Client:Ajinomoto Thailand


Region:Asia Pacific & Japan

Whetting the Appetite for Automation with Pilot Trials

Ajinomoto Thailand Case Study


minutes saved at Ajinomoto Thailand by automation per month


time saved by automation in data entry


automation processes run daily

Ajinomoto Thailand might be the producers of foods with big flavors, but the work that some of their employees did daily was a tad more bland—data entry.

Before embarking on their automation journey, employees from the Finance & Accounting (F&A) department used to spend their workdays doing the dry task of poring over endless data. They had to transfer, convert, and manually check reams of data, such as cashflow reports and other financial transactions.

The tedious work not only strained their eyes but also drained their energy, leaving them with little time for higher value tasks.

With the brand’s growing priority in improving employee productivity and ensuring sustainable growth, we realized that we needed to transition to digital and other innovative technologies.

Sanvaris Amornnuratkul · Finance and Accounting Manager, Ajinomoto Thailand

Initial Resistance

Before partnering with UiPath, however, the management had reservations about how automation would work and the benefits it could offer. They were also concerned about potential hiccups in the roll-out.

The uncertainty over what the change would mean for the company led to pushback. They were unsure if automation would increase their return on investment and be more efficient than the existing system.

So they turned to an external consulting team, which gave them a clearer objective and plan on how and where to implement automation. This pushed the company to take a leap of faith, and multiple automation processes were trialed within the F&A department.

Successful Pilot Spurs Wider Adoption

Ajinomoto Thailand started its automation journey in 2019 by enrolling a group of employees from the F&A department for the RPA (robotic process automation) Developer Foundation course by NCT, a partner of UiPath. Ajinomoto’s ultimate goal was to become self-sufficient.

We started the automation Implementation with NCT because we were interested in understanding how automation can be developed by UiPath. We started the training with seven to 10 people, and we aimed to develop and maintain the automation process ourselves.

Sanvaris Amornnuratkul · Finance and Accounting Manager, Ajinomoto Thailand

The F&A department eventually created a core automation system using three UiPath platforms—UiPath Automation Developer, UiPath Orchestrator and UiPath Unattended Robot. These were used to automate many of the department’s Microsoft Excel and data entry processes, such as formatting numbers, copying and pasting data, and creating reports. Some of the specific processes it automated include:

  • Creating bank balance reports (Daily Cashflow Report)

  • Recording and exporting impairment data before importing to a financial management software (Record Impairment Fixed Asset)

  • Creating a report backup server, by copying data from the Solarwinds web application and pasting them into Microsoft Excel

  • Exporting data from PDF documents to generate a report in Microsoft Excel (Net Backup Report)

The first pilot took about eight weeks to develop with UiPath. “When the first pilot was a success, we continued to scale up with more processes in the F&A department before also scaling to the IT department,” said Sanvaris.

With automation taking over data entry tasks such as creating reports and recording transactions, employees now had time to focus on bigger, more meaningful tasks.

Since 2019, Ajinomoto Thailand has implemented 20 automation processes, with seven to 10 of them being run daily. Automation has saved its employees a total of 14,000 minutes per month, as at end 2021.

More specifically, employees spent 95% and 98% less time on the Daily Cashflow Report and Record Impairment Fixed Asset processes respectively.

The benefits of automation have opened employees’ eyes to the endless possibilities of artificial intelligence (AI), paving the way for greater receptivity to more innovative and complex automations ahead.

Gearing Up for More Automation Processes

Ajinomoto Thailand has since been developing and planning more automation processes to expand its catalogue. These include automating accounts payable payments and creating other F&A reports such as production cost reports.

Many of the automation functions we currently use can be developed for greater use in future. As we continue to do so, the time needed for development and implementation will be reduced.

Sanvaris Amornnuratkul · Finance and Accounting Manager, Ajinomoto Thailand

In August 2022, the company set up a new non-production environment—typically set up for the purpose of internal development, internal training as well as evaluation─to support and handle the automation implementation process. Its role is to ensure that data from the testing and development of new software robots do not get mixed with the data of robots which are already being used in production.

As Ajinomoto Thailand savors the success of its automation roll-out, the appetite for automation has grown in tandem. They will continue to find novel and more innovative ways to implement automation into their workflow.

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