6 Most Popular RPA Use Cases in Manufacturing Industry post-COVID

The role of RPA in manufacturing post pandemic

As markets continue to grapple with challenges posed by the pandemic that shows no signs of receding, organizations are now pinning their hopes on technology with robotic process automation (RPA) that can take care of repetitive routine tasks. RPA ensures tasks that earlier required days and weeks can now be completed in a matter of just a few hours or minutes.

The benefits of RPA use cases in manufacturing industry include better productivity, efficiency, accuracy, less wastage, and greater focus. No wonder almost 80 percent of global corporate executives that participated in the Deloitte LLP survey1 last year agreed to have implemented some form of RPA in their organization while 15% said they planned to do so in the next 3 years.

Expected to grow at double-digit rates through 2024, the global RPA software revenue is predicted to touch $1.89 billion in 2021 indicating a whopping 19.5% surge from 2020.

The pandemic has fueled enterprise interest in RPA as Cathy Tornbohm2, distinguished research vice president at Gartner explains, “The decreased dependency on a human workforce for routine, digital processes will be more attractive to end-users not only for cost reduction benefits but also for ensuring their business against future impacts like this pandemic.”

RPA is making great strides in diverse sectors including manufacturing. Applied Materials Inc., a Santa Clara, California-based company, has begun using bots to automate different areas of financial accounting for increasing productivity and plans to have 255 bots to improve workplace processes.

Top 6 RPA use cases benefitting the manufacturing industry

1. Bill of Materials (BOM)

Employees rely on a lot of information when it comes to the development of new products and commodities. They need to have the exact details as to what to purchase and when, the vendors/dealers that need to be contacted for the purchase, and how to go about the purchase.

Surge Transportation leveraged our expertise to create a pricing engine that offers real-time pricing to stakeholders based on a predefined strategy. The strategy can be modified in the application custom-built for them. RPA facilitates the set up of automatic alerts for changes in the system, thus improving regulatory compliance and supply chain performance. This makes our client stand tall among the top 1% of competitors to have this capability.

Also Read: Automating pricing operations enables 3PL to grow revenue by 40%

2. Data Migration

IoT equipment is now an essential part of the manufacturing fabric. But the challenge comes from the fact that legacy systems are ill-equipped to share data with others within the manufacturing ecosystem. RPA comes to their rescue in achieving this complex and time-consuming feat since bots can work independently of APIs.

RPA integrates different applications by acting as an intermediary between the old systems and the new thus facilitating seamless data migration. What makes RPA so empowering is its ability to correct and fix inconsistencies along the way in real-time. Insurers have leveraged RPA to lower its onboarding costs by 91% even as it experienced a 600% improvement in processing time. In turn, this boosted its service quality and customer experience that was held back by backlogs previously.

3. Customer Care and Service Desk Support

Delayed response or long resolution times can harm the trust you have built with your customers. To be able to help them promptly in real-time, you need to swiftly navigate through multiple business systems which are often laborious. But things can change dramatically by automating customer service with RPA.

US banks have harnessed RPA to improve their average handling time at their customer service center by 30%. This resulted in a monthly savings of 8000 work hours, enabling employees to use the freed time on value-added services.

4. CRM and Sales Order Integration

While sales thrive on relationship building and communication, it is a known fact that sales order integration does not stop there. It involves a mix of activities like creating estimates, checking product availability, processing orders, managing logistics, etc. Not to mention the coordination between many departments these processes call for.

Also Read: How automation is improving order and inventory management in logistics

A restaurant group used RPA to automate sales reports resulting in a 65% decrease in daily time expended on generating reports from across over 40,000 locations. This helped them nurture customer relationships and increase sales revenue.

5. Regulatory Compliance

The safety protocols constantly evolve in the manufacturing domain. There are individual product regulations to look into along with a whole lot of compliance requirements to adhere to. RPA takes away the stress from regulatory compliance ensuring your manufacturing outfit is audit-ready with accurate data processing and detailed records.

All bot activities are constantly monitored and available for inspection through a central log. RPA enables quick and effortless process updates too so that you are always up-to-date when it comes to compliance regulations.

6. ERP Automation

Bots play a big role in invoice processing and inventory control both of which involve elaborate paperwork, identifying deficiencies, and fulfilling customer demand at the earliest. Due to its ability to enhance operational efficiencies, RPA gives manufacturers an edge to manage tasks like sending invoices, creating purchase orders, computing shipping costs, taxes, or discounts, and driving overall financial processes that would otherwise require a high level of human intervention.

