The gradual incorporation of new technologies like Robotic Process Automation (RPA), among other intelligent automation solutions, has proven to be the key to redesigned business models. Such restructures have boosted growth and created new entry opportunities in other markets of business. This has been coupled with increased productivity, enhanced operational efficiency, and a surge in overall competitiveness.
Since digital transformation affects all sectors of business and has become essential for all types of companies, the manufacturing industry shows potential by investing in digital factories. This strategic approach is to achieve automated efficiency in areas other than the production line.
Although industrialists are transitioning to digital and smart manufacturing, it has been a challenging movement. Many have found it difficult to set the right culture within the company and struggle progressing intelligent automation from pilot to scale despite their efforts. So, is it worth it?
Process Automation in the Manufacturing Industry: Benefits & Challenges
Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is a software that is integrated with business processes to automate certain tasks within an organization. Such automation minimizes human errors and maximizes company productivity. As written in our recent manufacturing industry case study, it becomes clear how its capabilities generate value for a company.
In the aforementioned case study, one of the oldest and largest antenna manufacturers who is also a global automotive supplier, recently implemented RPA and successfully automated 80% of the purchase order process. Implementation drastically cut down processing time from days to hours and enabled the department to operate with enhanced flexibility and agility.
This business integration reduced the workload by an astounding 80% and the task is now carried out daily by the RPA software. Additionally, the company’s procurement department is now free from extensive administrative work and can focus on their main task: strategic sourcing.
To ensure a successful outcome for the companies that want to start their digital factory transformations, it is essential to develop a long-term RPA strategy and align business processes with technology needs. Therefore, as part of our services to help clients establish a Center of Excellence (CoE) and governance framework with standards, best practices, and global support, we aid in the smooth implementation of the following:
Bill of materials (BOM): Manufacturers have a wide list of raw materials, components, and sub-components, and data accuracy is key. By using RPA in this sector companies can create products faster and more accurately.
Administration & Reporting: Implementing RPA in the administration department will help the industry obtain production reports and aligning data quickly and efficiently.
Data migration: When a company must move data from an old system to a new system, it often takes a lot of time and costs to do so. With proper planning and execution of RPA, companies will be able to reduce the time and cost of moving while securing old data and/or policies sufficiently.
ERP automation: Automatically generated reports such as inventory, accounts payable and receivable, pricing and more can be further enhanced using RPA. This frees up the workload capacity of employees who complete the processing of these mediocre tasks.
The manufacturing industry has been for long the early adopters of robotics to perform daily activities in the production plant. By embracing intelligent automation in organizational back-office processes, we can empower enterprises to strive for and achieve major cost savings through the renovation of their methods of task completion.
Behind the concept of a digital factory are hopes for company growth, cost reductions, and quality improvements. Of course, this result will derive from the seamless integration of production completed by RPA and sound business processes. Although a transformational effort comes with strategic challenges, an automation partner can quickly improve upon innovation, production, and overall company success.