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  • Writer's pictureLaurent Silczak

What is Robotic Process Automation? (And why is it great for Lyreco)





ROBOTIC PROCESS AUTOMATION is a range of solutions designed to free employees from performing repetitive, time-consuming tasks (such as copying data from one application to another) through automated processes, or bots. This will allow them to devote more attention to value-adding activities, such as interacting with customers or working on internal projects.


RPA bots are developed using low-code environments, which are essentially drag-and-drop rules and conditions.


Since February 2022, as part of the RPA Project, the Lyreco IS Innovation Team has been testing and implementing the UIPATH PLATFORM, which allows developping business use-cases for both Subsidiaries and Group, for any business unit, including finance, marketing, supply chain, customer service, etc.


The UIPATH PLATFORM presents many possibilities for compatibility with different applications such as Excel, Teams, Sharepoint, Outlook, and more.

It’s also connected with the Lyreco Applicative Landscape (Webshop, SAP, Zendesk, Bing, PowerBI, etc.) and the new architecture (APIs, connectors, virtual machines, etc.)


They are already part of the project as Pilots :

  • Finland

  • Benelux

  • Group Marketing

  • Germany

  • Denmark

  • Group Customer Care

  • France

  • Wise

  • Group Supply-Chain

  • Poland

  • Cash

  • Italy

We are currently onboarding them or they will be onboarded soon :

  • Norway

  • Sweden

  • Asia

  • Switzerland

  • And many other...


Use-case requirements raised by Subsidiaries and Group are collected based on an internal Agile methodology (360 Scoping).


A dedicated governance might be implemented (either locally in Subsidiaries, or at Group Level) for identification, approval and prioritization of the use-cases.


The objective is to establish potential opportunities to create new RPA bots. The 360 Scoping process has four main outputs :

  • Gather the step-by-step flow of the existing process

  • Capture all details of the existing process

  • Collect samples of the process inputs and outputs

  • Break down the estimated return on investment (ROI) in terms of full time equivalents (FTEs)



A FEW BOTS ALREADY LIVE !


POLAND

Customer invoice reconciliation process has been automated for customer service department. This primarily involves managing claims raised by customers regarding incorrect invoiced amounts (mainly due to VAT issues or rounding issues). The customer provides Lyreco with a copy of the order and the estimated correct amount. Lyreco then cancels the existing invoice by generating a credit note. Finally, a new invoice is regenerated based on the correct price of the order.


Tools:

  • Tabula (OCR) for invoice recognition and transformation into Excel file

  • Excel (for comparison between order prices and invoice amounts)

  • Sharepoint (for storage and sharing purposes)

  • Outlook (for notifications)


The reconciliation process saves employees roughly 6 hours a day (based on 30 orders per day and depending on the number of invoices and products per order).



GROUP IS

The GroupIS Secretary Team is using a new method for managing approvals of suppliers’ invoices with IS managers and directors. The objective was to simplify the approval process with a program integrated in our Lyreco ecosystem. Even with automation, the principles underpinning the process are the same. There are still two levels of approval, and related documents are centralized, stored, and shared so the accounting department is aware of approved invoices.


Tools:

  • Sharepoint (for storage and sharing purposes)

  • Outlook (for notifications and approval process)

  • Teams (for notifications and approval process)

The new approval process represents a saving of 2RTE per week (based on 1,100 invoices received in 2020)


FRANCE

The Customer Service Department is using a dedicated bot which allows managing automatically the customer orders rejection process in SAP RIO transaction, based on a dedicated list of reject types (e.g. deleted products, delisted products...) and customers groups.


Tools:

  • SAP (ZV011116 / VA02)

  • Outlook (for notifications and reports)

This process represents a saving of 1,5RTE per day (based on 280 rejects per day for 3mn per reject)


ON-GOING / NEXT STEPS

The first priority is to finalize the setup of the UIPATH platform, including development framework, services accounts management for access to SAP and O365 landscape, virtual machines management, go-live and support process.


Then, in the meantime, we focus on the onboarding of the remaining Subsidiaries and Departments.


A focus is also made on the definition of governance aspects (who is responsible for use-case identification, qualification, return on investment (ROI) estimate, prioritization and approval.


And finally, dedicated KPIs will be produced on a regular basis in order to provide an overview of the automation backlog.


Want to know more about UIPATH ? Click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10_MkXNMpVw


Want to contact us : Group.IS.Innovation@lyreco.com


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