Lassila & Tikanoja: Cloud software robots for your manual processes
The team from Norian, that has developed RPA for Lassila & Tikanoja, is now a part of ECIT Automate. This is their success story.
In 2017, Lassila & Tikanoja (L&T) launched a strategic initiative aimed at increasing the degree of automation at non-core processes, to secure required amount of personnel for the development of environmental, industrial, and real estate services. "We wanted to get rid of most of manual work," says Martti Niinivaara, L&T's ICT architect. He has broad experience in L&T's IT systems.
Unique service opened the doors of collaboration
One reason for the cooperation with Norian (part of ECIT) was dominant: “From the beginning, Norian was able to offer software robots as a cloud service. Other providers insisted that we should have our own developers who make robots, and we should run the robots on our own platform. That's not what we wanted." Recalling the first steps in the collaboration, Niinivaara adds that “Norian made it easy, as they are responsible for coding the robots and the services run in their cloud”.
L&T uses software robots, or robotic process automation (RPA) technology hosted by Norian in the cloud, where the entire service is outsourced. The service scales easily to changing needs. It does not pose large requirement, as L&T does not have to install and maintain automation systems and infrastructure.
The service has an orchestrator solution that monitors the operation of robots, starts, and shuts them down according to an agreed schedule. Information about the performance of the robots is collected in the Power BI dashboard, which reports real-time on the operation of the robots to both Norian and L&T.
Robots adapts to changing needs
The first robot developed by Norian for L&T handled tickets containing orders that were transferred from L&T's customer service to a robot in the cloud, which passed them on to L&T's ERP system. The orders were very specific. Rules made it easy for the robot to process orders in a format appropriate for the ERP system.
In just over three years, software robots have been created for all L&T's business lines and industries, very different processes, and several ERP systems. Through the projects, Norian's robotics experts have gained an in-depth understanding of L&T's business processes and especially the logic of ERP systems.
“Software robotics is very widely used by us. We have automated both financial processes and ERP-related business processes” says Niinivaara.
Accurate profitability calculations behind robot development
When new software robotic projects are carried out, both the costs and the benefits of robots are carefully calculated for them.
“We only implement RPA projects where the benefits can be achieved within a reasonably short period of time,” emphasizes Niinivaara.
Norian estimates before each process what the amount of work and cost it requires. L&T, on the other hand, evaluates the cost and benefits. One of the most recent RPA projects is the pre-processing of invoiced work orders in the real-estate services industry.
“In the past, our supervisors had to insert a lot of things into the system before work orders are ready to be invoiced. Now it is handled by the robot, and our employee just checks and approves the work order prepared by the robot. So we have managed to shift the time of our supervisors to more productive work. We got significant financial benefits from this project on an annual basis,” says Niinivaara with satisfaction.
L&T currently has 17 robots here, with varying annual benefits. In addition to financial benefits, robots brought also other types of value.
“With a robot, we reduce human errors that can lead to complaints and a decrease in customer satisfaction. By automating other manual processes, we also make the work of our employees more meaningful. ”
The business comes with ideas for new robots
Good experiences of the work-reducing effect of software robots have inspired L&T's staff to come up with ideas for using robots at new processes. Niinivaara evaluates these ideas with Norian's experts and selects those that make the work more efficient and make the employees' daily lives easier.
Niinivaara has been pleased with the collaboration with Norian, as he gets to work directly with robot developers. This allows for rapid and flexible carrying out of development work. The people in charge of L&T's processes are also often involved.
“Norian’s developers have both technical expertise and an understanding of our business. They talk in a very user-oriented and user-friendly way, which makes it easier to interact with our people in charge of the process” says Niinivaara from his experience.
A good understanding of the business will drive development forward
The service is provided by a global development team of Norian in which the team members are locate in Poland, as well as Lithuania and Finland. “Working with Poles has been a positive experience. It's nice to design robots with them” Niinivaara says.
Niinivaara's goal is to get more and more enthusiastic people in his own organization to come up with ideas and develop robots. The road is already well under way, with good experiences with robots and easy collaboration between those in charge of the business and Norian's developers. In just over three years, co-operation and dialogue have been turned into a close partnership, the outcome of which is harvested every day by L&T's business and its employees.
Cecilie Fossum Haug
Marketing Coordinator, ECIT.Læs flere indlæg fra Cecilie Fossum Haug
Our expertise, size and Nordic roots give us the solid foundation it requires when helping companies run and optimize the most essential parts of their businesses in the Nordics.