Robotic process automation, data, tech

FMCG, plastics, automotive and food manufacturers said now is the time to invest in innovation. They described the challenges and frustrations they face in getting ROI from these investments in FluidIT’s online workshop, Digital Quick Wins for Manufacturers: Innovate your way out of the crisis.

May 26 2020

Helping manufacturers use tech and RPA to innovate to succeed

The ‘new normal’  

100 per cent of workshop delegates said now is the right time to innovate 

Manufacturers see a need to adapt to the ‘new normal’ with customers and markets, with 100% of the attendees stating they feel that now is an appropriate time to innovate. 

“Innovate in the quiet period to take advantage of the upswing”  

“Time is on our side at the moment” 

The industry is open to change. But how can we enable innovation to happen? All attendees reported that while they have great people, they’re frustrated by overly manual processes.  

Automating these manual processes can better equip manufacturers for the new normal. Rapid process automation (RPA) is a software that automates manual processes. The system can be taught to complete any basic transactional task from general ERP entry to sales order processing and purchases invoicing. Less time spent on low-value tasks means more time to focus more on higher level activities.  

Dead ends with data 

“Can’t see the wood for the trees” 

Of the manufacturers that attended, 67% related to having loads of data but struggling to turn it into timely actionable management information.  

Despite the fact that 92% of respondents saw data as either very important or vital to their organisation, 70% expressed difficulty in getting the data they need.  

The biggest challenges to access included:   

  • The data needs gathering and formatting from multiple sources so it can be analysed 
  • Silos of data and too much excel  
  • Getting people to fill out accurate information  

But what if you could instantly get the data you need, when you need it?  

Power BI is a cloud-based business intelligence solution that sits above existing systems and spreadsheets which automatically pulls in their data. With Power BI, the challenge of gathering and formatting data from multiple sources, is automated. Once set up, data is automatically extracted from source systems so you don’t have to do the heavy lifting. This solution works with existing systems.  

Square peg, round hole  

All of the attendees related to one or both of these barriers when attempting to improve their businesses:  

  • Available solutions are a bad fit or too expensive 
  • Bespoke approach is too slow and hard to maintain  

Without the availability of appropriate digital solutions, attendees reported either shelving the project, spending time and money in a sub-optimal fix, or building manual workarounds such as using excel.  

Low code allows the development of bespoke business solutions up to x10 faster than off-the-shelf alternatives. It’s a suite of development tools which replace hand coding with a visual modeller and app components (like forms, calendars and other navigation features) pre-built within the platform. These apps can be standalone or they can integrate with existing systems, including with reporting tools like Power BI.  

This blog is a follow up to FluidIT's first online workshop Digital Quick Wins for Manufacturers: Innovate Your way out of the Crisis