There are a whole lot of reports that need to be created and sent out via email or to be uploaded in a shared folder. SKUs need to be updated regularly too and Accounts Payable and Receivable have to be accurately managed. RPA takes care of all the reporting and related administrative chores to help organizations manage their business requirements efficiently.

The role of RPA is undeniably critical in the present manufacturing landscape. As Fabrizio Biscotti, research vice president at Gartner points out, “The key driver for RPA projects is their ability to improve process quality, speed and productivity, each of which is increasingly important as organizations try to meet the demands of cost reduction during COVID-19.”

Discover the impact of RPA with Trigent

Our RPA services are built for speed and scale. They make you agile to adapt in a fast-changing manufacturing sector and enjoy extraordinary cost savings along the way. We can help you minimize production downtime, optimize processes, and enhance your operational capabilities.

Our highly experienced business process consultants are eager to talk to you to help you automate with RPA without needing you to navigate through robot complexities.

Call us today for a business consultation.

References

  1. https://www.wsj.com/articles/software-bots-multiply-to-cope-with-stretched-resources-11611615504?mod=djemCIO
  2. https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2020-09-21-gartner-says-worldwide-robotic-process-automation-software-revenue-to-reach-nearly-2-billion-in-2021#:~:text=RPA%20Market%20Forecast%20to%20Grow,latest%20forecast%20from%20Gartner%2C%20Inc.

How to Plan Your Datacenter Migration to the Cloud

Cloud computing is on every CIO’s mind but not always for the right reasons. This could be because of the fears related to security, business continuity, cost efficiency and data availability. Summarizing these sentiments, Lydia Leong, Vice president and distinguished analyst with Gartner says, “Efficiency-driven workload migration demands a different mindset and approach than agility-driven cloud adoption. The greatest benefits are derived from cloud-enabled organizational transformation, yet such transformations are highly disruptive and difficult. Moving to cloud IaaS without sufficient transformation may fail to yield the hoped-for benefits, and may actually result in higher costs”.

Datacenter migration

Datacenter migration requires evaluation of the weight of the data residing in the data center, and its current age and capacity. For example, if it is on its last leg, it might be better to decommission the data center and migrate to the cloud. If there are capacity limitations, these could also be reasons for considering cloud migration.

Then you would need to evaluate existing skill sets. If the internal IT organization does not have the requisite skillsets for cloud migration, it might be best to look for a cloud solutions service provider. The partner firm should have a strong reputation, experience in cloud technologies, and have a dedicated team of cloud specialists. If these technologists have industry experience, it would be even better.

The partner firm should be able to work out a thorough business case, perform a cost analysis, and prioritize workloads for a successful migration. The vendor needs to define the scope and road map for the migration. This immediately sets a context in terms of timelines and costs involved. It also prepares the existing teams for what is in store. During the discovery stage, the vendor should do a thorough analysis of the on-premise data center to prioritize it accordingly for migration.

Transition from “difficult to change” to Evolutionary Cloud Architecture

Data collection has to be as intense and exhaustive as possible to ensure that gaps are avoided. The vendor needs to work with the internal IT stakeholders to ensure that the data center is evaluated thoroughly, for a robust application inventory. This step could take at least a fortnight to complete but is crucial to planning capacity for cost optimization.

The above few steps naturally lead to the next one where the vendor does a deep analysis of critical information. The analysis will be comprehensive and map the migration to overall organizational goals, identify workloads and group them accordingly. This gives a clear perspective on cloud and infrastructure requirements post-migration and the costs for long term maintenance. Along with all these, there will need to be a plan for disaster recovery.

The final step, i.e. of creating a formal workload migration plan will be proposed by the vendor. Depending on the findings, the vendor may propose a wave or tier approach, to ensure short term return on investment and minimize operational disruptions. This migration plan is the blueprint or detailed architecture of how the migration will proceed.

Trigent Software’s 6 Keys to Successful Cloud Migration

  • Gain executive sponsorship and develop a strategy early
  • Portfolio assessment: Review and select the right applications to migrate
  • Budget for migration costs: tools, services, skilled resources
  • Start small and scale
  • Re-host (Lift and Shift) – low risk & reward
  • Re-platform (lift-and-reshape) – medium risk, high reward
  • Re-architect – high risk, high reward
  • Identify risks and ensure operational continuity
  • Create a repeatable plan and process to improve it.

Do you need help to securely and efficiently migrate your datacenter? We can help.