Business process automation (BPA) and robotic process automation (RPA) have become interchangeable. Technically, they are not the same because they go about their tasks differently; but the results are the same. Mundane tasks are automated to free employees for higher-value work.
BPA is a natural fit for the insurance industry. The industry has a significant number of repetitive tasks such as underwriting, claims processing, and policyholder queries. By implementing automation, insurance companies can create end-to-end processes that result in:
- Fewer Errors
- Increased Productivity
- Lower Operating Costs
- Lastly, Improved Employee Experience
Many companies with RPA solutions realized a payback in a year or less, with RPA solutions performing as much as 20% of workforce capacity.
No matter how hard employees try, they make mistakes. They fail to catch missing information on a claim form, or they transpose letters as they type. These minor errors can be costly. For example, the missing information means the form cannot be processed. Someone has to contact the customer before the claim can be submitted. The back-and-forth between the employee and the customer delays the claim, which leads to customer dissatisfaction.
BPA can minimize errors. As the technology reads the form, it identifies a missing field which triggers an email to the customer asking for the missing information. When the email returns, business process automation matches the response to the form to process. No employee intervention required. Deloitte’s study found that 90% of responding companies saw an improvement in quality and accuracy with RPA technology.
The same survey found that 86% of respondents realized an increase in productivity after deploying an RPA solution. RPA solutions are perfect for tasks:
- Have pre-defined triggers
- Repeated at regular intervals
- Lastly, have defined inputs and outputs
Business process automation can help insurers adhere to regulatory guidelines. Instead of devoting staff to monitor and enforce compliance, RPA solutions can validate information, generate reports, and ensure compliance. If an exception occurs, staff can be notified. Automated solutions can free employees to perform more innovative work.
BPA improves employee satisfaction. People are happier when they are doing meaningful work. According to the Harvard Business Review, happy employees mean happy customers. The more opportunities employees have to engage in satisfying work, the more satisfied –and happier — they become.
Lower Operating Costs With Business Process Automation
Of the surveyed companies, 59% saw a cost reduction after deploying RPA technology. Fewer errors equal less time spent trying to correct them. Whether it’s transposed letters or an incorrect zip code, RPA can find and fix the error, freeing employees to perform collaborative work.
For the insurance industry, BPA can automate processes such as data extraction, error tracking, claim verification, and data integration. These labor-intensive tasks can be performed faster and with fewer errors, making for an improved customer and employee experience.
Improved Employee Satisfaction
As indicated in the Harvard study, employees become happy when engaged in meaningful work. Entering data from one application to another seems like busy work. Playing phone or email tag with customers is frustrating for both parties. Automating these tasks creates opportunities for employees to work on high-level tasks.
Dissatisfied employees disengage, and disengaged employees leave. In fact, BPA can help reduce employee churn. Given the time and resources involved in finding qualified talent, minimizing turnover means lower costs and improved productivity.
Implementing Business Process Automation
Effective business process automation requires careful integration into existing systems. In environments such as the insurance industry, where legacy systems struggle to communicate, the software may be needed to ensure a safe and secure interface.
Even in cloud-based ecosystems, companies may require solutions to help with the security of protected data. When implementing an automated solution, insurers should look for a holistic approach that ensures the process will work from end to end.