Automating routine, mundane, and standardized tasks with RPA can help businesses achieve higher productivity with minimal investment. Some automated processes might include execution of transactions, data manipulation, communication with high-end digital systems, triggering responses, and so on. In one of our previous articles, we have discussed major benefits and main use cases of robotic process automation. In this article, we want to focus more on the persona of an RPA expert, their skills, responsibilities, and value for business.
What are the main responsibilities of an RPA developer?
Despite sometimes being seen as a one-man job, RPA consultants are often a powerful instrument for modern businesses. Not only can they improve overall efficiency and productivity of different departments, but an RPA developer can also contribute to the continuity and customer satisfaction. So what does the role of the RPA developer mean and what are the typical responsibilities of a robotic process automation developer?
- Complex analysis of your business case. Only in very rare situations, can you find a pre-made solution that will fit your needs and tick all the checkboxes. In most cases, a robotic process automation engineer has to come up with either a customized approach or a completely custom solution.
- Deciding on the tech stack. Often, an RPA consultant will suggest several solutions that might work for your case and will provide their opinion on the best take. There might be some trade-offs, but you can choose what matters the most and what would bring your business the most value.
- Development and testing. This specialist (or in some cases - a team of specialists) will program a solution that matches all requirements once they are gathered. They will streamline the development and execution of the pilot program (or PoC).
- Studying the results of the initial phase. Once the solution has been tested, you might want to make some changes. Based on the feedback from users and stakeholders, the RPA engineer makes the changes to satisfy all needs.
- Maintenance and support. If you are outsourcing RPA development, make sure to add a maintenance clause to your contract. Often, even the best designed solutions might need some tweaks to bring the most value to your business.
An RPA consultant's main responsibility is to devise high-performance automation tools and strategies, especially bots, for interacting seamlessly with third-party tools and software applications.
In addition to implementing technology, they also help improve management operations by tackling existing challenges. In simple terms, the main job of an RPA engineer is to create a well-performing automation solution that helps the client reduce or even eliminate the need for manual interference.
What skills should an RPA developer have?
Often, RPA developers can be citizen developers - employees who create application capabilities that can be consumed by themselves or others (definition by Gartner). A citizen developer is not a role or a title, but rather a persona that reports to an organization or department other than IT. Here are the top five skills that any RPA developer should have:
- Strategic planning. Planning is critical when it comes to RPA engineering. Setting design goals or initiatives for your project and mapping out workflows ensure successful project implementation.
- Experience with enterprise systems. An RPA software developer should understand all the nuances and intricacies of enterprise systems, so previous experience with SAP or OpenText is a huge benefit.
- Understanding of programming languages. Though RPA is technology agnostic, your developers should have experience with programming languages such as Python, C/C++, Ruby, and Java.
- Strong analytical skills. Your RPA developers need to be able to analyze a process and provide improvement recommendations.
- Problem-solving capabilities. Automation does not always go smoothly the first time around. Mistakes happen, and bugs will pop up. Thus, the ability to debug a robot will come in handy, saving you time and stress as the team resolves any issues.
- Knowledge and/or certification from one RPA platform. In the visual below you can find some of the best, most popular and established platforms.
Why hire an RPA developer?
Robotics can help reduce operational costs by an estimated 25 to 50 percent. Unlike human labor, robots can work 24/7 without taking breaks or vacations. By implementing robotic solutions to take some of the labor-intensive tasks off your hands, you will see tangible gains for your business. Automating can help you recover these costs sooner. As a result, your business can realize significant gains.
However, Automation through robotic solutions will inevitably result in the loss of some jobs. Here are some solutions:
- Recruiting personnel for other core functions of the company
- Upskilling the staff instead of losing them.
When your organization has relevant positions that match employees' skills, it is the easiest solution. Alternatively, you can consider allowing personnel to upskill themselves while taking up new positions in the organization. Allowing automation events and maintaining your current headcount will allow your employees to take advantage of automated opportunities while keeping departments lean.
- Resource optimization
Eliminate the risk of errors in your business operations to achieve higher efficiency. Workers tend to get tired and bored while dealing with mundane and repetitive tasks.
Businesses can use RPA solutions to replace human workers while assigning them with more complicated tasks. As human resources are utilized optimally, organizations can get tasks done more quickly.
