RPA in manufacturing : Automating Invoice processing
Srivatsan Aravamudan Nemili / Jan 31, 2020
|RPA in manufacturing Industry|
Robotic Process Automation has been gaining a lot of attention in the last few years especially in intelligent and cognitive technologies. According to Forrester The RPA Market Will Reach $2.9 Billion By 2021. Deloitte believes that if this trend continues, RPA will achieve “near-universal adoption” in the next 5 years.
Robotic process automation is delivering a lot of value, especially in the manufacturing sector, by offering significant benefits such as improved compliance, productivity, quality, accuracy, forecasting and cost reduction.
Simply put, RPA automates manual tasks. It works well in the areas where the employees must perform repetitive tasks by performing the same set of steps as the employee. It can automate, editing, reporting and transferring data as defined. Unlike humans, RPA can perform the task in an error-free, consistent manner.
In the manufacturing industry, we are already using automation with respect to the assembly line. Physical robots assemble, test and package products at a fast pace. However, the back-office operations are managed manually, and organizations are still trying to get better control over operational processes. As organizations are concerned about productivity, we see the implementation of industry 4.0 technologies in the manufacturing sector rising exponentially. The initial focus has largely been on improving the production process.
While RPA can perform several tasks in manufacturing such as Order fulfillment, BOM, regulatory compliance, Inventory reports, etc. We are going to focus on Invoice processing for this blog.
Invoice processing automation can be done in the following ways using RPA:
Extracting Invoices: One of the most tedious jobs for the accounts team is to extract all the necessary invoices. Using RPA, we can extract invoices from different sources such as emails, workflows or even from a folder.
Reading and making sense of Invoices: Once we have the invoices extracted by the RPA, we can also automate the reading process. RPA can be programmed to read specific fields from different forms of invoices. Once the fields are read, they can be updated into other software such as an ERP system. RPA can work with a variety of ERP systems such as SAP, Oracle or even customized ERP system.
Verifying the Invoices: This is another task that is prone to errors when done manually. Verifying details such as company or item code, supplier number, date, Tax details, etc. is easy with the RPA system. The automation helps in checking the details read from the invoices against the database to validate fields. We can even validate arithmetic operations such as discounts with precision using RPA.
Reporting: The majority of the accountant’s work is spent on making necessary reports for the management. RPA system can collect the confirmation for each invoice that is successfully processed and create a report that can be sent either in an email to the necessary individuals in the organization.
While all of these sounds like dream come true, these are actually possible, and we have done it. We have created similar RPA systems with our existing customers like 3M. We believe that Robotic process automation is an effective way to improve efficiency and reduce costs in the manufacturing sector. Let us know the specific goal that you want to achieve and we can explore the possibility of using RPA in your organization.
Srivatsan Aravamudan - Sri
Senior Solution Consultant