Tom Leggett | Data Reply
As the twists and turns of Brexit continue, businesses are once again left wondering what sort of changes they should be preparing for, and how they will react to those changes when they come into effect. The risk of sudden, high impact changes to the way businesses operate remains, and preparing for more than one eventuality can be costly.
Data Reply we have been using
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to mitigate some of the risks presented by this Brexit uncertainty for our customers. We have developed specific RPA processes to handle risks should they occur, as well as building out RPA capabilities (for example by establishing a Centre of Excellence), so that they are ready to react to changes as and when they arise. Here are 4 examples of how RPA can help:
1. Build a
flexible way to accommodate changes in tariffs and duties, in the event of sudden or frequent variations Leaving without a deal in October may now be off the cards, but there may still be sudden changes to tariffs and duties on the horizon. As these rates have historically been relatively stable in the UK, many businesses have never had the need for dynamic tariff and duty updates – but this will likely change. Retailers could face the stiffest test if they are importing goods from many different countries and economic regions, all of which could undergo varied changes after Brexit. RPA can provide an efficient and reliable way to be prepared for this challenge.
new capabilities into your contact center to deal with Brexit specific issues from customers and suppliers Enabling your contact center to deal with new types of queries and issues efficiently has long been a challenge for consumer-facing businesses. Often agents are required to follow time-consuming workarounds which are damaging for customer experience and staff productivity alike. RPA can provide a highly effective solution to this challenge – surfacing new information and capability to agents in a fast, flexible and low-risk way.
3. Be prepared for additional
legal, regulatory and administrative requirements to trading with the EU We're still not sure what additional barriers will exist to trading with the EU in the future, so businesses simply don’t know what to prepare. For many, the contingency plan is to repurpose front-line workers or hire staff to deal with additional administrative overhead – but with the UK workforce shrinking in the last quarter, this does not look like a viable solution for many. A far more sustainable option is to be prepared by developing an RPA capability inhouse. This approach will enable you to react to these changes as they happen, and develop a flexible virtual workforce to stay ahead of the changes, whilst ensuring your business remains agile and reactive to new opportunities that arise.
Intelligent Character Recognition to process new inbound communication quickly and accurately Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) is a breed of technologies that take free-form printed or electronic documents and converts them into a format that can be understood by a system or a virtual worker for further processing. After Brexit, businesses will need to deal with large volumes of new documents they have not previously encountered. Instead of developing new manual business processes to deal with this workload, using ICR coupled with RPA can reduce the amount of time the human workforce spends inputting documents into systems – and extra time to focus on more strategic work.
RPA is not going to solve all your challenges in preparing for Brexit, but it can play a pivotal role in managing risk. Organisations who adopt RPA as a way of dealing with the changes ahead will be able to adapt to new and unexpected variations quickly and efficiently. This has significant benefits for productivity, and importantly ensuring that a positive customer experience is maintained. Being able to provide great customer service through uncertain times could be a huge differentiator for companies who get it right.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the use of software robots (or ‘virtual workers’) to automate business processes. It is most commonly used in back-office functions, but increasingly significant benefits are being realised in other core business areas. By automating time-consuming, repetitive tasks, businesses can improve their productivity and gain competitive advantage. Organisations can deploy a virtual workforce quickly and efficiently to overcome a wide range of business challenges.