- Process Adaptability & Flexibility
With RPA solutions, business operations become more flexible. Such RPA systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances and (if designed properly) can accept changes with very little effort and no resistance. Thus, a company hiring an RPA developer not only automates processes, but also sets the ground for further innovations and changes.
- Reducing operational errors
Process automation helps eliminate costly mistakes that lead to poor decision making and false analytics. Businesses can use RPA to improve accuracy in their operations while ensuring error-free monotonous processes.
- Discovery of automated triggers & responses
RPA systems usually feature advanced scheduling capabilities. The system may be operating beyond the scope of any given scheduler, but it can nevertheless help managers automate some of the scheduler's processes and ensure partial or even total automation. The trigger does not have to be a human action when unattended automation is used. It can be anything from a document to an email. Businesses can use responses and triggers to partially or completely automate business processes.
- Analytics and insights for advanced decision making
With robots handling data and analytics, the risk of outdated or corrupted information, data leaks, or flawed analytics is minimal. RPAs can also be helpful for collecting valuable data in areas that are technically impossible for humans to reach or comprehend. Thus, a broader scope of data collection combined with a detailed analysis can provide comprehensive insights. In addition, it allows employees to focus on highly sophisticated analytics, resulting in improved decision-making.
- Improved the communication and cooperation
Often, you need to have a single point of truth when multiple teams are working with the same documents. Also, you would always have to appoint someone in every team to take care of changes in documentation or processes, make them manually trigger changes and inform other teams, etc. With the help of RPA solutions, such processes can be automated, resulting in improved communication & collaboration.
Boosting operation efficiency with RPA: featured success story
You may wonder whether a single RPA developer can bring a change to a company. We won’t tell you the answer right away, but let’s take a look at one of our projects.
Our client, a large tech company with offices in several countries, has contacted us to help them streamline the tracking of applicants and jobs. The company has over 60 people in the recruitment department and needed to optimize their work, while reducing the amount of manual tasks. When the company contacted N-iX, the recruitment team took care of 400 active jobs. The client was facing the following challenges:
- Operational overhead. Due to the lack of integration between various systems and a large team, the company had to spend a lot of resources on manual tasks performed every day by evey team member. Additionally, there was tons of communication involved.
- Lack of integration between different systems. The client also had little to no integration between their website, several pieces of software, and job posting platforms, which caused many errors and required them to to fix and double-check everything.
We analyzed all use cases and interviewed stakeholders to address all the issues and come up with the best solution. This step helped us match the requirements with the needs and business goals. After a complex analysis of the client’s needs, we decided to opt for UI Path for its flexibility and rich features.
When the client contacted us, they had over 400 active job postings and around a hundred slots on an external job posting website. Each day the team had to discuss what jobs have higher priority, which positions were closed and needed to be replaced, etc. Not only did it take a lot of time, but also caused many mistakes. Also, the external job posting website did not have an API, so we had to create an RPA robot to deal with the multi-layer logic of the website and provide efficient automation. Now the team has an automated solution that allows them to set priorities and trigger any changes throughout the whole process automatically.
Another level of automation allows each team member to have an effective integration between applicant tracking software and Google services. Now, the RPA bot can create all the necessary artifacts and significantly reduce the time each specialist spends on manual work.
Value delivered by N-iX
- By introducing this automation, the client was able to improve both posting and updates of active jobs. As a result, they were able to utilize the full potential of their subscription plan on the platform. The results were so successful, that the client decided to upgrade to 150 job slots on their dominant platform as it took little to no time to keep them up and running.
- We were able to significantly reduce the amount of man-hours spent on manual processes and related errors by creating an automation solution for a job posting website that does not have an API.
- We improved the communication between different departments within the company, and reduced the need for overhead communication.
Why choose N-iX to hire RPA developers?
If you are looking for a remote RPA developer, here’s why partnering with N-iX will be a great option for you:
- Over the last two decades we have built long-term partnerships with Fortune 500 companies and market leaders, including Lebara, Gogo, Currencycloud, and many others;
- We have 1,800+ professionals on board and a recruitment team of 60+ people to quickly find and hire new experts.
- We have substantial expertise with enterprise solutions and systems, including OpenText, SAP, ECM, and much more;
- The company has long-standing experience working with cloud, data, advanced analytics, automation, and much more.