What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)? RPA is when programmers “train” software bots to perform rules-based, monotonous processes. Get it? Software bots take care of processes you run over and over again, leaving humans free to do things only humans can do, like strategize and solve problems. Software bots can usually run mundane processes more quickly and more accurately than their human counterparts, because they don’t get tired or bored or need to take breaks.
But what kinds of processes can software bots run?
3 things to remember when determining if a process can be automated:
- The process must follow rules. If you are making judgement calls while you’re running your process, it likely won’t be a great candidate for automation. But as long as you can determine rules for the bots to follow, it can be automated!
- The process must be fairly mature. If it’s a new process that is likely to change frequently, it probably isn’t a great candidate for automation. Every time a process changes, the bots have to be retrained, so processes that are tweaked often aren’t worth the investment.
- The process must be entirely digital. If the process involves physical things, like printing and filing paperwork, software bots obviously won’t be able to run it.
Okay, so what kind of processes usually fit the bill?
17 processes that can usually be automated
- Monitoring email inboxes & scraping attachments
- Sales order / invoice processing
- Reporting – gathering info from several sources & configuring it into reports
- CRM management
- Logging into various applications & copying/pasting data
- Migrating files & folders
- IT / HR on-boarding or off-boarding
- Connecting to APIs for enterprise tools
- Reading / writing to databases
- Scraping data from web / social media
- Extracting data from digital documents
- Filling out forms
- System monitoring
- Extracting and reformatting data into reports or dashboards
- Merging data from multiple sources
- Generating and personalizing standard documents
- Running payroll
Ready to talk to someone to see what it would take to automate your process? Request a consultation here.