Some believe that all it takes to become a global market leader is deep pockets but, in reality, it takes a lot more. From local producer to global spirits company, the Amber Beverage Group (ABG) is a perfect case in point. “As our business has expanded rapidly, there are an increased number of processes to be managed. We are actively working to improve and optimise our daily processes in order to support this growth. We are introducing robotics in our back offices and developing AI solutions for several operational functions in order to be as effective and productive as possible,” says Jekaterina Stuģe, CFO and COO of Amber Beverage Group.
“More than 100 – that is the number of automated processes (RPA), that we have introduced at ABG. I would like to share some of my key takeaways from bringing on board this new and often mystifying force generally known as RPA or Robotic Process Automation!”
1. Focus on how robotic automation will improve the work of your teams and the company across the board.
Think of how automation will improve the working lives of your people and bring better operational results? That should be the key question, rather than just a clinical focus on cost savings. Cost benefits are a fundamental part of the equation, but a focus on people and results will ensure better buy-in from your colleagues and allow you to improve the overall performance of the company in a variety of ways you may not have considered during the initial implementation stage. It is amazing, what new talents your colleagues can put to work once robots take over the manual and repeated tasks!
2. A goal without a plan is just a wish.
Once you have thoroughly researched the processes selected for RPA, the robotic automation itself can be rolled-out remarkably quickly, even within several days. But the key to success is a clear understanding and defining of all nuances of the processes that you are targeting for automation. Sometimes when you review a process for automation you find a way to simplify the process without the need for robotisation.
3. Room for improvement – do you have it?
Robots fulfill tasks at a really high speed and perhaps it is not right for your system. Think and plan in the context of your systems – can they actually accommodate your automation plans? Maybe there are system improvements that need to go along with the automation initiative? Remember that this may be an opportunity to upgrade the overall system infrastructure.
4. You will get a taste for this.
The more robots will work for you, the more you and your employees will want to automate. A careful and pragmatic review of proposals from employees for automatisation is really essential, as not all processes need to be automated. Some things are just not worth the investment – simple, occasional tasks that are done once a month, can be ignored in your overall robotics plan.
5. Make robots more human, present them as your new colleagues.
In order for employees to see the RPA innovations in as positive a light as possible, we recommend presenting them creatively. For example, we at Amber Beverage Group, gave our most active and efficient robot, which performs more than 100 different functions such as the creation, posting and sending of different types of invoices, the posting of received goods invoices, the creation of reports and fixed assets accounts and importing bank statements, a personality and a name. Our team is currently working with five robots and one of them is named Arnold, whose profile icon shows a picture of the famous actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Colleagues welcomed him with humour and he quickly became an essential part of the team. Arnold also received the award for the best new colleague of the year.
Our quest to work with robots will not end any time soon! Stay tuned!