Here at Anything is Possible, we believe that software based automations are an underused super power of the modern age. We strive in our internal processes to automate as many repetitive tasks as possible to allow our people to focus on delivering high value work for clients.
This has been so successful that we in the Tech team have recently set up a new dedicated on site physical server to do nothing but continuously run through our ever growing stack of automations. This hardware is the latest addition to aiPete, the entity that personifies all of our AI, automations and client facing tech solutions.
So what does this look like from a practical point of view? Well for the last 12 months we have been using UiPath’s automation software to power internal processes. UiPath is a software platforms that enables so called ‘robotic process automation’. This is a fancy way for saying you can create ‘recipes’, or lists of instructions, that the software can carry out on a computer just as a human would.
Maybe an example would help. Consider the process of downloading a particular report from a media platform (say Amazon’s Vendor central platform). Now you could write some code to use the Amazon API to retrieve the information you want, if such an API exists. Or using RPA you would list out the steps to do it manually:
- Open web browser
- Navigate to https://vendorcentral.amazon.co.uk
- Enter login credentials
- Perform 2FA with an authenticator application
- Click on the menu item for reports
- Select the report type from a drop down
- Set the date range using the date range input fields
- Click download CSV
- Save the file to a desired location locally
UiPath lets you encode all of these steps and ‘play’ the whole sequence on a set schedule. Suddenly, by spelling out the steps manually just once, you can now perform the same process on demand without any input.
That was a simple example (but useful as the Amazon vendor central API does not give access to all the data in the reports that you can download manually). Another example that has added huge value internally is a suite of automations to log into the various media platforms, download invoice copies from the myriad of accounts and match up bank transactions with individual campaigns. This has resulted in a step change in our pursuit for complete transparency across media costs for our clients.
You can apply the same techniques to any process that a human in your organisation carries out on a computer. When you put it that way you can see the possibilities for efficiencies are huge.
In the Tech team at Anything is Possible we truly believe in working smarter not harder, and in freeing up our agencies most important asset (its people) to focus on higher value tasks that require unique human ingenuity (for now at least).