The use of robotic process automation (RPA) does not require coding knowledge. Because RPA is usually considered a code-free technology, it is an accessible option to a wide variety of businesses. Having a background in programming can definitely be beneficial when utilizing RPA, but it’s not necessary.
However, if you have watched any robotic process automation tutorials in hopes of learning how to do it yourself, you may have found it’s still rather complicated even without coding. This blog will examine why this is, RPA in action, and how RPA can benefit your business.
What Does Robotic Process Automation Do?
The purpose of RPA is to alleviate the burden of tedious and repetitive tasks. Leslie Willcocks—professor of technology, work, and globalization at the London School of Economics’ department of management—puts it best:
RPA takes the robot out of the human. The average knowledge worker employed on a back-office process has a lot of repetitive, routine tasks that are dreary and uninteresting. RPA is a type of software that mimics the activity of a human being in carrying out a task within a process. It can do repetitive stuff more quickly, accurately, and tirelessly than humans, freeing them to do other tasks requiring human strengths such as emotional intelligence, reasoning, judgment, and interaction with the customer.
Whether these processes involve workflows, back office procedures, or business infrastructure, RPA can handle almost anything. The best tasks to automate are:
- Based in digital input and electronic data
- Required on a frequent basis
- Long-term and not temporary fixes
What Is Robotic Process Automation With an Example?
A common example of RPA in action is with payroll. For larger businesses, payroll can be a massive and time-consuming task. They have to factor in time entries, attendance records, deductions, PTO, new and resigning employees, and a slew of other issues. And while payroll accuracy is vital to the success of any organization, it’s usually not considered part of strategic business growth. This means most shareholders will want payroll costs to stay low.
RPA bots are the perfect and cost-effective solution for payroll. A bot can easily collect all employee data—even if that data is strewn across multiple systems—and initiate the necessary steps to process payroll. Bots can also check for missing time entries or other common errors and notify human managers of any discrepancies.
This doesn’t eliminate the need for humans in the payroll process, but it does speed the process up and reduce errors. Plus, bots can run the majority of payroll tasks overnight, making the payroll processor’s job on the morning of payday much easier.
With such appealing solutions stemming from RPA, you may find yourself interested in learning RPA and using it for your own business. If you don’t have an IT or coding background, though, it can initially seem a rather daunting task.
Is Coding Required for RPA?
Fortunately, using RPA does not require coding knowledge. Automation by itself, however, usually does require programming knowledge, and it’s easy to confuse this fine line between automation and RPA.
With automation in general, one typically creates an entirely new software or technology to automate a particular task. On the other hand, RPA does not involve the invention of new software or technology, and instead acts as a tool to automate various processes across different technologies.
For example, let’s say your business is looking for an easier way to process orders. Imagine the process typically follows these steps:
- Retrieving the purchase order from an portal or email
- Entering the data from the order into the business’s system
- Validating order information with quotes and inventory
- Sending the order off for fulfillment
An enterprise business may be able to afford hiring a team of coding experts to build out an entirely new platform that automates this process for them and their unique business needs. But this isn’t always necessary, and it might be overkill in certain situations. Instead, this order processing scenario is a prime task for RPA. In each step, RPA could automatically:
- Click through all the necessary download and retrieval buttons to get purchase orders from the portal or emails as soon as they come in, and then save these orders to predetermined locations.
- Read through each order, gather data from various fields, and input that data into the corresponding locations in the business’s system.
- Cross-check each order with quotes and current inventory, and notify the proper human employee if there are any discrepancies.
- Send the order off for fulfillment after confirming the order is accurate.
It might take a human employee five to ten minutes to follow all these steps for one order, while an RPA bot could possibly finish hundreds of orders in the same amount of time.
Now, writing the process and rules for the bots to follow is a bit tricky. It usually doesn’t involve coding, but the logic to use RPA is similar to that needed for coding. This is why so many robotic process automation companies like Foulk Consulting exist—to help businesses harness the power of RPA for themselves.
Foulk Consulting: The RPA Solution You’ve Been Looking For
At Foulk Consulting, we love to introduce our clients to the wonder of RPA. We find that many of our clients have invested in a variety of software, yet they are not taking full advantage of what their tech stack has to offer. Our IT experts seek to close that gap by delivering high-quality IT and RPA solutions that exceed expectations. If you’re looking for—
- Expert assistance with RPA implementation
- Effective application delivery management
- Competitive dashboard analytics
- Application performance testing, monitoring, and digital management
- Management of IT operations
- DevOps to build, test, and release software faster and more reliably
- Innovative automated test strategies to keep software development processes agile and lean
- IT process improvement initiatives
—then Foulk Consulting is the business partner you’ve been searching for. Ready to discuss the exciting possibilities of RPA and other IT solutions for your business? Contact us today!