RPA Tools Lack AI Aura but Find Role in IoT Inventory Apps
The company, she said, has used Kofax RPA to automate more than 520 “bots” or RPA processes over several years. A big driver for RPA has been meeting customers’ expectations to get proof of delivery. That has led shippers to take on responsibility for more logistics-oriented services.
“Customers want that more and more, and we were able to quickly build ‘bots’ that provided it,” she said. “Especially in retail, everyone wants a system they can log into to see where their [inventory] is.”
Today, these are not necessarily applications that go under the IoT banner. Much of the package tracking information that bots work on comes from transfer companies that may or may not enable pallets or packages with IoT sensing devices.
But Curzon said such IoT-like methods are becoming increasingly common with ocean-going vessels that alert Davies Turner RPA processes when laden ships reach harbor. While some analysts and users say complex tasks can stymie RPA, Curzon hasn’t seen that happen in the Davies Turner practice.
“We have used the Kofax bots to do a lot of processing of data. Where there are large amounts of data, we get the bots to grab and prepare it and integrate it with other tools that create reports,” she said.
So far, RPA has been largely relegated to feeding backroom systems that generate reports, create work orders or track inventory status. But signs suggest a broader role ahead.
Although RPA has evolved outside of IoT, its ability to automate manual tasks that are important in logistics, transportation and supply chain makes it a technology to watch. Today, RPA is vying to be part of many end-to-end IoT systems now on the drawing board.