A robot helping with your computer routine
Smart process automation can save time spent on routine administration
ay-to-day work on computers is one of the activities that no company can avoid. However, it can be made easier through process automation, often based on software robots (RPA, robotic process automation – ed.). Robots can use their clearly defined rules to mimic the behaviour of humans using computers. “Automation comes into play when processes are clearly defined and include repetitive rule-based activities. One example is the weekly downloading of data from SAP, constantly copying the same lines from Excel, creating charts or sending outputs to one’s colleagues”, explains the architect of effective SAP solutions, Ondřej Česák from the FIA/1 – Applications – Human Resources, Organisation & Payroll department.
At ŠKODA AUTO, process automation is handled by the Automation Competence Centre, which reviews requirements for the individual departments with its business partner managers. Its analysis helps to make a decision about whether a process is suitable for automation. If so, automated process development, deployment and administration follow. RPA is most often used for process automation; however, it is only one of the process paths or components. The Automation Competence Centre offers a wide range of technologies and always handles its individual cases carefully. “During the solution analysis and design phase, process visualisation tools are used first. RPA tools, data integration or visualisation tools are then used for the solution itself. Other scripting languages may be used for the partial automation of our specific activities”, adds Česák. ED
Robot handling your reports
There are already numerous automated processes across the departments. For example, the FCP – Production and Logistics Control department replaced its manual export of more than 150 different SAP reports and their subsequent routine editing. Originally, this activity took an employee more than seven hours a month. The automated process takes about three hours of machine time. It can easily be launched with a single click from a Web interface.
RPA in Purchasing
The Purchasing (B) area has been collecting ideas to automate processes through software robots since 2018. As a result, BA – General Purchasing set up its supplier registration chatbot to answer the most frequently asked questions immediately. BS – Global Series Management is about to commission its bot, which will compare part prices in contracts created by the Group buyers with those in the contracts of the buyers of the individual brands that use the part (so-called lead and local contracts). The B area employees may come up with more ideas on eliminating our routine activities as part of our “RPA in Purchasing” proposal at IdeaSpace.
Got an automation idea?
If you feel that automation somewhere in your department could help to streamline our work, please contact the business partner manager (BPM) responsible for that area. The manager will then contact the Automation Competence Centre to arrange a meeting. If the idea reaches its initial phase, a process analysis will follow, and the GGP – Process and Organisational Management department will also be involved. The solution will then be designed, developed, tested and deployed.
The list of the BPMs responsible for every area can be found on ŠKODA Space