Nowadays, digital transformation has become an inevitable option for businesses; and in fact, the legacy manufacturing industries have already begun experimenting with it.
Siemens, as the world's leading technology company, is at the forefront of the digital transformation in manufacturing industry. Siemens GBS business portfolio includes end-to-end digital processing solutions and diverse digitalization services, covering multiple sectors of shared services in fields such as procurement, finance, personnel, etc. As a result of this immense scale, the operating costs and manpower are also on the rise; and due to the rapid changes in the external business environment, Siemens not only needs to continuously improve its operational quality and efficiency as well as reduce its operating costs, but also needs a customized solution in order to win the opportunity in this competitive business environment.
UiPath RPA is just the right “booster” for Siemens to win the opportunity. With the deployment of RPA robots, Siemens GBS is supporting Business Units to optimize businesses and seize the new opportunity for transformation in manufacturing industry.
Overcoming Business Challenges with Automation
To ensure a healthy development and benign growth of the company, Siemens sets profit objectives and corresponding cost reduction plans each year, and invest heavily in automation in order to reduce human cost within the company; and at the same time, Siemens also begins to try to deploy RPA in back- office and business processes. However, this solution requires long development cycle, high cost and is lack of flexibility, which is only applied for large projects, leaving much difficulties to suit projects of other sizes. Therefore, there are great challenges in actual deployment and rapid business development.
Siemens GBS is in the urgent need for a more flexible, lower cost and customized solution that caters to its various customer segments. After comparing with a number of solutions available in the market, Siemens decided to leverage UiPath RPA, a solution that can free their employees from complex and redundant tasks and allow robots to engage in tasks that are relatively low time-sensitive but highly repetitive, which helps reduce labor cost and increase the accuracy in results.
“Humans will inevitably make errors and miss some key information when performing repetitive work,” said the tech lead of Process Automation Service in Siemens GBS China, “and now as we are adopting the RPA solution, what we need to do is to set the working logic for the robot, and the robot will follow the instructions as it is demanded with high efficiency without missing or skipping any key steps.”
Smooth Deployment with Outstanding Results
The RPA deployment in Siemens (China) went smoothly. With over a year of practice, UiPath RPA has been integrated into every aspect of the whole supply chain from procurement to sales, not only playing important roles in business processes such as financial management, supplier management, data maintenance, application support and customer communication, but also enabling Siemens (China) operate in a more streamlined and efficient mode, and notably reducing the operating cost.
The results after deployment can be seen in the following three areas:
Bank Statements downloaded by business service department: improving the accuracy while reducing labor cost
Before implementing RPA, Siemens GBS China has to deal with confirmation requests of accounts payable from suppliers every day, a task that is cumbersome, highly repetitive, time sensitive and requires a high level of accuracy. After deploying UiPath RPA, it is the robot that will automatically download the bank statement from the bank designated by the suppliers, and then send it to the suppliers via email. This not only helps Siemens save a considerable number of working hours each year and improves the accuracy, but also enables employees to focus more on core business-related activities.
“This task requires a certain level of technical knowledge. For instance, if there are several invoices with the same amount of RMB2,000, and the payment needs to be remitted to different suppliers on the same day in the same bank, to complete this task, one needs to match the payment amount and payment time, and sorts them out. But if it is given to the robots, within the same working time, the robots will complete it in a higher accuracy and shorter time.” said the tech lead of Process Automation Service in Siemens GBS China.
Accounts Receivable Settlement: UiPath is seamlessly compatible with third-party tools, 50% efficiency improved
In the past, many similar business process automation solutions were not compatible with existing systems and third-party tools, which greatly limited their capability to scale or respond rapidly; however, with UiPath RPA, this would not be an issue at all. For example, for the task of customer collection and settlement, employees from Siemens have to spend several hours each day on it; what is more, this task involves downloading data and updating the financial management system. UiPath RPA, with its excellent compatibility, solves this problem easily by collaborating with third-party tools for a seamless connection with their ERP system. Now only half of the time is needed to complete the same amount of work each day, and the efficiency is improved by 50%.
Order Change and Confirmation: connecting internal and external systems with efficiency
Siemens has a great number of factories and has to process a large number of orders each day; and at the same time, there are various types of order change requirements, such as purchase content, quantity, lead time, or even cancellation, etc. After adopting UiPath RPA, whenever there is a requirement from the order manager for order modification, UiPath robot will automatically monitor the parameter changes on the request system and modify the corresponding order information in PO system according to the preset logic process, so that it can quickly and flexibly respond to the latest demand and increase productivity.
In addition to order change requirements from internal customers, there are sometimes requirements for temporary changes to order information from external suppliers, such as modifying delivery period, partial delivery quantities and even prices. Previously, Siemens purchasers need to confirm with the suppliers manually by e-mail or telephone, but UiPath robot can automatically read the information changes in the database and send the change requirements submitted by the supplier toother Siemens systems. For instance, when the purchasers learn about the change request from supplier, they will decide whether to accept it; if they do, the robot will automatically modify the purchase information in the PO system, which ensures the data in all systems consistent.
“RPA robot connects the two relatively independent systems that are used by Siemens procurement department and external suppliers respectively, one is the backend database, and the other PO system. This is a relatively large collaborative project,” said the tech lead of Process Automation Service in Siemens GBS China.
Future Orientated and Higher Productivity
Throughout the process of deployment and development, UiPath team worked closely with Siemens to address their special needs, proactively discussed with them and provided scientific and reasonable solutions.
After the successful deployment of UiPath RPA solution, the tech lead of Process Automation Service in Siemens GBS China said, “UiPath RPA not only effectively reduces the repetition of human work and operation costs, reduces human errors, but also improves operational quality and efficiency. UiPath, with its long-term accumulation of experience in RPA, combined with its short deployment cycle and high compatibility, enables us to serve internal and external customers more quickly, flexibly and efficiently in terms of financial sharing and procurement sharing.”
UiPath RPA is not only easy to use, but also comes with a strong platform capability. Siemens Global Business Services (GBS) China has also deployed UiPath RPA in several affiliating companies and departments within Siemens (China). In the future, other Siemens companies in China will continue to adopt UiPath products to optimize business processes and improve productivity to cope with the unpredictability of the market.
Tech Lead of Process Automation Service, Siemens GBS China
UiPath RPA not only effectively reduces the repetition of human work and operation costs, reduces human errors, but also improves operational quality and efficiency. UiPath, with its long-term accumulation of experience in RPA, combined with its short deployment cycle and high compatibility, enables us to serve internal and external customers more quickly, flexibly and efficiently in terms of financial sharing and procurement sharing.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 50%efficiency improvement