The Difference Between Workflows and RPA: What’s the Best Option for You?


There’s a lot of talk these days about robotic process automation (RPA) and how it can help businesses streamline their workflows. But what is RPA, and how does it differ from traditional workflows? In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between workflows and RPA and help you decide which option is best for your business. 


Workflows are simply a set of tasks that need to be completed in order to achieve a goal. (If you are not familar with workflow automation, I would suggest starting here.) For example, a workflow for processing invoices might include the following steps: 


– Receive invoice from customer 

– Enter data into accounting system 

– Generate payment request 

– Send payment request to Accounts Payable department 

– Record payment in accounting system 

RPA, on the other hand, is a technology that mimics the actions of a human user to automate repetitive, rules-based tasks. RPA software “bots” can be configured to log into systems, extract data, and perform transactions just as a human user would. In our invoice processing example above, an RPA bot could be configured to log into the accounting system, extract the data from the invoice, and generate the payment request. 


What are some workflow examples in marketing? 

– Creating a social media post 

– Approving a new blog post 

– Planning an email marketing campaign 

– Launching a new product 

How about customer service? 

– Answering a customer’s questions via live chat 

– Handling customer complaints 

– Providing Tier I support over the phone  


Some common RPA use cases include:  

– Data entry  

– Accounts payable  

– Accounts receivable  

– Claims processing  

– Order processing  

– Employee onboarding/offboarding  


Now that we’ve looked at some examples of workflow and RPA, let’s take a closer look at the benefits and drawbacks of each option. Workflows have the following benefits:  

– Can be created without special software or training  

– Easy to modify as business needs change  

– No upfront investment required  

Workflows also have some drawbacks, including:  

– Can be time consuming to create for complex processes  

– Requires close coordination between team members to avoid errors  


RPA has the following benefits:  

– Can automate repetitive, rules-based tasks  

– Can reduce errors and improve accuracy  

– Can save time and money  

RPA also has some drawbacks, including:  

– Requires significant upfront investment in software and training  

– Can be difficult to modify once it’s been implemented  


So which option is best for your business? If you have a simple workflow that is performed regularly, RPA may be a good option to automate it. RPA can also be used to automate complex workflows that involve multiple systems. However, RPA requires significant upfront investment in software and training, so it may not be feasible for all businesses. Workflows, on the other hand, can be created without any special software or training. They are also typically easier to modify than RPA bots, so they can be adapted as your business needs change. 


Some common workflow software platforms include:  

– ProcessMaker  

– Joget Workflow  

– KISSFlow  

– Zoho Creator  

– Appian  

These platforms offer a wide range of features to help businesses automate their processes. For example, ProcessMaker offers workflow mapping, real-time alerts, and role-based access control. Joget Workflow includes workflow designer tools, an app store, and social collaboration features. KISSFlow provides a drag-and-drop workflow builder, document management, and analytics. Zoho Creator offers pre-built workflow templates, drag-and-drop form builder, and workflow approvals. Appian offers workflow modeling, process mining, and predictive analytics. 


At the end of the day, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The best option for your business will depend on your specific needs and resources. If you’re not sure which option is right for you, our team of workflow experts can help. Contact us today at solutions@katprotech.com to learn more about how we can help streamline your business processes. 

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