Transforming Infrastructure with Robotic Process Automation
Author – Mr. Snehal S Kumbhar | Solution Head – Prime Business
As the world recovers from the pandemic, construction enterprises are racing towards digital transformation to keep up with the dynamic business requirements. Though demand remains subdued, companies are preparing themselves for the time when the market bounces back, and the economy is restored to its original status. Special emphasis on augmenting the execution capabilities is needed, and one powerful tool to achieve the same can be Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
RPA as the tool to infrastructure excellence
RPA can drastically improve the working of a construction enterprise in various ways. Introducing bots for compliance and routine activities makes an enterprise lean and gives the scope for further improvement.
Another crucial aspect that limits any construction enterprise is the lack of proper cash flow, mainly due to delayed Days Sales Outstanding (DSO). The primary reason for this is inaccurate invoicing, which slows the payments cycle. Generally, a typical invoice is generated by extracting data from multiple sources and supporting documents that can either be homegrown or sourced from various vendor portals. Conventionally, the entire process is operated manually. However, the volumes of invoices generated daily for a sizable construction enterprise make the compliance hefty.
Deploying RPA will make a massive difference by minimizing days invoicing work to minutes. Bots generated by RPA solution can fetch data through different sources, compile, authenticate and send the invoices to various destinations. This results in the staff to focus on more business-oriented work like handling client queries and more.
RPA can be instrumental in navigating expenses and generate real-time budget reporting for different projects. The system can pull out data from other vendor ports, supplier systems, and critical insights into the project cost to improve project decision-making and governance.
Fulfilling compliance needs
Construction enterprises are dominated with documentation, contracts, invoicing, lease signing and more. To accomplish the same, a team of professionals needs to be employed to ensure the smoothness of all compliances. Along with being repetitive and time-consuming, these tasks are also prone to errors and can be easily overcome by deploying RPA.
Streamline business cycle
The bots generated from RPA system can be assigned numerous jobs which otherwise world require great human effort and involve high costs. For example, specific bots can be set up send periodic emails and other reminders, pay taxes and conduct bidding for particular projects which have time limits based on its data collecting capabilities.
The same RPA systems can be decisive in upgrading the legacy systems for many traditional construction firms. Many legacy systems in use cannot integrate well and even lack the ability to pull data from modern systems through APIs. RPA, on the other hand, is more precise, have more accuracy and can function well with different systems.
On-site RPA applications
Though more prominent in back-office work, the scope of RPA’s applications touch on-site work as well –
- Reducing material waste by identifying points of wastage and cutting areas
- 3D printing building supplies
- Safety in packaging and material movement
- Make pre-requisite placements for raw materials to aid identification in one place
In conclusion, a reliable RPA system will help construction enterprises focus on more business-oriented work, improve productivity and create a lean business process. While there is an additional cost involved in adopting a customized RPA system, in the longer run, the benefits outweigh the costs. Moreover, its applications in multiple areas like accounting, project planning, analysis, compliance etc. benefit an enterprise as a whole, especially in a complex business environment like infrastructure.