As process automation continues to gain increased notoriety for effectiveness and ROI, business leaders eagerly turn to us with questions. Of these, an important question to consider is when to use Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) or Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to maximize ROI. Given that both pieces of technology are useful for driving effective business processes, we must match their key features in correspondence with applicable work tasks. Not only will this relieve users from confusion but will also teach how RPA and IPA can be used to complement each other.
What is Robotic Process Automation?
RPA is a form of technology that automates repetitive, mundane work tasks. This works best with business processes that contain well-defined and structured data that are the same every time. Examples of use cases include employee onboarding processes, employee payroll functions, and accounts payable activity. More specifically, let’s say you wanted to increase HR onboarding processing speed while simultaneously reducing costs. Well, RPA’s response would be to implement software bots that automatically record information from multiple sources into desired systems. Following is the ability to validate new hire data while entering it into such systems.
What is Intelligent Process Automation?
Although RPA is incredibly effective at applicable tasks, it is limited by being unable to make decisions on its own. This means that it cannot conduct a prediction based on data or learn from experiences in order to optimize production. Simply put, RPA is only useful for doing what you tell it to do in an environment that revolved around the structure.
Fortunately, IPA fulfills RPA’s limitations as it possesses the cognitive ability to work with processes that contain unstructured data. In using what is referred to as transfer learning, knowledge acquired from modeled tasks is used to solve other related tasks. Let’s look at 5 use cases:
1. Insurance Claim Processing
Employees spend numerous hours every workday tending to manual, repetitive steps in the claims process. Considering the importance of such procedures, these hours would never be viewed as a waste of time before automation processes.
However, now that businesses are starting to adopt IPA, customer data from claims forms can be placed into their CRM system through field mapping. This is the process of simply determining which data to use and move into a specific location. For those of you wondering how this is applicable with printed forms, IPA can scan and digitally move selected data into the desired database.
Through automation, employees are now relieved from countless hours spent toward repetition and able to focus on engaging work tasks that drive growth.
2. Payroll Transactions
Payroll processes reoccur each month for every business’s HR team. Of these processes is important data that must be submitted successfully by all parties involved. Due to its tedious nature, this process often results in inaccuracies and therefore delay in rewarded pay.
Fortunately, IPA can spot consistencies of data across multiple systems in order to validate necessary information such as timesheet records and deductions. Additionally, the product can be used to manage features such as payments and benefits. This allows payroll transactions to be performed fully without mistakes that result from human error.
3. Customer Support
Many businesses are faced with an overwhelming amount of customer requests. If this is the case, limitations that stem from manual answering can be frustrating for all sides. By implementing IPA, customer support systems can be automated to perform actions such as answer queries and FAQs.
Once IPA has been implemented into a company’s work processes, employees will be relieved of repetitive job tasks so that they can prioritize the consumer experience. This aids customer support further by simply reallocating bandwidth to provide more value to the company and customers.
4. Recruitment Processing
Since we previously discussed how RPA can increase HR onboarding processing speed while also reducing costs, we can draw attention toward IPA’s efforts during the HR recruitment process. One way to help is by sourcing resumes from a wide range of platforms while searching for exact skill requirements. This reduces time and cost as the HR team detects value through spam and undesired application forms. In combining RPA and IPA, the HR team is effectively assisted through the entire recruitment process.
Can RPA and IPA be used Together?
IPA isn’t built for the purpose of overriding RPA, but to translate unstructured data into a structured format so that RPA can be used effectively. By utilizing both products together, bots are given the ability to understand and therefore automate repetitive and decision-making tasks together. This ultimately allows businesses to adopt a comprehensive processing plan that saves time and money so that humans can focus on meaningful work that drives growth further.