What Is a Robotic Process Automation Tool?

Is your team struggling to maintain your business’s data? Data management is not only prone to errors when done manually, but expenses can pile up when hiring employees who take time working through their repetitive tasks day to day. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has been one of the most innovative technologies in the last decade. Its development and widespread use have cut costs and revolutionized how businesses conduct their operations. RPA allows companies to be more productive, adaptable, and responsive by focusing on essential business operations. It also improves employee engagement and productivity by eliminating tedious workday tasks, allowing employees to focus on higher value and constructive projects. 

Before you invest in RPA software, it’s important to understand what it can do for your business.

What Does Robotic Process Automation Do?

RPA software is a technology that automates human-performed duties by replicating how people complete repetitive tasks. It allows developers to program computer software or a “bot” to gather and analyze existing applications for processing transactions, manipulating data, and interacting with other digital systems. RPA is small scale, specific to a company’s processes, and task-oriented. In practical implementation, RPA bots automate tasks like opening files, entering data, and copying and pasting information for employees. 

The goal of RPA is utilizing technology to automate tasks with the least amount of human interaction possible. RPA software bots can integrate with any application or system in the same way that people can, with the exception that RPA bots can operate consistently around the clock, substantially faster, and with 100% accuracy and precision. 

RPA is best used when companies want to:

  • Reduce human error and expenses
  • Create audit trails and adhere to all regulatory requirements
  • Improve efficiency by completing tasks faster
  • Minimize delays with bots operating 24/7
  • Allow staff to focus on productivity rather than processing repetitive tasks

Finding the right robotic process automation software can be difficult without direction. Foulk Consulting helps businesses implement RPA solutions to manage their repetitive tasks and assign employees to more meaningful projects.

What Are Five Examples of RPA Automation?

While RPA automates tasks, it can be hard to visualize how it is implemented within business operations. There are several assignments bots can complete with minimal human interaction, but here are five of the most common examples of how it is used:

  • Data management: Bots cleanse data, keep it up to date, and assist IT on basic low-level tasks to reduce manual data entry
  • Human resources (HR): A bot can examine applications and resumés to select candidates for open positions with no bias. It can also complete tedious paperwork involved in hiring a new employee.
  • Inventory management: By reducing inventory errors and evaluating sales, a bot can optimize stock on hand to meet customer demand.
  • Accounting: Automated payroll can handle salaries, overtime, and raises without the need for meticulously reviewing spreadsheets and manually writing checks. RPA bots can also help with expense reporting and invoices.
  • Customer support (CS): Businesses utilize bots to automate every step of validating a customer’s profile and merging the relevant data sets. RPAs can route customers to the right department while utilizing a chatbot or survey tools.

Is RPA Compatible With Existing Applications?

Yes! In most cases, robotic process automation involves no disruption to underlying systems. RPA is compatible with existing applications and connects them together in innovative ways. Because of this, RPA capabilities enable you to adapt current applications in new ways to optimize business processes and decrease human effort. It works by obtaining data from your current IT systems and communicating with your existing software. This is especially useful for legacy systems that may not have an application programming interface (API) available or for businesses that do not have the resources to build a substantial connection with current apps.

Foulk Consulting can help you integrate your existing applications with an RPA solution. By creating an IT plan based on your business’s needs, you can rest assured that your technology is working for you.

RPA vs. Intelligent Automation (IA)

How does robotic process automation differ from intelligent automation? Both RPA and IA are capable of collaborating and using one another’s abilities to create the best solution to a problem. RPA uses a set of criteria to automate repetitive tasks, while IA adds process automation capabilities with bots that learn and react to data in real-time. IA is essentially an extension of RPA by combining technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), and optical character recognition (OCR) together.

Developing IA solutions leads to different approaches to the current set of RPA challenges and addresses a broader spectrum of automation issues. Some use cases for AI processing and decision-making are utilized without RPA to automate tasks currently completed by humans.

Foulk Consulting: Collaboration in IT 

RPA allows teams to focus on high-value tasks, which benefits both your business and the employees while reducing the costs of wages and outsourcing. Foulk Consulting can help you understand and implement your RPA investment with high-quality solutions, including analytics, performance testing, and IT operations. Contact us on our website today so we can help get your business operations automated with RPA solutions.

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