Automation of nonphysical core processes can unlock the full potential of manufacturing and improve the source value. But the power of automation in the manufacturing industries is often overlooked compared to the other sectors like banking, finance, retail, etc. Eventhough, the application of disruptive technologies in the manufacturing industry has been for years, still a need for new-age applications like Robotic Process Automation (RPA). RPA in manufacturing helps businesses to be more efficient in product innovation and production. Not only operations automation, here are changes that RPA can potentially offer.
- RPA automates the back-office operations of manufacturing which are rule-based operations to enhance process execution, speed, and accuracy.
- Robotic Process Automation enables the automation of critical operations like vendor communication, ticket generation, payment processing, report generation, and more.
- The application of RPA potentially reduces operational costs, increases control over processes, optimizes resource utilization, significantly lower downtime, and improves quality.
- Using RPA at core manufacturing units can experience error-free and streamlined operations to deliver full performance and the best productivity.
Embracing robotic process automation in manufacturing can improve your resource output and productivity. But what does it take to implement this technology at your core? RPA solutions are one of the easiest ways to implement automation technologies without zero coding skills. And easy to work with existing legacy systems without costly and time-consuming software development.
Where can you apply RPA in Manufacturing?
Most of the RPA examples in manufacturing are applied to improve back-office processes. And are highly focused on automating highly time-consuming tasks prone to human errors. RPA bots can structurize the existing systems by automating operations in the current systems. Here is a closer look at how RPA can be applied to benefit manufacturing.
Purchase Order Creation
Purchase order creation can be daunting for businesses having multiple product portfolios, as it takes most of the time to gather information and organize purchase orders manually. RPA bots are more capable of performing repetitive tasks with high quality when compared to humans. RPA bots can efficiently extract data from independent systems, seek email approval from concerned departmental heads, and process the request for purchase order generation effortlessly. As the application of RPA, we can automate the end-to-end process of a purchase order to deliver 100% accurate and speedy results.
Continuous market fluctuations make it hard to meet the required demand and supply levels. This is the reason why real-time monitoring of inventory is a must for manufacturers to avoid potential loss. With RPA, it is possible to automate inventory monitoring, generating stock-level notifications for products below a set threshold with minimum human intervention. And applying RPA will automatically provide live dashboards that can reveal potential bottlenecks to avoid supply chain disruptions and production delays.
Administration and Reporting
Manufacturing administration is a continuous process of monitoring a collective of various tasks that requires human attention and time more than ever mentioned. Administrative reporting is more prone to human eros due to lack of time or being in a hurry to multitask. The immersion of robotic process automation at the core of the administration department will help the management to get all the reports related to work in advance to make the right decisions and run operations more effectively.
Support and Service Desk Operations
Manufacturers often communicate with multiple departments, dealers, vendors, suppliers, etc. And the success of their business depends on customer relations and service. Robotic process automation can be handy in managing front-office operations. An employee for any operation required to navigate through multiple systems while keeping potential customers on hold can affect experience and satisfaction. RPA bot can perform the same task with better attention and better service.
Data migration is the process of transferring data from any current system to a newly embraced system. This is a continuous process that happens now and then in every manufacturing industry. Where RPA can be a perfect tool for the migration of data. For example, when a manufacturing business acquires a new business or establishes a new plant, there should keep a book of business that consists of its policies. This process manually takes a long time and costs, but with proper planning and execution of the RPA bots, the same task can be achieved in a short period and at a lower cost.
Enhanced Supply and Logistics
Every manufacturing industry commands supply and logistics operations. When a business operates on a larger scale, it is hard to manage data related to multiple carriers and numerous insurances. When integrating RPA into the transport management system, we can effectively monitor the transportation of products with real-time freight tracking for enhanced reporting and reduced human errors.
Integration of RPA into ERP systems in manufacturing can potentially advance the management of reports, like inventory, Accounts Payable and Receivable, Pricing, etc., for planning the following stages of production. And the RPA bots can share the same reports via email to necessary teams to monitor the current processes closely for making data-based decisions.
Web Integrated RPA
Any business operating for years might have multiple branches of factories and offices, and it is harder to manipulate the data in a particular system at a destinated location to other systems located elsewhere. By deploying RPA in this area, a Manufacturing Industry can easily monitor, access, and update any changes in the web-connected systems without any interventions or potential roadblocks. This potentially reduces the communication time between one area of the branch to another in making critical decisions and changes in the manufacturing cycle.
The Future of RPA in Manufacturing
The application of automation technologies like RPA in manufacturing is virtually endless. Today, even after 40% of manufacturing businesses successfully use RPA, there is a long way to go for this technology to be fully integrated and used. There is a potential for this technology to automate predictive maintenance, price forecasting, workflow predictions, process control, database management, shipping management, vendor management, and more. Even today, the most critical tasks are performed manually in manufacturing. But, there is hope that automation can offer better assistance and deliver the best quality for their customers in the future.
As mentioned above, today’s RPA tasks primarily focus on automating rule-based, time-consuming, and repetitive tasks. And it is becoming vital for manufacturers to understand the importance of automation to lower costs, produce error-free data/results, save potential human hours, and more. The future of RPA in manufacturing is vivid, and as the technology continues to grow, we can expect more applications for the advancement of current manufacturing operations and processes.
To know more about how RPA technology can transform your manufacturing growth and scale, or for more about Robotic process automation and its future opportunities, we are here to help, connect with us.