In order to simplify the work and deal with manual repetitive tasks, automation is the best and proven solution. But majority of the time is spent on what to automate. Discovery bot in Automation Anywhere uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to discover candidate processes for automation in few simple steps. It also prioritizes what to automate based on the ROI and auto-creates bots faster than ever before.
Typically, ROI or Return on Investment is calculated in terms of the total automation savings and comparing it with the cost of the solution. Broadly it includes the following aspects:
- Manual Hours saved in the existing process and translating it to cost per hour.
- Savings through Error Reduction by translating it to cost per error.
- Savings from Productivity Gains.
- Savings from Business Agility as a result of improved decision-making and margins and seamless change management for process changes.
- Savings from Customer Satisfaction and Brand Improvement as a result of improved service, faster response time to issues and limited customer attrition.
- Savings from Improved Compliance and Data Governance as a result of process improvement and waste reduction including robust internal auditing procedure.
Based on the above savings, Net Inflow of cash, Net Present Value and Profit can be ascertained along with return on investments in successive months or years.
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For example, if you want to process a purchase order and you download it from an email. The data is extracted from the purchase order and it is matched against the original quote and processed in an ERP system. Discovery bot records these user actions and maps them into a workflow.
Discovery bot accelerates and scales automation across the organization by recording user activities, discovering business processes, identifying automation opportunities with the highest business impact, and generating bots to automate them. Discovery bot also helps the business analysts in finding the potential opportunities which can be converted into an automated process.
In a typical scenario, to automate a process, you need to transfer process knowledge from business users executing the process to automation experts who design and implement the bots. In general, this happens manually with the help of internal or external consultants or process analysts who are sitting next to business users and observing the way they execute the process. However, it’s a time-consuming, resource-intensive activity, which is also very distractive for business users. In the present time, this approach is rarely possible due to the current work-from-home and social-distancing environments.
Discovery Bot is an integral part of the Automation Anywhere Enterprise A2019 platform that provides a unique environment for collecting process-related information and then using it for automation. In order to understand how Discovery bot works, let us take an example of invoices rejected by the Invoice Processing system which could be due to non-compliance of policy and procedure or any other business rule violation. Now, we want to understand as to why the specific invoices were rejected and how we can speed up our collection process. The following automated process steps will help in documenting and automating the task of processing rejected invoices.
- A process analyst starts a discovery process to record rejected invoice processing.
- A business user on the Billing system is invited to the discovery project for recording the activities.
- The business user processes a rejected invoice.
- The customer requests the proof of delivery of the materials for scheduling the payment.
- The business user logs into the ERP system and downloads the proof of delivery and sends it to the customer.
- The recording is completed by the business user and submits the entry.
- Process Analyst sees the new recording submitted by the business user.
- Process Analyst reviews the multiple recordings including the screenshots combined into a single flow using AI.
- Since most rejections require PO or proof of delivery and finding proof of delivery is the most time-consuming process, the process analyst estimates the ROI and submits the automation opportunity.
- RPA Manager receives a new “Rejected Invoices” opportunity who evaluates the prioritized automation opportunities in the pipeline based on ROI along with the process flow.
- The automation opportunity is converted into an RPA bot.
- Auto-generated bot is reviewed and deployed to production after finalization.
As seen in the above use-case, automated process discovery helps in uncovering business processes by recording user interactions with various systems. It also significantly mitigates the scalability limitations and helps in reaping the true RPA ROI by utilizing the efforts to more processes across the departments.
Discovery bot also maximizes the impact through integrated process discovery by automating more processes through their ability to track all the user activities on the screen and applying pattern recognition (automated recognition of patterns and regularities in data) to these recordings through AI technology. It also helps in accelerating automation velocity as process flows and data are reviewed for identifying potential opportunities for automation along with predicted ROI giving visibility on the outcome and impact of the initiative. Thus, it is a pathway to Intelligent automation for identifying its own opportunities and designing the necessary solutions.
Acknowledgments and References:
Views expressed in this article are my own