The robots are here. And they’re way less scary than the replicants from Blade Runner. In this instance, the only thing the ‘robots’ are taking over is the repetitive tasks on your to-do list.
These robots are more like a mild-mannered, dutiful accountant that works steadily in the background. One that keeps everything in balance. Sounds great, right?
In this blog post, we’ll explain:
- What is robotic process automation?
- The benefits of RPA
- Use cases for robotic process automation
- How it differs from business process automation
- Robotic process automation software
Ready to join forces with the bots? Let’s go.
What is robotic process automation?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) isn’t the kind of robot you imagine. It’s not a physical, silver robot that walks around.
So, what is RPA?
It’s technology that allows software robots to mimic human actions on computers. For example, clicking, typing, copying and pasting. It’s a repetitive task reliever. It takes the pain out of the mundane.
It’s a way to automate the tasks we hate (you know the ones). So we can all focus on the bigger picture.
Aaron Bultman, from Nintex, explains RPA meaning this way “RPA is a form of business process automation that allows anyone to define a set of instructions for a robot or ‘bot’ to perform. RPA automation bots can mimic most human-computer interactions to carry out a ton of error-free tasks, at high volume and speed.”
RPA can be used in almost every industry — wherever there’s a routine task that can be sped up by automation. It’s estimated that 30% of tasks can be automated, in most occupations. Sheesh.
We’ll take you through some common RPA examples and use cases in this article.
The benefits of robotic process automation
There’s a reason why every business is talking about automation. The benefits of RPA automation are big — for businesses, employees and customers. Think of it like a benefits trifecta.
- First up, when mundane or repetitive tasks are automated — they are usually completed faster. And, with less error. Which frees employees up to be more productive.
- Secondly, it can make customers happier. Tasks get done faster. Wait times are reduced. And, if set up correctly, there shouldn’t be any mistakes.
- Lastly, businesses don’t have to employ people to do repetitive, boring tasks. They can invest in building their business and keeping up with technology instead.
The benefits of robotic process automation are great. But, there are some limitations to keep in mind. RPA bots are programmed for specific tasks, they can’t handle creativity or critical thinking.
Plus, they do need regular maintenance and checking — just to make sure everything is running as it should. Cost, limited scalability and flexibility are some other limitations to keep in mind.
Use cases for robotic process automation
Let’s put this RPA business into context. It’s much easier to work out how you can reap the benefits of robotic process automation — once you see them in action. Here are some of the most popular ways it is used today.
Robotic process automation in banking and finance
Most tasks in the finance industry require speed and precision. It’s no surprise that the banking industry is using robotic process automation to support financial services.
Repetitive tasks such as report generation, fraud detection, data entry, account opening and accounts payable are often supported by RPA. Industries that have high compliance needs and require accuracy are quick to jump on the automation bandwagon. That’s why automation in banking and finance is gaining so much momentum.
Robotic process automation in healthcare
Improving the processes in healthcare isn’t just good for businesses, it’s great for patients too. In most places, your health data isn’t kept in one place. Which can make the diagnostic process longer and more complicated than it needs to be.
Robotic process automation in healthcare can help to keep health data regularly updated, correct and available. So it’s accessible for doctors who need it. Plus it’s often used to speed up routine tasks like appointment scheduling, billing, payments and claims.
And, it’s a growing practice within medical practices. A survey by Accenture found that intelligent automation in healthcare is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 41% between 2019 and 2027. That’s a lot.
💡Mobius used automation and SMS to improve post-treatment care and patient tracking. Read how.
Robotic process automation in the supply chain
Most supply chain businesses need to process a ton of orders and transactions, without breaking a sweat. And, RPA can help businesses run more smoothly and keep customers in the loop (and happy).
Robotic process automation in the supply chain industry is used to automate things like order processing, inventory management, price look-ups and shipment tracking. Plus, robots can work 24/7 to meet customer and supplier demands.
Just like in the banking industry, businesses in the supply chain industry use RPA to stay compliant and be transparent. It helps to keep customers in the loop with real-time updates on their orders — sometimes by SMS.
Business process automation vs robotic process automation
Business process automation. Workflow automation. Robotic process automation. If that all sounds like the same type of gobbledygook to you — never fear, we are here to help.
The differences between business process automation vs robotic process automation are important — but not difficult — to grasp.
Business process automation (BPA) automates business processes by using software. When processes are automated it reduces human error and improves efficiency.
It’s a bit like having a virtual assistant that can handle processes such as invoicing, customer service, and HR processes. BPA is perfect for automating tasks that require multiple steps, are more complex and deal with different systems.
RPA is a type of BPA. It uses bots to automate repetitive tasks and communicate with systems the way a human would. It focuses on automating specific tasks that have a few steps. Or, you can look at it this way — it’s employed to complete a task that a human would usually do.
Another way to look at robotic process automation vs process automation is like this; RPA is used to decrease manual labour by using robots to handle repetitive tasks. While BPA looks at the whole picture, automating tasks across systems to make businesses more efficient and streamlined.
Robotic process automation software
So, you’re sold on RPA. What next?
Well, there’s lots of software you can use to help you and your development team get started.
One of the most popular tools is UiPath, which is often used with communications tools like SMS. Building robotic automations from scratch is expensive. So, many businesses use software combined with integrations.
For example, businesses could combine SMS and RPA via the ClickSend UiPath integration. Then, developers can leverage these two tools to automate SMS quickly and easily, without any fuss.
And, robotic process automation integrations are growing as fast as the industry is. There are hundreds of integrations available to make automating easier. This is good news for businesses that want to stay competitive as technology and AI adoption speeds up.
In fact, according to a report by Grand View Research, the global RPA market is expected to reach $25.56 billion by 2027. The growth is powered by demand across almost all industries, from financial to supply chains and beyond. Which means if you want to beat them, you’ve got to join them.
Robotic process automation is here to stay
Experts predict that RPA will continue to be one of the main characters in digital transformation. McKinsey predicted that RPA could automate up to 45% of all activities that are currently performed by humans. Freeing us up to focus on the big picture thinking, strategy and the important stuff.
We’d love to show you how you can automate text messages via integrations and more. Our team will happily give you a step-by-step. Reach out to our 24/7 support team to get started.