What’s All The Excitement About RPA?

November 2, 2021

In an increasingly digital world, you have a tremendous opportunity to transform your operations. Many business owners struggle to organize a massive amount of documents while handling all the various tasks necessary for growing and sustaining a business. Through digitization, automation, machine-learning and business rules for access and accountability, your modernization efforts will provide more time for your team to think through the most important tasks.

Within our Intelligent Information Management (IIM) practice, we have several types of services to help our customers start their digital transformation (DX) journey or simply to help them progress to the next step. It all depends on their priorities and their business goals. From digitizing paper records or incoming paper records through our BPO services, to building the workflow processes to automatically route digital information and streamline operational activity, our goal is to help our customers develop a more acute sense of an intelligent automation culture and how it improves their business.

As with our recent name change to IIM, as we evolve our practice, we can offer our customers more advanced tools to better manage the data and processes on which their business rely. Our recent strategic partnership with Automation Anywhere (AAI), a global leader in robotic process automation (RPA), demonstrates this evolution and vision.

RPA gives customers a more hands-on opportunity to make a large change in how they work – in micro-steps. RPA is a platform for the development of processes that mimic and execute the steps people take – copy, paste, calculate, open, move files, etc. – to fully execute business process workflows. You may know these micro-processes as the actions taken by ‘bots’ or ‘digital assistants’ within the RPA ecosystem.

How is this possible?

Part of the excitement over RPA is that bots work in and across applications at the user interface level as humans do. Bots work 24/7 with 100% consistency. So once a business group sets up the processes and the triggers, the activity happens seamlessly and accurately. No bot fatigue to cause process errors.

Why do companies like it so much?

There are several reasons companies like RPA, including that it can:

  • Save employees time
  • Cut down on rekey errors
  • Provide consistency and speed for the tasked activity
  • Make employees more productive by automating the tedious parts of their jobs
  • Engage employees as ‘citizen developers’ to find those activities that they need to digitize to improve their own jobs
  • Drive a company’s overall corporate goal for DX
  • Typically have a very high rate of return or a return on investment (ROI)

Internally within Konica Minolta, we are using RPA to automate labor-intensive legacy manual processes. Among these are invoice package assembly, invoice distribution, and the preparation of paperwork needed for the processing of lease returns, with others under development. According to Allan Schwedock, Senior Vice President of Operations and Supply Chain, Konica Minolta, “We have seen tremendous success from our initial forays into RPA and have high expectations for its continued expansion throughout our business. The productivity gains and error-reduction opportunities are significant, while also allowing us to redeploy resources to less repetitive and more knowledge-based roles.”

Why do employees like it so much?

RPA reduces the burden on employees’ daily tasks and allows them to focus on more meaningful work. Anyone who has been executing administrative tasks they would like to hand off to someone else has the opportunity to create their own digital assistants to handle the work.  Of course, there is governance over the activity by a Center of Excellence, and there are some more complex tasks may require IT staff to create the bot. But as we think about ‘how we work,’ for organizations that add RPA into their automation culture, they are recognizing that automation is not just for critical business workflows, but for everyone.

We are excited to be able to offer our customers a cloud-native platform from AAI which has helped to drive down the cost of the technology, making it within reach for most companies.  When companies know that they can find an affordable technology to positively impact their productivity, it can and has fueled an incredible trend in intelligent automation.

The IIM team has centered on intelligence as a result of this trend. We know more will happen in the future as technology drives toward – you may have heard the term – hyperautomation. It makes our business more powerful to have a strategic partner with proven success in RPA. For Konica Minolta’s Intelligent Connected Workplace (ICW) strategy, this RPA partnership demonstrates not only IIM’s direction but also the corporate direction to support organizations in their drive toward DX.

If we can improve the customer experience (lower wait times), improve the employee experience (reduce manual tasks by 75%) and accelerate corporate goals to achieve digital transformation (200% efficiency & growth), then we are helping businesses to achieve greater efficiencies and potential growth through for everyone.

Visit Konica Minolta online to learn more about its RPA offerings.

Ron Thompson Jr
Vice President, Intelligent Information Management

Ron Thompson Jr is the Vice President and General Manager of Konica Minolta’s Intelligent Information Management (IIM) Practice. In his role, Ron is focused on ensuring his team is passionate about what they do, and that clients value the solutions and services Konica Minolta provides. These crucial objectives of customer and employee satisfaction are what drive Konica Minolta’s IIM culture. Using these ideologies, Ron has built a core foundation that has allowed the practice to adapt and evolve in the rapidly changing technological industry. His role is accountable for the entire IIM practice, including, but not limited to, sales, delivery, support and the overall P&L of the practice.

Ron has spent more than 28 years helping organizations of all sizes as they begin their digital transformation (DX) and Intelligent Process Automation Journeys. He joined Konica Minolta in January of 2019 as Vice President of Sales, and shortly after was promoted to the Vice President of the IIM Practice. Before joining Konica Minolta, Ron owned a company focused on DX and Intelligent Process Automation solutions, and successfully sold that organization in late 2012. Ron resides just outside of Phoenix, Arizona with his wife, Sara, and their two children. When not working, Ron enjoys many outdoor actives with his family (water sports, camping, off-road adventures) and keeping up with his wife, daughter and son with their daily activities.