In the age of Industry 4.0, global manufacturers are turning to automation to improve their productivity and lower costs. The global market size of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is set to reach $30.85 billion by 2030.
Manufacturing jobs are certainly ripe and ready for automation-based
technologies. McKinsey has previously reported that 87% of manual work performed by manufacturing workers can be automated. Additionally, there is a significant opportunity for automation in manufacturing-related occupations like maintenance, material movement, and engineering.
Manufacturing companies are also using technologies like AI and RPA to streamline back-office processes like vendor payments, communication, and report generation.
Here is a detailed look at the challenges, business applications, and benefits of RPA in the manufacturing domain.
Challenges of RPA in the Manufacturing industry
According to Ernst & Young, nearly 30-50% of initial RPA projects fail. Among the major challenges, RPA implementation incurs high upfront costs. Enterprises fail to understand that, on the positive side, RPA provides healthy returns on investment in a relatively shorter period. Additionally, organizations fail to align their business and IT objectives when implementing RPA.
David Wright of Deloitte Consulting points out that “IT is absolutely critical to the successful deployment of RPA.” He adds that the support of strategic technology initiatives can bring a “significant difference in both speed and cost.”
Manufacturing organizations that implement RPA without this support tend to create “implementation silos” in their IT infrastructure and architecture.
Besides this challenge, some organizations do not have a clear and consistent RPA strategy. Zeeshan Rajan of PwC emphasizes, “RPA is a technology that is easy to use, but things take time, and so does an RPA implementation.” A successful RPA implementation requires significant business transformation and change management.
Implementation of RPA in the Manufacturing industry
1. Data Migration
2. ERP Automation
3. Inventory Management
- Automated order processing and receipts
- Real-time visibility into inventory flows and supply chains
- Accurate inventory forecasting
4. Invoice Processing
5. Admin Tasks Automation
Benefits of RPA in Manufacturing
- Automation can replace manual labor, thus saving labor costs.
- It can eliminate the expenses that otherwise went into maintaining legacy and outdated IT systems.
- It can reduce administrative time and associated costs
On average, RPA solutions can save up to 20% of manufacturing costs.
Reduction in Human Error
Improved Operational Efficiency
Shibaji Das of UiPath stresses the role of RPA for manufacturers before they can upgrade their ERP systems. For instance, RPA can streamline manufacturing processes like demand planning and procurement. Along with AI technology, RPA can play an important role in distribution channels, warehouse management, and logistics.
How Ellicium Can Help with RPA Implementation
At Ellicium, we enable manufacturing companies to implement RPA the right way with our expertise in AI, machine learning, analytics and text recognition. Through our RPA-based cognitive automation, our manufacturing customers have been successful at:
- Mitigating or reducing human error
- Automating repetitive tasks
- Improving process efficiency
- Reducing operational costs
Manufacturers can leverage RPA technology across back-office, customer service, and administration functions. Overall, RPA solutions can mitigate losses (due to manual efforts) by up to 30%.
At Ellicium Solutions, we offer customized RPA services that automate various tasks across the manufacturing domain. Here is a blog that talks about the potential of RPA in enabling cognitive automation for enterprises.
Seeking the right technology partner in your RPA journey? We can help. Contact us today.