Hey everyone, my name is Krutika. I just completed my first year of BA (Hons) in Business Studies at Griffith College, Dublin. I am currently doing an internship at Thoucentric.
Thoucentric offered me a short stint and that’s where I have been getting first hand exposure to real work in a professional organization. I was dreading how I would talk with all the people who are busy working for the company. Why would they even bother taking out time from their schedules. But people at Thoucentric have been really nice, and I have actually started to believe I can learn something, and at the same time contribute a little bit of useful work.
Our website says, “We are a niche management consulting firm focused on helping organizations solve business problems through technology and process solutions”.
The business environment is ever-changing. All industries and businesses must stay relevant and competitive to meet the increasing demands of the world. In terms of broad technology trends, we keep hearing about AI (Artificial Intelligence), IOT (Internet of Things), Block-chain, Cloud etc. which come up in conversations almost anywhere. I am a non-technical person, and yet I have heard these terms and we all need to understand these in order to understand how the world works.
I have started to dig a bit deeper into these. Among these, IOT seems the most relevant for the kind of work we do for our clients. Another area which is relevant is RPA (Robotic Process Automation) which I guess comes within the broad ambit of AI.
IOT consists of devices that are web enabled, allowing them to collect and transfer data via the Internet. IOT devices have processors, sensors and communication hardware to collect, send and act on the data they receive from their environment. It is estimated that by 2020, there will be 50 billion devices connected to people on this planet. According to a study done by Accenture, about 46% of consumers will pay for more real time and personalized services and are willing to share personal information to acquire these services.
Among many others, Manufacturing and FMCG industries have greatly benefitted by integrating IOT and RPA into their operational processes.
Mentioned below are some ways in which these industries benefit from IOT.
IOT in Manufacturing:
• Real time alerts notifying operators of performance glitches
• Predictive analysis
• Smart technology for in-process quality validation
• Connect plant floor systems to enterprise systems
• Optimizing operational performance by having simplified operator views
IOT in FMCG Industry:
• Environment monitoring: programmed to provide scalable, efficient and compact solution to take informative decisions.
• Material Management: manage material and goods in the warehouse.
• Customer engagement: IOT based customer engagement system- essential in personalized marketing and promotional activities.
• Supply chain management: helps track and manage delivery fleets.
• Asset tracking & management: enabled in IOT smart stores- helps track individual assets in store or in warehouse.
RPA (Robot Process Automation) is a software that can be easily programmed to perform a workflow of multiple steps across applications just as human employees do. The software does not learn on its own and therefore it is knows as a simpler product of AI (Artificial Intelligence). RPA works well with legacy systems and applications. It helps with quality assurance, data migration, gap solutions and many more issues that an industry may face.
With RPA a business can gain:
• Accuracy – no errors
• Improved compliance
• Fast cost saving- can reduce processing costs by up to 80%
• Super scalable- across business units and geographies, performs massive amount of operations in parallel
• Increased speed and productivity – works 24/7, removes non-value-add activities
It is extremely important in today’s technological revolution as it can deliver more competitive advantages and more powerful outcomes at an unlimited scale. The importance of using RPA in these specific industries is mentioned below.
RPA in Manufacturing:
• Bill of Material Generation (BOM): helps employees refer to this document to know what, where or how to purchase something. Any error causes inferior planning, inaccurate product cost and elevated production cost.
• Invoice Processing: RPA helps scanning, reading and checking invoices against the purchase order and entering into the system once approved.
• Inventory management: can monitor current inventory – notify when stock is low and automatically re order.
• Regulation: can sense when a product has exceeded its shelf life and needs to be disposed of.
RPA in FMCG:
• Inventory management- managing flow of products
• Order management- capture and process customer orders. Can match customer demands and exceed expectations
• Supply chain management: smooth process by linking processes across systems, suppliers and customers.
• Logistics management
Mentioned below are two use cases that show how IoT and RPA enhance and benefit a businesses’ processes.
Challenge: a global manufacturing company needed a solution that could perform a complex set of data validations.
Processes to be automated: vendor creation, change, block extension and duplicate check for EU and NON-EU countries, IBAN and VAT validation, Bank Giro validation, USPS validation for USA. Pre checks such as IBAN and VAT validations were required for vendor processing in SAP.
Solution: RPA provider was able to automate all the validation processes. The robot was programmed to extract data from service websites and validating IBAN, VAT and USPS and checking for duplicates in SAP, following rules of the specific EU and NON-EU countries.
Results: process was streamlined and therefore efficiency was greatly increased. Moreover, there was100% reduction in manual errors and rework time which automatically improved the quality in data processing and operational performance.
USE CASE 2:
Challenge: A food company needed quality assurance, integrity and regulatory compliance for their supply chain. They needed an effective shipment monitoring solution that would prevent any spoiling.
Solution: Using IOT, on demand monitoring of the cold chain and information on shipment level temperature and location visibility was made available. Real time information on temperature fluctuation, transport delays and route deviation could be seen. To satisfy government regulations, automated and secure audit trails were made.
Result: End to end monitoring, reduction in spoilage and an increase in quality. Transport efficiency increased as there were reduced deviations and halts. There was easier government compliance. Logistics costs reduced greatly.
WHERE THOUCENTRIC COMES IN:
Our consulting expertise make sure your investment into IOT or RPA is a positive business transformation and provides you with new opportunities.
To propose an IoT based solution, we work on attaining a deeper understanding of the business context and the problems that need to be solved. Through IoT adoption, we assess potential benefits and value realization. Our team is dedicated in developing a proof of concept (PoC) through rapid prototyping. Based on the PoC results, we refine our solutions to be more precise. We help you manage stakeholders and alliance partners and highly focus on value realization. We understand that for any business, this is a big transformation and therefore we are engaged till user adoption. We deliver E2E IoT solutions as our robust technology agnostic platform can integrate with almost any device and ERP system. Once everything is set up, we ensure alignment of all the components in the IoT value chain.
After understanding your business and the problems that need to be resolved, we design a flexible and scalable technology solution which can grow alongside your organisational needs. Thoucentric consists of a specialized team of professionals that capture and manage the integration of RPA with your businesses systems and applications. Our team of experts dedicatedly focus on implementing the solution plan without disrupting any on-going operations in your business.
In today’s world, more and more businesses are implementing these technological tools. Don’t be left behind.