Using Robotic Process Automation to improve service quality and decrease costs

The pandemic has changed the face of higher education with students demanding various educational options, resulting in pressures to implement technology solutions for cost savings, gain efficiencies, and improve service delivery.  Higher education has many internal processes that are a “perfect fit” to implement robotic process automation (RPA).  Using RPA enables universities to modernize operations while avoiding the disruption and costly process of implementing new systems.   

Both back-office applications in finance, human resources, and information technology and student-facing applications for admissions, events, and student housing are prime candidates for RPA.  To evaluate which applications should be automated, start by categorizing the process type.  Most RPA uses cases fall into five different process types:

  • Reporting: Compile and release data or information to specified individuals or groups
  • Alerting: Monitor designated documents or systems and notifies stakeholders about relevant data changes or upcoming task deadlines
  • Migration: Move or consolidate data between systems or documents without changing the original data
  • Validation: Confirm that data in systems or documents adhere to established policies, records, or guidelines and flags any deviations
  • Calculation: Perform calculations on data to derive new values or metrics

Next, evaluate the primary benefit your organization is looking to achieve through RPA rating the importance of each item:

  • Process Quality: Improves the consistency and accuracy of a process through improved data quality and increase process resilience
  • Speed of Process Execution: Accelerates completion of a process through a decrease in completion time or number of steps, increase availability, and fewer hand-offs
  • Employee Productivity: Enables employees to complete more or higher-value work through a shift to higher-value activities or reduce employee headcount

Some examples of applications in higher education that may benefit from RPA include student acquisition, student services such as dorm room allocation, class schedules, and internships.  In addition, financial reporting including payroll processing, vendor management, and student financial aid eligibility, processing grades, and setting up meeting schedules. 

With RPA, university staff has a tool that not only simplifies their work but saves a considerable amount of time and resources.  Dewpoint can assist your organization on your RPA journey by helping you to prioritize and chose the processes to convert, including documenting the current processes, identifying gaps, and providing the application development support to transform the process.  Learn more about our RPA offering today and how we can help you leverage RPA in your institution.

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