Case Study Thermoplast
Thermoplast Permanent Development are specialists in a design and a construction of extrusion tools – processing products under high pressure and high temperature. They offer comprehensive services regarding extrusion of profiles that meet expectations of individual investors from various industries. The headquarters of the company is located in Libiąż in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship, however, the services provided by Thermoplast are used by users from all over Poland.
In times of digital transformation, customers have ever higher expectations considering service standards. Strong competition also makes them more demanding and harder to satisfy. Thermoplast experts develop solutions focusing on meeting the individual needs of their contractors. As they say – they build their position on the market thanks to innovative solutions, the best quality and professional advice. The strength of Thermoplast is primarily a highly qualified and experienced team that has decided to hire Digital Teammates.
Challenges of employees of the financial and accounting department
The financial department at Thermoplast is not only dealing with accounting, but also with controlling. The nationwide activity of the enterprise and continuous development means that the volume of work began to increase. At one point, there was a lot of time-consuming projects that had to be done. At that time, the department of accounting specialists who had been under a heavy load, asked for a support. It was decided to hire robots for the position of accounting clerks, which, as it turned out later, changed the daily work of the financial department.
It is here that the key processes that require the support of Digital Teammates have been identified in order to be able to devote even more care to customer cases. Among them there are processes such as:
- handling of bank statements;
- booking of invoices in MS Navision;
- preparation of reminders for clients.
Employment of the first accounting clerk
Thermoplast is a production company, and employees working in all divisions of the company definitely do not have time to be bored. Assumptions and strategies developed by shareholders and management board strongly direct internal processes towards innovative solutions. Considering the implementation of new products in the financial department and the improvement of a human work in the accounting department, a decision was made to employ robots. The initiator of the idea was the Chief Accountant of Thermoplast – Izabela Mikosz – who for years wanted to have robotic processes in her department. So the search for suppliers to help implement Digital Teammates began. Due to recommendations from financial departments of banks, it was decided that the accounting clerks would come from Digital Teammates. By the decision of the Financial Director – Barbara Twardosz – the most repetitive and tedious processes were transferred into the hands of newly hired virtual assistants.
Time for cooperation
The most common challenge that must be faced at the beginning of almost any cooperation is learning to communicate. Due to the greatest interest in robotization and the knowledge possessed, the Chief Accountant – Izabela Mikosz – became the Robotization Leader on the part of Thermoplast, who was in day-to-day contact with the developers of Digital Teammates. It can therefore be said that Thermoplast employees have made an attempt to learn how robots work.
It all started with the process related to bank statements and MT940 files. Two employees were involved in processing the statements, and the number of monthly tasks was 7,500. The large fluctuations in MT940’s file volumes makes it a perfect example of a process that can be handed over to robots. As you know, companies cannot afford to stop, which is why the processes of bank statements and document processing have been automated in the first place. The task of posting invoices in MS Navision was 100% automated – the monthly work volume is about 300 documents. The next step of the robotization project was giving robots the task of preparing reminders for customers. This process was extremely time-consuming, as processing 1 full documentation takes almost 210 minutes. By handing over all the above tasks, the employees regained their invaluable time, the processes are carried out flawlessly and quickly. Most importantly, robots can also work at night, and employees coming to work receive ready-made materials for inspection.
The total amount of the robotic FTEs was 2, while the monthly costs incurred by Thermoplast were about 0,75 of the cost of a typical accountant. At the same time, it is worth emphasizing here the fact that the number of jobs employed in the financial departments of people has not been reduced, due to the fact that the company grows and more tasks are performed by the same experienced and highly motivated team.
Further goals and future cooperation
The search for next processes with a robotic potential is ongoing. Human Resources departments have identified repetitive processes, but due to their handling in paper form, they cannot be yet handed over to robots. The extremely extensive part of the company responsible for sales is based on a discount-bonus structure and direct contact with customers – therefore this department cannot be fully robotized either. The situation is completely different in the logistics departments. There, the number of repetitive processes based on digital data is huge, so they currently analyze the robotic potential. We are still identifying new areas with robotic potential, but we are also continuously updating our current robots.