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The role and benefits of RPA in the manufacturing industry


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An emerging technology in the past few years, harnessing the potential of Robotic Process Automation offers a plethora of benefits for various industries. One such sector is manufacturing. RPA technology has gained unprecedented growth over the past few years, thanks to enterprises looking to traverse the digital journey. The physical robots have shaped the manufacturing industry for years; today, software-based RPA implementation takes it to the next level.


What is RPA? The software robots have the capability to automate manual, deterministic processes that are repetitive in nature, while complex processes can be automated with the combination of human workers and robots. Whether manufacturers are looking to automate at a much grander scale or begin their enterprise journey, RPA undoubtedly is the critical vehicle for effecting enterprise-wide transformation.


What’s more? Did you know that manufacturing companies use Robotics Process Automation technologies in their back-end operations are able to attain up to 40% cost savings? Automation in manufacturing provides a host of benefits that are hard to ignore.


  • Increases productivity

  • Eliminates errors

  • Streamlines processes

  • Enhances regulatory compliance

  • Increases cost savings

Use cases of automation in manufacturing:


Bill of materials: A long and tedious process, BoM provides detailed instructions of a product, from understanding what to purchase to how to assemble a product. Deploying RPA tools help reduce errors, thus improving data accuracy and shipping products faster.


Invoicing for suppliers/vendors: Manufacturing with its massive supply chain and logistics functions, receives several invoices from vendors. Invoicing does take up a good amount of time as it requires checking and clarifying data, and the approval process takes time. With automation, reading, scanning, and checking the invoices is easy as a pie.


Processing of purchase order: From verifying the orders to ensuring there are no duplicated orders placed, RPA software helps manufacturing companies reduce the order-fulfilling time as efficiently as possible.


Customer support: Customer service plays an integral role in any business vertical, and the manufacturing industry is no exception. RPA implementation in the front-office enhances customer service, reducing the need for the customer service agent to navigate multiple screens. With automation technology, data is stored and accessed from one place, helping the human worker to interact with the customers better.


Administration: A large number of reports are generated in manufacturing processes. Sorting, verifying, and analyzing data can be a tedious, time-consuming task. Get all the reports of production under one roof by deploying RPA software — whether it’s product administration or SKU updates and inventory.


Logistics data automation: The logistics department looks into the transportation of all the products. RPA solutions can take care of the logistics function — automating the extraction of shipment details, shipment scheduling and tracking, capturing the data from load boards, inventory tracking, and improving forecasting and logistics planning.


Data migration: Are you looking to move data from old systems to new ones? RPA is the perfect tool when you wish to migrate your old data or update programs, thereby reducing the time taken and cost. Automation makes it easier for you to find and organize old data, digitizing paper documents to integrate into the new system, thus reducing errors, and avoiding duplication.


Regulatory compliance: Managing and adhering to the ever-changing regulatory requirements can be complicated. RPA bots help manufacturing companies produce high-quality products while meeting regulatory requirements. Automation eases the compliance burden off you, improving sales and profits, and ultimately customer satisfaction.


Accounts receivable and payable: Thanks to a cohesive automation platform, keeping track of accounts receivable and payable is taken care of.  Adoption of Robotic Process Automation helps keep your manufacturing company’s finances in good shape by reducing delays in payment, reducing errors, standardizing processes, and boosting customer service.


Wrapping up


With industry 4.0 growing at an unprecedented pace, the manufacturing industry is adopting digital technologies such as Robotic Process Automation to effectively manage back-end processes and improve operational efficiency. RPA vendors like UiPath, Blue Prism, and EdgeVerve are working with a wide range of clients, offering effective automation solutions to help improve the operational processes, increase productivity, and reduce human intervention in the manufacturing sector.


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