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An increasing amount of local businesses are looking for more innovative ways to improve long term operational agility. Andrea Tucker, Business Applications Head R&D, e4, says that simple cost cutting is no longer enough, and organisations are turning to software development for new and impactful ways to achieve digital transformation and increased operational efficiency. Tucker says that Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is one of these technologies and is rapidly gaining awareness for its ability to streamline process and save significant amounts of processing time.

“RPA is becoming one of the most intensive technologies within the digital space. This stems from increasing interest in robotics and in artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. We are seeing immense benefit within transactional operations where companies offer global business services, shared services, finance procurement and the like. These types of businesses are looking for continuous improvement, to establish or increase automation levels and to enhance analytical capabilities, which RPA directly addresses,” says Tucker.

As a leading fintech solutions provider, Tucker says that e4 has established an R&D project team focused on RPA: “Because Cost to Income ratios are reported on regularly as key strategic levers with employee costs heavily driving this measure, this is the best time to look at doing things differently. At its simplest level, RPA is smart software that efficiently carries out those traditionally manual and repeatable tasks performed by teams of people. If someone is completing the same time-consuming task multiple times to get to a required outcome, there is certainly a solution involving RPA that can speed up that process. This frees up resources to focus their efforts on those tasks that require human intervention,” says Tucker. 

According to Tucker, to fully maximise the impact of RPA, a shift in mindset and approach from experimentation to transformation is required: “Making the right strategic choices is critical to ensure the correct foundation has been established. Only then will RPA support digital transformation and the bigger competitive advantage initiative.

RPA can be used to automate processes that are repetitive; prone to error; rules based; time sensitive and digital or easily digitised.

The possible financial and non-financial outcomes of a successful RPA integration include:

  • The ability to process applications faster, thereby reducing the fulfilment and decision-making time
  • An improved customer experience as a result of the faster application processing times
  • As resources are freed up to focus on more valuable activities such as customer service, the resulting experience is more customer centric
  • Reducing potential processing errors by programming software to be able to make obvious decisions
  • An organisations risk and compliance rules can be more stringently applied

Tucker says that e4 will focus on an application of this technology within its core market where the company has operated for 20 years: “Mixing our wealth of knowledge and historical experience with new and exciting technology, we are looking at simplifying and automating processes for mutual benefit in the Home Loans space initially. We are aiming to create a sustainable solution that can be applied more broadly across multiple industries.”