RPA in the Face of a Global Pandemic

MaryBeth Folger News

RPA during the coronavirus

In the months since COVID-19 surfaced, there have been more than 130,000 confirmed cases worldwide. Hundreds of countries have been impacted, and thousands have died. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus a global pandemic, prompting many countries to enforce a complete lockdown – no one can leave their homes, let alone go to work. Public events and travel has been cancelled around the world to protect public health, resulting in revenue losses across nearly every sector of business.

Existing business continuity plans are proving to be grossly inefficient at helping companies stay ahead of this rapidly-evolving outbreak. In these uncharted waters, global business is unpredictable and ever-changing, forcing companies to model financials for a variety of scenarios. In the United States, it remains uncertain if the outbreak will result in an economic slowdown or drive us into a full-blown recession. Estimates suggest a slowdown could cut global GDP growth in half, to between 1% and 1.5%, with recovery underway by Q3. A pandemic-driven recession could result in global growth falling as low as 0.5%, with recovery estimated to be much slower.

Business leaders are struggling to strike a balance between conducting business and protecting employees. Many organizations have mandated strict “work from home” policies out of an abundance of caution. Those who cannot have the added responsibility of establishing response teams to create or enact policies to keep employees safe and communicate effectively with customers. Faced with such extreme circumstances, many businesses are realizing they need a solution for emergencies like these – when a human workforce is unable take on their daily tasks due to injury, illness, or worse, pandemic. They need relief.

This is where fully-managed robotic process automation (RPA) services come in. (Thankfully, robots are immune to viruses.) A virtual workforce can automate data-driven and repetitive processes in every industry and across multiple lines of business. But unmonitored, RPA solutions can be frail and susceptible to bumps in the road during times of extreme change. Many IT departments don’t have time to update all the bots and processes the moment a crisis occurs. However, our center of excellence is a reliable solution in uncertain times because there’s no gap in our service. Our clients can rest easy knowing that our teams will continue to oversee their automation initiative no matter what.

Benefits of RPA in times of crisis

Automation can help companies put their employees’ health first. For the benefit of a work space and a community, employees shouldn’t work when they’re sick. Shifting tasks to digital workers can serve as a predictable and reliable solution no matter what unfolds. Bots are able to continue producing work without error or interruption. They can work around the clock and provide the peace of mind that all essential functions of the business continue to run.

The presence of an automation solution will ultimately benefit business leaders, stakeholders, and front line employees by keeping a business functional and stable, even during times of extreme crisis. You could even consider automation a tool in your business continuity plan, which outlines a system of prevention and recovery from potential operational threats to a business.

In healthcare, automation can process claims quickly and accurately, which is more important than ever when hundreds of patients need urgent care. When health plans are faced with staffing up to process the unexpected volume of claims associated with such an outbreak, it can be helpful to have bots to fall back on.

In other verticals, like catastrophe insurance, automation can provide assistance in times of crisis by scaling up claims processing to take on volume fluctuations. When a natural disaster like a hurricane or a flood impacts many people at once, companies can use automation to ensure they’re assisting communities as quickly as possible and helping people get back on their feet.

Automation helps businesses in all verticals cut costs, reduce cycle time and improve quality of data consistently. Others utilize RPA services in times of crisis or season-specific volume fluctuations. Learn more about how implementing an RPA solution can benefit your business here.