BPA vs. BPM- What's the Difference?

bpa vs bpm whats the difference

As industries across the country are facing unprecedented economic hardship due to the coronavirus crisis, it's crucial to find the best methods to decrease operating costs and grow the bottom line.

Due to budget restraints, many organizations are hesitant to invest in new software systems that may save time and resources.

However, switching from a manual-process business to an automation business may be the answer to mitigate the negative effects caused by this disruption. A digital transformation tool can help streamline financial services, optimize workflow management, minimize repetitive tasks, and decrease labor costs.

Nevertheless, investing in artificial intelligence is only worthwhile if the organization knows how to make the best use of it. Utilizing a set of strategies to optimize processes and save resources is an important component of any automation strategy. BPA and BPM are two organizational methods that can work together to improve process management workflow.

Here is everything to know about business process automation vs business process management.

Business Process Management vs. Business Process Automation

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Automation business process automation (BPA) and business process management (BPM) are complementary terms, but have different meanings.

Business process automation is a digital process that refers to an organization that utilizes technology systems to replace manual efforts. Business process management is the strategy utilized to manage both manual and automated processes. Therefore, every aspect of BPA is a type of BPM, but not all BPM includes BPA.

Both approaches are essential to improve business decision making, particularly for those in the food industry, manufacturing, and healthcare. Automated management business processes improve efficiency and productivity by replacing repetitive manual processes with faster technology systems.

The BPM business process helps to streamline the management workflow by improving the efficiency of each manual/automated activity. Companies use one or both concepts to generate more revenue, pinpoint and minimize inefficiencies, and grow their customer base.

Business Process Management

Unlike BPA, the BPM process does not identify any specific software systems or tools utilized to improve processes in the workplace. Instead, a BPM platform outlines the strategies presented across a business that relate to various policies and tasks.

Decision-makers use automation business process management to pinpoint inefficiencies in the current workflow, find ways to improve it, and then use monitoring tools to track project management workflow. In short, process automation business management is used to visualize what a workflow should look like and what actions are needed to make that happen. Use cases of BPM may be-

  • Improving compliance with labor laws and regulations
  • Arranging and standardizing a sales strategy/process model
  • Improving the quality of customer service and/or customer experience
  • Optimizing inventory management

Business Process Automation

Over time, businesses have looked for new ways to decrease operating costs by cutting back on labor expenses. With developments in technology, automation has been the answer for many small to mid-sized organizations. Robotic process automation or BPA focuses on the specific technology systems needed to improve internal and external processes.

It pinpoints repetitive, labor-intensive workflows that use valuable resources and take up too much time. Strategies are then used to slowly replace the manual process with a robotic process. Rather than automating every manual effort, many businesses pick a few processes to automate. Use cases of BPA include-

  • A payroll software system in conjunction with an automated time clock to optimize HR processes
  • A social media marketing tool to schedule posts and curate content
  • Auto-pay tools to optimize the accounts payable department
  • Replacing a manual inventory count with an optimized automation rpa tool or inventory management system

BPM Software

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BPM software is more extensive than BPA tools because it is designed to track several workflows. Unlike BPA software, BPM solutions are not used to improve one workflow, but to increase efficiency and productivity across the entire organization.

For example, a dashboard is a BPM tool and digital technology that monitors the performance of different business units by utilizing a set of pre-ordained KPIs. Individual employees can even track their own performance to determine what is needed to meet daily objectives.

When dashboards or other forms of BPM software tool are implemented, everyone in the workplace has a clearer understanding of how they promote the advancement of company goals.

BPA Software

Unlike BPM software, BPA tools are less comprehensive in that they are used to automate one or more activities or processes. It can be used in any business unit, including human resources, customer service, the warehouse, marketing, or sales.

For example, an email website marketing tool can be used to design and send out a name email to customers for the marketing department. Internally, the software can be used to automate inventory counts, respond to customer service questions, or perform payroll calculations.

BPA can be aimed at improving a single process, or it may be incorporated within a larger BPM strategy to encourage process improvement.

Implementing BPA & BPM

Companies receive the most benefit from BPA and BPM by combining both of them.

Using automation (BPA) to replace timely and labor-intensive work helps to improve employee morale by allowing workers to focus on more important aspects of their job. Because automation decreases the potential for human error, quality of output and productivity will increase.

Despite all of the benefits that management software and automation technology bring to the table, a piece of technology is not a quick solution to resolve all of an organization's problems. Without a set of strategies in place to derive the most benefit from the automation tool, it's just a piece of software.

BPA should be used in conjunction with a BPM solution to leverage the time/resources that were saved as a consequence of the automation tool. This strategy will help increase the company's overall effectiveness and optimize all of the automated workflows.

Key Takeaways

In conclusion, here are the key distinctions between BPA and BPM-

  • BPA is when an organization uses a software system to replace and automate a manual process. BPM is a set of strategies used to streamline and optimize both automated and manual processes.
  • Management BPM business strategies are used to visualize what a workflow should look like and how to make that happen. Example use cases include-improving compliance with labor laws, arranging/standardizing a sales strategy, improving the quality of customer service, and optimizing inventory management.
  • BPA pinpoints labor intensive, repetitive processes that can be optimized by using an automation software solution. Use cases include- Using a payroll workflow software system in conjunction with an automated time clock to optimize HR processes, implementing a social media marketing tool to schedule posts and curate content, using auto-pay options to optimize the accounts payable department, and replacing a manual inventory count with an optimized inventory management system and/or RFIDs.
  • BPM software is used to improve efficiency across the organization. An example of BPM software is a dashboard, or an information management tool that displays KPIs.
  • BPA workflow automation software is used to automate one or more processes in the organization. An example may include an email marketing tool used to send out large quantities of emails to customers.
  • Both BPA and BPM should be used to improve a process by automating it while still managing the time saved by automating the process.