How RPA can Mitigate the Economic Impact of COVID-19

As COVID-19 sweeps across the world and brings world economies to their knees, massive threats continue to devastate business operations and public health alike.

The virus has caused countries to close their borders, airlines to ground their fleet, and businesses to slow down operations, forcing employees to work from home in order to “flatten the curve.” All these actions have impacted financial markets and several industries, including manufacturing, logistics, tourism, education, healthcare, and hospitality to name a few. It also impacts individuals like daily wage earners, minimum wage earners, freelancers, and the self-employed.

As per the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) held in early March 2020, it is estimated that the EU is the highest impacted with a US$15.6 billion export loss. UNCTAD also estimates that the most affected sectors include precision instruments, machinery, automotive, and communication equipment.

Unsuccessful initial controls in some countries have led to overwhelmed healthcare systems, forcing the use of all available assets in order to provide necessary healthcare to the affected. As people are unable to leave their homes and consumer demand weakens, businesses large and small lose revenue. This, in turn, adds pressure on banking and financial systems as companies are unable to repay debt. Financial organizations are also facing difficulties in providing required support as their call centres are understaffed and overwhelmed.

Organizations are adapting to these new market conditions and discovering serious challenges to carrying out business as usual, especially when some tasks cannot be handled well when staff are working remotely.

This is where Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solutions can provide crucial support to avoid service disruptions, improve workforce productivity, and sustain ongoing operations.

What is a Digital Workforce?

Digital Workforce refers to an automated team of software robots capable of running application software in the exact same way that a human would do, by mimicking human activities and tasks. These robots complement human workers and relieve them from the burden of repetitive, high-volume, and mundane tasks.

The virtual workforce made possible by Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology offers an organization many benefits, such as:

  • Faster Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Low up-front capital investment
  • Higher data accuracy
  • Increased speed of business processes
  • Non-disruption of primary systems
  • Scalability and adaptability to process changes

RPA projects work best when led by the operational business leaders with the support of the IT team. RPA solutions can even be set up quickly by a non-technical user with limited knowledge in coding. A digital workforce could have any number of robots which are easily manageable through a centralized platform.

Since RPA can be combined with other technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Process Mining, and Natural Language Processing (NLP), an RPA-powered digital workforce can give you a powerful automation solution tailored to the needs of your business.

Several industries affected by the COVID-19 outbreak could use RPA to automate their most crucial, repetitive, and high volume processes to ensure business continuity during the economic downturn.

How RPA Can Change The Way We Work With Intelligent Automation

We are in an era of hyper automation. With the COVID-19 crisis upon us, RPA is the key to reducing impacts that come along with it. As more people work from home an additional, virtual workforce is necessary to carry out critical tasks that can greatly improve financial conditions and efficiency.

RPA could even be used to accelerate the tests performed for coronavirus to provide quick identification of the virus through AI and Machine Learning models. There are many free RPA solutions being developed from community contributors around the world to identify COVID-19 using AI and ML models. Healthcare organizations are already looking into using such RPA solutions to speed up the COVID-19 identification process and reduce the waiting time to a matter of minutes. Further, experts say that widespread testing of populations is the best way to fight the disease. In fact, a recent estimate suggested that in the USA, where the pandemic is currently at its peak, 35 million COVID-19 daily tests might be needed to mitigate the issue. This is where  RPA can effectively assist in a manner where manpower cannot.

RPA assists in several other industry processes including the monitoring of stocks, order placements and data entry which can be automated to keep the supply chains running smoothly. In the same way, chatbots ease out the burden on call centres and other customer touchpoints as they have the ability to handle front-office customer inquiries.

Free RPA Solutions

Use of free or trial licenses to support immediate automation needs

RPA implementations come in all shapes and sizes. Small and medium companies, especially those who are new to automation, can easily get started with RPA by making use of trial and free versions offered by RPA vendors such as UiPath and Automation Anywhere. During the current times of crisis, some RPA vendors are providing free services, while experts in the RPA developer community are also sharing pre-built solutions to address important use cases, especially targeting SMEs and the healthcare sector.

How Pyxle can help

If you’re interested in learning more about RPA and what it can do for your organization, let our RPA experts at Pyxle help you explore the possibilities and guide you on your RPA journey.

Here are a few ways we can get you started on your RPA journey.

  • RPA Consulting
    Our RPA experts can help you plan your RPA journey wherever you are on the automation journey.
  • Process mapping and documentation
    Our RPA experts and business consultants can help you map out your existing processes as well as your future plans for optimized and automated processes.
  • RPA solution design and development
    By understanding your particular business needs, we can help you find the best fit automation solution using industry-accepted standards, best practices, and cutting-edge RPA technology.
  • Training both technical and non-technical staff to manage the automation
    Our RPA consultants can host training sessions, webinars, and mentoring programs to help your staff get up to speed within a short timeframe.
  • RPA Support
    We can provide 24/7 support for your RPA implementations and end user support needs.

Contact us today to talk to an RPA expert.