Implementation of Robotic Process Automation at Bakalland company
PROCESS: ORDER PROCESSING
Robot efficiency: 94%
ABOUT THE COMPANY:
Bakalland S.A. is a leading producer and distributor of nut-based food products in the Central and Eastern European region. With 26 years of tradition, the company operates in 4 locations and employs more than 600 specialists. Its products reach contractors in nearly 50 countries, combining modern technologies with a wealth of experience.
A SPECIFIC BUSINESS NEED
Although many of Bakalland's orders were handled electronically via EDI (Electronic Data Interexchange), a significant portion comes to the company via email, primarily from non-system-integrated customers. Such orders are received in a variety of formats from PDF to Excel to text files. The process of handling these orders, which involved manually entering the data into the SAP system, was time-consuming and carried a range of risks, including reading errors and typos, handling orders during periods of high activity (seasonality), or potential risks of a personnel nature (skilled personnel performing monotonous work).
Automa Services proposed to Bakalland the implementation of the Robotic Process Automation project using UiPath technology. The aim of the project was to create a software robot that would support the team in order processing.
The following assumptions were made:
The software robot is supposed to read e-mails with attachments containing orders
The robot will handle orders in PDF, XLS and TXT formats
The software robot is to enter orders into the SAP system
The robot can be scaled within a range of order types
Thanks to robots, order processing is not only faster, but also more precise.
Thanks to the implementation of Robotic Process Automation technology by Automa Services, Bakalland has successfully automated the process of handling orders received via email, ensuring faster and more precise handling in the SAP system regardless of the order format. This modern solution has not only significantly sped up the workflow but has also reduced the risk of errors, raising the standards of efficiency and accuracy.
The robot processes orders continuously, even during the night hours, which significantly speeds up order processing.
Reduce processing time by 70% compared to manual entry.
Processing efficiency of 94.8%, which means minimal errors (the remaining 5.2% were submitted for manual input).
STAGES OF PROCESS ROBOTIZATION IMPLEMENTATION
Początek projektu to dokładne przeanalizowanie istniejącego procesu oraz jego optymalizacja pod kątem automatyzacji.
Przebadany został manualny tryb procesowania oraz kroki niezbędne do wprowadzenia zamówienia.
Przeanalizowaliśmy wszystkie typy zamówień, które trafiają do Bakalland w postaci plików o różnych formatach.
Stworzone zostały niezbędne mapowania kodów produktów, które robot programowy będzie potrzebował do sprawnego procesowania zamówień.
Ustaliliśmy formę komunikacji użytkownika z robotem – wybrany został interfejs e-mailowy z uwagi na intuicyjność i fakt, że pracownicy, którzy kontaktują się z robotem, wykorzystują e-mail jako podstawowe narzędzie pracy.
Zdefiniowaliśmy detaliczne raporty z procesowania – robot będzie logował wszystkie kluczowe czynności.
We współpracy z IT Bakalland ustaliliśmy zasady podłączenia się do infrastruktury IT Bakalland oraz przydzielone zostały niezbędne uprawnienia do realizacji projektu.
Thanks to the shortened implementation period, RPA projects generate lower costs compared to standard IT projects.
While building an IT system is customarily measured in quarters (and often even years), an RPA project is usually a labor-intensive effort of a few weeks or sometimes a few months (in the case of large RPA projects).
Moreover, when they enter the development phase, these projects are usually carried out by only one or two RPA developers.
This fact is very important from the perspective of the project's cost, which is what makes it possible to achieve a quick return on investment.
Based on the analysis, the robot was created using the Agile methodology.
After preparing the IT infrastructure, necessary access to systems, and installing the environment, work on creating the robot could begin. This process was carried out in the Agile methodology, with frequent contact with the Business Owner and key users of the future robot. This approach allows you to efficiently confirm your full understanding of the process.
We must remember that a software robot does not always carry out the process exactly like a human. Reading items from an order and entering this information into the SAP system no longer requires "clicking" between Excel and SAP. The robot automatically collects all the necessary information and then enters the complete data into the order in SAP.
Before implementation, the robot was tested in various conditions and on various data formats.
As the robot programming neared completion, we worked with the business department to define test cases and plan tests of the robot in the test environment. Real orders in as many formats as possible were used for testing.
The stability of the robot's operation in unforeseen situations was also tested, e.g. system failure, lack of parameterization data - all this in order to build the robot's resistance to negative situations that may occur in production.
LAUNCH AND SUPPORT
After positive tests, the robot was launched into production in supervised mode. Within 2 weeks after implementation (called Early Life Support in Automa Services), the robot was thoroughly verified in production. The efficiency of processing cases by the robot was 94.8%, which is a very good and satisfactory result.
Importantly, the robot has been designed in such a way that it can be attached to various new types of orders in various formats and from various new customers. This solution will contribute to long-term operational effectiveness and efficiency at Bakalland.
This implementation is an excellent example of combining modern technology with tradition and experience, providing the opportunity to work even more efficiently in the area of order processing.