Cobotics: A New Type of Workplace Relationship

February 18 2021

The digital workforce largely consists of RPA bots which serve as employees' virtual assistants and handle repetitive, manual processes while it is the humans who make critical decisions. The human and the robot work side-by-side, a practice which has been recently termed "Cobotics" rather than the much feared scenario involving robots replacing humans. Recognizing this, organizations have been warmly welcoming RPA bots and Gartner predicts 90% of companies across the globe will have adopted some form of RPA by 2022. But how did RPA bots become so valued in the workplace and how exactly do they help rather than replace human workers?


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RPA addresses a key pain-point

 

Enterprises have always faced processes that are rule-based and repetitive yet also critical to business operations. Such processes include:

 

1.      Updating legacy systems

2.      Reformatting data

3.      Merging data from multiple sources

4.      Calculations

 

These tasks would require considerable time to complete without engaging any of the employees' specific skills or expertise. Naturally, the monotony would result in mental fatigue which would cause the staff to commit more errors and further dampen productivity. Nevertheless, conducting such tasks was essential and the detrimental effects were deemed inevitable. 

 

This all changed when a solution was presented in the 2000s in the form of RPA (Robotic Process Automation).

 

Considered to be a major advancement, RPA enabled the staff to focus on more value-added tasks while their digital co-workers handled the monotonous, rule-driven processes. The human would remain as the final decision maker but simply benefit from the rate at which the RPA bot could operate to help the human draw relevant conclusions and determine the next steps forward.

 

Cobotics at work

 

While RPA bots offer tremendous speed and accuracy, it is the humans who have analytical minds and creative talents. A human-robot collaboration, therefore, would produce high-quality results at an impressive pace to enable the organization to be both innovative and agile.

 

Businesses across many sectors have introduced the digital workforce into their organizations as the employees have become increasingly appreciative of their helpful virtual assistants. Whether it's finance or manufacturing, almost all industries can benefit from a digital workforce which, through cooperating with human staff, produce remarkable results in many different areas including:

 

Customer service: A human staff can be commonly observed working alongside their digital team-worker in customer service. A bank, for example, may be flooded with queries consisting of low-level requests such as balance inquiry and high-level issues such as fraud. RPA bots and human staff can work as a team so that the RPA bot can address low-priority issues while the human agent can assist customers on high-level issues requiring their specific skills or knowledge. Many customer-oriented organizations including banks and telecommunication providers have enjoyed collaborating with RPA bots to deliver outstanding customer service.

 

Sales: RPA bots have also assisted human staff to generate more sales. An RPA bot can analyze user behavior and responses to certain promotions and campaigns, while also gather insights into the market conditions and competitor pricing to identify any trends. This can help professionals across all industries predict future sales and develop effective marketing strategies based on the research and analysis conducted by the RPA bot. Mckinsey highlights sales as having an enormous automation potential, deeming over 30% of sales-related activities to be automatable.

 

Data migration: When updating or replacing a previous outdated system, the necessary operations must be conducted with utmost care to prevent loss of valuable information. In addition, the staff must be able to access company data easily during the migration process – a process which could take months or even years, if done manually. However, it can be dramatically accelerated through working alongside RPA technology. RPA bots can recognize a large variety of data formats and integrate with different types of applications to migrate data, flagging any inconsistencies for the human worker to review. Through working with a digital assistant, a human staff can achieve smooth and flawless data migration with 100% accuracy. This particular pain point experienced by almost all businesses can now be combatted through working alongside RPA bots.

 

Conclusion

 

Humans and bots can draw on each other's strengths to produce remarkable results and drive business growth which means RPA bots can perfectly complement humans. It is the dreaded, repetitive tasks that will be automated and as this is done, new opportunities will emerge. A human-bot relationship will foster an environment of productivity and innovation which will ultimately lead to greater results. RPA bots play a collaborative role in the workplace rather than a competitive one. They need not be feared but embraced.


About Laiye

 

Founded in 2015, Laiye helps businesses achieve more, reach their full potential, and transform into smarter, more effective, efficient, productive enterprises. Laiye helps businesses and people realize their full potential by optimizing the human-machine collaborative alliance with sophisticated, dynamic, productivity-enhancing digital “workforce solutions”. Laiye delivers the deepest, most advanced AI/RPA/NLP solutions to help businesses become more efficient, effective, agile, and successful. And it frees people to focus on meaningful, innovative, mission-critical initiatives.

 

Core technologies include robotic process automation (RPA), process mining, natural language processing (NLP), conversational intelligence, text recognition, and image recognition.




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