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RPA: The Next Game Changer In The Manufacturing Industry

Makarand Sawant, Senior General Manager - IT, Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals

With 21 years of experience, Makarand specializes in IT management, handling projects from inception to completion, program/project/delivery management, developing IT strategy, IT budgeting, and managing IT infrastructure.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is transforming the way organizations across different industries do business. It allows organizations to automate certain types of work processes to reduce the time spent on costly manual tasks and increase efforts to deliver mission critical work. RPA is helping organizations do more with less: helping them automatically process and store data without having to perform manual data entry, generate financial reports without spending considerable amounts of time in Excel, and execute customer outreach campaigns without spending hours in a customer relationship management program. These types of optimizations have been made a reality through RPA.

More broadly, RPA is a critical innovation within Industry 4.0, or the fourth industrial revolution that blurs the line between the digital and the physical. RPA can help enable manufacturers to improve productivity, meet customers’ expectations and consistently drive product innovation while lowering costs.

One of the main differentiators of RPA from other solutions is that it performs tasks that do not require deep cognitive capabilities. RPA is the automation of a process, but the software is not improved or changed based on the inputs or its results. This is different from machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI) software, which can learn and improve based on the continuous evaluation of its inputs and results. Instead, RPA software simply performs the same task(s) repeatedly based on business requirements.

Benefits Of RPA
• Error-free, consistent results
• Employees can be utilized for higher-value work
• Increased job satisfaction (not spending time doing repetitive, lowvalue work)
• Faster, more predictable delivery timing
• Documented trail of work performed
• Identification of anomalies or other red flags
• RPA provides several major benefits. The most immediate impact from RPA is that routine tasks are performed in an errorfree, consistent manner.

RPA also provides an audit trail of work performed, which can be valuable when the output of a process produces an unexpected result. In addition, RPA solutions can be configured to identify anomalies or red flags that may not be identifiable by an employee.

The long-term advantages are also valuable. Perhaps the most important benefit is increased job satisfaction. Employees dislike the most is the tasks usually include manual work that could be handled by an RPA solution. Increased job satisfaction results in a better work environment and more productive employees. Moreover, the results of the newly automated processes become better and the cost savings can be recognized.

The most common method of RPA implementation is via individual bots or single programs that perform tasks automatically. The bot can be accessed through a desktop or web-based application. Alternatively, organizations can implement a server that controls a set of bots within a department or across the organization. The serverbased approach is a more robust system that is typically employed when there are a larger number of bots throughout an organization that need to be managed centrally, whereas the individual bot method is appropriate when only a few bots are used.

A manufacturing industry that wants to unlock the full potential of its productivity, management and administration, should probably consider using the RPA in its every functional area

Below are the key steps for determining whether an RPA solution is appropriate:
• Identify where most time and effort is being expended on manual tasks
• Identify bottlenecks of key processes-specifically identifying manual tasks
• Implement a pilot program to tackle a high-value discrete task that can have immediate value

RPA will play an increasingly important role in manufacturers’ shift into Industry 4.0. It offers organizations an exciting new way to improve their operations while also improving employee job satisfaction. RPA solutions have become a widely adopted strategy for enhancing various parts of organizations’ operations by allowing employees to focus their time and efforts on more high-value and meaningful work. It has helped organizations do significantly more with less while reducing errors, increasing workforce job satisfaction, and better ensuring that deadlines are met. These benefits have been possible with relatively small capital investments and IT resources. While RPA is not applicable to all types of work, it is a good option for reducing hours spent on routine, manual tasks.

Manufacturing Automation has attracted recent innovations in factories in various sectors. Significantly, the manufacturing sector is experiencing error-free and streamlined procedures without completing full performance to give the best productivity using RPA. Wrong replication processes dramatically increase the risky productivity of manufacturing companies and the smart leaders of these companies embrace the Robotics Process Automation to increase their output and good productivity. Manufacturing companies are changing their production unit from human resources to physical industry robots for their products to assemble, checking the quality and packing it. Though these robots help to repair the assembly line, the manufacturing companies are still struggling to manage their operational processes and back-office work. Robotic Process Automation is the next game changer in the Manufacturing industry. A manufacturing industry that wants to unlock the full potential of its productivity, management and administration, should probably consider using the RPA in its every functional area.

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