In this Q&A, Ruan's IT Manager Emily Burns explains how employing a technology called Robotic Process Automation can free up team members to focus on value-added work rather than spending time on tedious data entry and retrieval.
What is robotic process automation?
Modern robotic process automation (RPA) technology began forming 20 years ago and has become the transformative tool it is today within the past five years.
RPA is a high-tech solution where a process that was previously performed by a human is now performed by a computer. RPA “bots” mimic many human actions, handling repetitive, rules-based, high- volume tasks with a clear trigger.
They log in, move files, copy and paste, fill in forms, extract data, scrape browsers–all without making mistakes or needing to sleep. Bots are available to provide value 1,440 minutes per day, 365 days per year–the equivalent availability of three or four human team members.
What RPA platform do you use?
Ruan selected UiPath as our RPA provider. UiPath was named a Leader in the 2020 Gartner RPA Magic Quadrant for ability to execute. Our UiPath suite of products has enabled us to scale our business without a linear increase in people.
What are some benefits yielded from Ruan’s adoption of RPA?
We began 2020 by assigning 33 tasks to our digital team members, and within four days we started to realize the return on our investment, ultimately exceeding our total investment payback period within 15 weeks. These automated processes have allowed us to avoid the cost of adding 14 new positions.
With RPA, we have significantly improved our service to our customers through:
- A reduction in non-value-added activity by our skilled team members who are focused on customer service, analysis, quality, and coaching.
- Improved data quantity, timeliness, and accuracy.
- Increased speed, accuracy, and completeness of billing, payroll, and record processing.
- Simplified execution of our capabilities with more consistent results.
- Delivery of critical customer-requested capabilities such as en route tracking for LTL loads.
- Lowered complexity and increased ability to scale to other customers and carriers.
- Avoidance of more costly solutions like point-to-point integrations with carriers and expensive engagements with technology vendors.
What is next for RPA at Ruan?
We expect the time and cost savings will empower our teams to deliver more exceptional experiences that create more value for our customers and team members.
While our current focus is on scaling and sustaining our RPA program, our future plan is to align RPA with all of Ruan’s business process transformation technologies such as chatbots, big data and analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence–and continue to shift our company and industry away from the pencil and paper of the 20th century to the cyberspace of the 21st century.