Today, business processes are almost completely automated. Traditional businesses that only deal with small transactions or wholesale goods no longer have to be run manually. Businesses that operate in the same sector, e.g. online stores, have also been aided by the growth of service-based business models and online marketplaces where small merchants can sell their goods directly to customers.
Even though most businesses have already implemented automated processes, some may now be looking to build new ones from scratch. This is because a large part of what makes an effective BPA vs RPA decision is based on context rather than technology. The fact that both automation and business process outsourcing (BPO) exist today does not mean that one should use them instead of the other.
Fortunately, there is still a lot you can do to figure out if BPA or RPA is right for your company before you sign any contracts or resources. So, what exactly are the differences between the two? Let’s take a look at these two options and see which one best suits your business needs:
The Role of Automation in the Market
While the two terms are often used synonymously, automation does not only refer to set tasks being automated by mechanical means. Automation can also refer to human operators who are responsible for analyzing data and making automated decisions on behalf of machines.
With the growing popularity of digital transformation and the adoption of machine learning, automation is now widely associated with using computers to automate tasks instead of using machines to automate tasks. When analyzing a new business process, it is wise to identify the types of tasks that will benefit the most from automation and then look into what tools can perform these tasks.
For example, when automating sales, the customer purchase order process may benefit the most from automation. In this case, the types of tasks that need to be automated include:
- Setting the stage for order management
- Allocating, ordering, and discounting the goods
- Processing the payment
- Closing the deal
What is BPA?
Business Automation, also known as business process automation, is the use of computers, computer languages, and computer tools to automate the activities of businesses. Automation in this context refers to the use of computers, computer languages, and computer tools to replace or reduce the need for manual human involvement in business processes.
Business Automation can be either manual or automated, depending on your business needs. Automated Business Automation, also called robotic process automation, is the use of computers and computer tools to automate a business process by writing specific codes and running them against specific data.
When to use BPA?
To make the best use of BPA, it is wise to first understand when it is most appropriate to use it. To answer this question, let’s take a look at how BPA has evolved over the years and the major factors that have shaped its development.
Traditional business processes have evolved almost entirely out of necessity. These were developed long before computers were developed to automate them. The idea was to make the various parts of a business as efficient and accurate as possible. The sheer volume of transactions and their complexity made it necessary to use paper-based processes and tools to record them.
In the early stages of BPA, the basic aim was to reduce the volume of paper-based transactions. Consequently, cost-effective and reliable record-keeping was vital. Computerization, on the other hand, made it possible to collect data more effectively and efficiently. Automation, on the other hand, made it possible to collect data more frequently, analyze them more effectively, and make them accessible to more users.
What is RPA?
Robotics and automation have been slowly but surely integrating into each other’s lives for some time. People now use robotics to automate processes that were once done by humans. This is a case of “both parties are better off”, as automation improves the efficiency of the whole organization.
This can also be said about the other way around: automation can speed up a business process and improve the accuracy of the data. The key feature of RPA is that it allows businesses to automate processes that they would normally automate manually. RPA was originally developed to address the need for more frequent reports.
This can be used to reduce the number of paper-based tasks while increasing the accuracy of the data. Robotics now play a very important role in almost all businesses. They can be used to automate routine tasks as well as more complex operations such as data collection, modeling, and reporting.
When to Use RPA?
Automation is now widely associated with using computers to automate tasks instead of using machines to automate tasks. While it is always a good idea to consider using automation where applicable, RPA is most often used when a business wants to automate previously manual processes.
Furthermore, we should note that there is no perfect answer to this question as it depends on your company’s specific needs. For example, one business might decide to use RPA for customer service calls while another might choose to use it for recurring tasks like sending out reminders or daily reports.
Automation brings with it a host of benefits, including shorter response times, elimination of human error, and elimination of dedicated customer support teams. But, as with most things in life, you need to decide how best to use automation for your company’s specific needs before any contracts are signed.
Tips to Help You Decide!
The best-in-class BPA vendors provide you with a complete business case analysis. This evaluates your organization and helps you understand where you are short-handed and what you must do to better serve your customers. As the adoption of BPA has accelerated, so has the competition.
The vendors serving you now are either BPA or RPA. There may be others, but these two terms will always identify providers of high-quality software. The business case analysis will also look at the broader impact of your new technology on your existing processes.
This is so you can understand the overall impact of your decision and if it is worth the investment.
Factors to Consider when Choosing
There are several factors that businesses should take into consideration when deciding between BPA and RPA. We’d like to outline some of these below:
Company Size and Type
The more business processes you have, the more complex they are, and the more time it takes to implement any new process. Make sure you can scale your processes easily with the right combination of automation and human involvement.
What does your business want to achieve? What is the specific goal of your new process? What is the importance of this process for your company?
RPA’s Capability to Meet Business Needs
As we’ve discussed above, business processes mainly rely on automation and, if possible, should have as little human involvement as possible. RPA tools usually have a higher automation rate than humans but also have a larger capacity to meet future business needs.
Should You Implement Both BPA and RPA?
The short and simple answer to this question is yes. It is therefore wise to get a feel for what each of these technologies offers. In reality, you should probably do both and then do your due diligence to make sure that you make the right choice. If you are unsure which technology to choose, or if you are unsure if you even need technology in your business process, then RPA is probably the right choice.
Both technologies will help you automate and improve your processes. While BPA is mainly focused on reducing the number of paper-based tasks in your business, RPA is mainly about reducing the number of man-hours required to perform those tasks.
The lines between automation and business process outsourcing are blurred today. Businesses use both automation and outsourcing to meet the increasing demands facing them. Automation allows businesses to increase their efficiency, while outsourcing provides them with cheaper, easier, and faster ways to do things.
Businesses that adopt an integrated approach to both automation and outsourcing will see significant savings by cutting down on overall expenses, increasing revenue, and increasing their competitive edge.
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