The expectation for RPA tools has increased because they will greatly contribute to the realization of the work-style reform which the government encourages, from the perspective of productivity improvements (RPA = Robotic Process Automation).
Although RPA tools will ensure productivity improvement, users of them have the following common challenges:
I will introduce some ways to overcome this problem and maximize the value of the RPA tools.
What RPA Tool Users Struggle with
RPA tools (software robots) are expected to automate various PC tasks, reduce processing time, prevent errors and increase productivity.
On the other hand, it takes a lot of time and effort to deliver a task between the RPA tools and the previous and subsequent Tasks.
Since RPA tools automate simple tasks, through the whole operation they require a lot of work, such as delivering data to the RPA tools for them to process and receiving their deliverables afterward. Due to the complexity, there is the problem that simply introducing the RPA tool does not result in significant productivity gains.
Business Processes and RPA tools
A business process means a workflow where multiple people and systems are involved in processing various Tasks to achieve a certain goal. RPA tools are responsible for automating the Tasks (or partly) involved in the business process.
As regards the business process, there are Tasks where people and systems are responsible for handling before and after the RPA tool, and they are delivered to each other.
For the solution of “What the RPA Tool Users struggle with” described in the previous section, it is important to organize the Tasks and electronically connect them from the perspective of the whole business process, rather than respectively focusing on each Task.
BPM for the Collaboration between Humans and RPA tools
The BPM system fundamentally provides a business platform that expresses business processes as an easy-to-understand diagram which proceed according to that diagram. BPM (Business Process Management) is an improvement activity focusing on Business Processes, and the BPM system supports this activity.
The BPM system provides an electronic link between the Tasks of human and RPA tools, which means humans don’t have to worry about delivering the task to the RPA tools or receiving their deliverables, so the BPM system automatically delivers the task to the RPA tools and returns it to the human.
In this way, the BPM system eliminates much of the work that arises from the task delivery between people and RPA tools. In other words, the business can proceed by collaboration between people and RPA tools.
BPM’s Collaboration with RPA tools
As for a system that maximizes the effectiveness of RPA tools, I will introduce a free BPM system called Questetra BPM Suite. Questetra BPM Suite is a cloud service, so you can use it as soon as you apply.
Questetra BPM Suite has drag-and-drop functionality to draw a business process diagram. By setting the Data Items to be input in each Task after drawing, the work can proceed according to the work process diagram you have drawn.
The RPA tools can define the Task to be processed and let it activate automatically by signaling to the RPA tools at any time in the business process (Collaboration with RPA tools).
Most BPM systems require a lot of preparation such as setting up the server. However, Questetra BPM Suite is a cloud service, so you can use it immediately after applying. Moreover, it’s free to use for up to 10 users.
If you want to use RPA tools more effectively, you can use Questetra BPM Suite to take advantage of them for your entire business process.
I even provide an article about integrating the RPA tool “Basic Robo!” with Questetra BPM Suite in collaboration with RPA Technologies, a provider of RPA tools. Please read this too.