Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a technology based on software robots used to automate rule-based processes, especially repetitive processes. RPA is beneficial to companies in a variety of industries, and manufacturing is no exception. In this article, you can learn more about RPA in the manufacturing industry, including the benefits, as well as potential challenges.
How Can a Manufacturing Company Use RPA?
RPA can be useful for automating a wide range of processes in manufacturing businesses including tasks performed by any company regardless of its specialization, such as invoicing, as well as operations that are more specific to the type of manufacturing industry.
When it comes to invoicing and accounting, RPA can be applied to a variety of processes, including invoice creation and verification, payment scheduling, collecting and processing information as well as updating the system.
A great example of RPA applications for tasks specifically related to manufacturing is inventory management. Companies can automate the process of tracking inventory to determine stock levels and issue purchase orders to manage supply levels with minimal human supervision. This can help businesses to optimize inventory levels and avoid downtime caused by insufficient supply.
RPA can also support order processing by automating order entries, validation, and confirmation.
Manufacturing companies can automate production line monitoring, such as tracking machine performance and notifying of potential or ongoing problems, which is very helpful for increasing production efficiency.
Quality control is another part of manufacturing companies’ workflows that can be automated. RPA can handle data collection and analysis, as well as report generation.
Read more about robotic process automation in manufacturing industry on: https://xplusglobal.com/resources/blog/robotic-process-automation-rpa-in-manufacturing-industry/
Why Should a Manufacturing Company Implement RPA?
Manufacturing companies that want to stay ahead of their competitors can effectively optimize their production, reduce costs, and increase profits by using RPA.
Automating repetitive, rule-based tasks saves significant resources and creates opportunities for employees to engage in tasks that can contribute to the development of their skills and expertise. This also eliminates human error and increases accuracy. Whether they are accounting processes or tasks related to production quality control, they can have a significant impact on the company’s performance.
Automation also speeds up processes and allows companies to do them outside of employees’ working hours if needed. While this can further increase business productivity, speed is especially important for some processes. This is true, for example, for handling tasks related to customer service and shipment.
Finally, the reduction in the need for manual labor makes companies more scalable, as they do not necessarily need to hire more employees to handle an increasing number of tasks that can be automated.
Potential Challenges of RPA Implementation
Despite the considerable benefits, companies may encounter certain issues when implementing RPA. The biggest problem is the upfront financial investment, which not all companies can afford. This depends on the RPA solution an organization is looking for. For instance, the Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP and CRM suite comes with tools for automation, while other solutions may require the implementation of separate solutions.
These expenses may include software costs as well as investments in employee training.
Although in many cases companies enjoy significant savings after deploying RPA software, smaller businesses may not receive ROI high enough to benefit from the implementation.
Another potential risk associated with RPA regards security. Automated execution of processes creates more opportunities to overlook vulnerabilities that can lead to data breaches or other types of losses. At the same time, depending on the exact nature of the information being processed, companies must ensure that their RPA systems comply with data security regulations. Enforcing these regulations, in turn, requires additional resources and can generate even higher costs of implementation.
RPA may also require changes in work routines. To successfully deploy automation, employees must adapt to the changes. While this requires the training mentioned above, there is still the possibility that some may not be ready to adapt to new workflows. This can slow down the adaptation of the system and can disrupt some of the business operations.