Robots need input from the user to continue a task. Access is often limited to the employees within a specific department or workstation.

Unattended RPA: Software robots that need little-or no-human intervention to carry out actions on a 24/7/365 basis when triggered. These robots complete work continuously in a batch-mode model that allows for around the clock automation. These robots can be accessed remotely by different interfaces and platforms, and administrators can view, analyze, and deploy scheduling, reporting, auditing, monitoring, and modification functions in real-time from a centralized hub.

RPA will reduce jobs!

The biggest misunderstanding with RPA is that a lot of jobs would be cut down. It would infact increase the job quality for every individual. RPA is actually a shift from monotony to thinking. RPA is not just technology, it is more of a culture shift from training to education. RPA today is crossing domain boundaries to enable cross-domain expertise to be shared across industries. BOT stores readily enable you to automate a task, process, or part of jobs. These are domain independent and enables the users to reuse baselined automated processes across domains. This leads to an environment where the users will be educated and would intelligently work towards continuous improvement and follow Kanban.

RPA will liberate your employees to use their unique human value and focus on things humans are meant to do. It shifts our thinking from – ‘what tasks can we automate?’ to ‘what roles can we augment and enhance?’

Demystifying RPA

Let’s get to the ground to where every industry is facing challenges to implement RPA. It’s important to understand what RPA does and doesn’t while you consider the potential benefits.

There are no challenges which do not have solutions, but looking at this pragmatically, these challenges if not handle in a correct way may lead to timeline creep or a potential failure of the complete implementation.

1. Employee Resistance and Onboarding: RPA demands a lot of skill building and a drastic change from the current way of working would lead to a resistance to the extra efforts to be put in to implement RPA.

2. Process have to be right: RPA is high volume automation which may or may not include AI carried out by attended or unattended robots. These processes have to be set right from day 1 or else would end up impacting quality and timelines.

3. Setting up realistic expectations: With the advent of technologies, and the exposure of technology to individuals even for their personal usage or at work is also the same and should be implemented as easily and fast. Pragmatic strategy to implement the solution

4. Desirable, but not Economical: RPA can get very expensive if not implemented in bulk or across the complete organization. It also requires ongoing training cost.

5. RPA Maintenance: Technically, if you are doing rule-based or repetitive tasks, then it is mandatory to maintain the output. If you are not initiating the maintenance protocols, you will find it difficult for sure.

 6. RPA Choice: Comparatively, RPA is a new technology and there is still a lack of skill sets as well as guidance to judge which is the best solution for their requirement.

7. RPA SME Team: With the skill set required to select the solution there is a significant need to have a team which has the required skill sets to implement and maintain the solution. This would not only be needed to manage attrition, but for poaching of trained resources as well.

Conclusion

A powerful automation solution which can make or break a process, if implemented correctly can achieve increased quality, consistent quality, improved process monitoring and analytics and process scalability.

Cut through the hype to successful implementation and impactful ROI!

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