BPM and RPA: what’s the difference?

Do you know the difference between BPM and RPA?

Many companies are not sure about the best choice between BPM or RPA to automate their processes. Most of them do not always have enough time and resources to implement fully automated systems, and it is also difficult for any company to completely dismiss human interaction in processes.

Automation has been helping companies to perform tasks, make decisions and minimize operational errors, avoiding rework and unnecessary expenses.

Although conceptually distinct, BPM and RPA technologies are complementary. When implemented together, they can add much more value to the business than just one of them could provide alone.

Keep reading this post and learn more about the most important differences between BPM and RPA.

BPM

The purpose of BPM is to help companies improve their processes so that they can increase productivity, become more efficient and be prepared to respond quickly to new market demands.

It can impact employees and customers, providing significant returns to the company. The key component of this strategy is BPM software (BPMS), which provides a “toolbox” to help improve business processes and impact organizational results.

BPMS provides tools such as process mapping, workflow engine, electronic forms, and data analytics. When working together, these tools reveal bottlenecks, helping companies understand the actions that need to be taken and showing which direction to follow to optimize business strategies.

RPA

Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is basically a software tool where robots can be created and configured with business rules to perform repetitive tasks, replacing human effort.

With UI-based automation, “bots” mimic human exercises like logging into applications or copying data from a spreadsheet and pasting it into enterprise software. Most RPA solutions are intuitive and have a user-friendly interface, not requiring an “IT Engineer” to operate them.

RPA fits like a glove for companies with highly transactional and labor-intensive processes. RPA helps to speed up activity performance, consuming less time and money.

Key differences

While BPM focuses on impacting the entire organization by automating and improving workflows, RPA focuses on the repetitive tasks often found at the beginning of a process. BPM takes an end-to-end approach, which means that while RPA can be part of an automation initiative, it cannot replace it.

Check out in more detail the differences between BPM and RPA in the table below:

bpm_rpa

Why automate?

A study conducted by the consulting firm Luzio Strategy Group points out that 55% of managers spend 8 hours or more per week on bureaucratic or repetitive activities.

Another study, carried out by the Gallup Institute, reveals that the cost of dissatisfied employees can reach 605 billion dollars a year.

Although employee satisfaction involves several factors, performing repetitive tasks that add little value reduces motivation. Automating them is an excellent ally in solving these liabilities.

Where to start with automation?

  • Understand how the implementation of BPM and RPA affects the department;
  • Map out what can be automated;
  • Assess automation priorities;
  • Talk to leadership about the challenges that consume the most time and influence the team’s routine;
  • Detail the risks and uncertainties to later include them in the improvement projects;
  • Show the current scenario of routines and compare it with a possible scenario using BPM and RPA;
  • Establish KPIs to measure changes;
  • Align team expectations and communicate whenever new improvements are implemented.

Did you enjoy the content? Then read this eBook and see the main benefits of a joint implementation of BPM and RPA:

eBook: BPM + RPA: Taking process automation to the next level

 

 

    Bruna Borsalli

    Author

    Bruna Borsalli

    Business Analyst at SoftExpert Software, holds a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from Univille. Experienced in EHS (Environment, Health and Safety) and a Quality Management specialist as well as a certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt and Internal Auditor for ISO 9001 | 14001 | 45001 Integrated Management Systems.

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