Robots have been embraced by the industrial sector the world over, and are now being introduced into the business world to automate digital tasks.
Colloquially known as ‘bots’, RPA is simply software that automates mundane rules-based processes. A bot can take information, interpret it, and undertake follow-up action.
The origins of bots can be found in banking to remove repetitive tasks. RPA has evolved and is now being used in many industries and has grown into a $3bn industry.
Professional services firm Quantaco is no stranger to bots, having this year invested in automation to serve its hospitality clients better.
Quantaco provides its clients with a range of hospitality-focused solutions and services, and it has begun using bots to boost the efficiency and reduce the chance of error or fraud in some of these tasks.
“We have always been at the forefront of technology, and we feel RPA provides significant benefits to our customers including accuracy, speed as well as security,” says Scott Barber, Chief Commercial Officer.
“By embedding RPA in our workflow, we have seen an up to 80 per cent increase in efficiency with a bot undertaking a process compared to a human,” Barber says. “This allows us to redeploy that time into higher-value activities and better serve our customers.”
The use of a bot to conduct highly sensitive activities, especially around finance, can also remove the chance of human error – or worse, fraud, he says, which together cost the Australian economy as much as$100 million per day.
“We help create time by reducing administrative tasks and providing easy access to informative data on the business’s operational success. We also help increase compliance and security while reducing the risk of fraud and personal liability.”
Quantaco is now using RPA on behalf of its hospitality clients, Barber says. “This is quite new for us – we’ve been working on it for the last six months and we’ve now got four processes now live, which doesn’t sound like much but in terms of volume, it’s massive. “
One area Quantaco is using RPA in is in reconciling bank statements. “Historically every single day we would download a statement and reconcile every line. We now have a robot that logs in to the bank and downloads the statement, although our team still do the reconciliation,” Barber says.
When you’re downloading statements for hundreds of clients, he says, that’s a fulltime role for one person. Thanks to the bot, that staff member can now be repurposed into higher-value activities.
Another process that’s been automated is an error-prone stage of the supplier payments process that Quantaco undertakes on behalf of clients.
At the stage after a final approver approves a payment, the process is open to error and fraudulent activity, as the file sent for approval can potentially be a manipulated, according to Barber.
“We now use a robot, so after the payment is approved at a venue, a robot takes that approval and uploads the payment file into the bank. That gives absolute assurance that number you press is the number that goes out, and it’s also much faster.”
A similar process is now used in payroll after the pay run has been approved, according to Barber.
“We’ve always used tech in our business to enable better outcomes for clients – we gave them enterprise technology ten years ago, and we are again ahead of the curve, embracing better tech to create better out comes for our clients.”
This article was published in the November edition of Australian Hotelier and was written by Amanda Bryan Original article can be viewed here