How SAP Intelligent RPA Improved Efficiency at Villeroy and Boch
The leading international lifestyle brand Villeroy & Boch Group (Villeroy and Boch) relies on innovation with SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation (SAP Intelligent RPA) and SAP AI Business Services to increase employee productivity by eliminating repetitive tasks with different systems and unstructured data at the same time Minimizing impact on SAP ERP.
Villeroy & Boch, one of the most traditional companies in Europe, sells high-quality bathroom ceramics and tableware to households and hotels in 125 countries and operates 14 production sites worldwide.
As innovation pioneers, they now rely on process excellence through increased operational efficiency with intelligent solutions from SAP. In order to achieve this, the top management recognized that the employee experience first had to be improved by a solution based on intelligent automation technology, which relieves employees of routine tasks and helps them to significantly increase overall productivity.
According to Villeroy and Boch, the solution for automating business processes had to meet two essential requirements:
- It shouldn’t impact the company’s existing SAP ERP to ensure faster deployment.
- The solution should meet the needs and requirements of the end users.
Hyper automation with SAP Intelligent RPA
Together with SAP, Villeroy & Boch started a joint project to develop workflow innovations with hyper-automation. Under the direction of SAP experts, the Villeroy and Boch team has developed two different types of intelligent bots with SAP Intelligent RPA and SAP AI Business Services:
- “Classic” RPA bots that act as digital assistants that execute predefined workflows based on a set of business rules.
- Smart hyper-automated bots powered by AI, which perform more complex tasks and increase the performance of the “classic” RPA bots.
Dr. Daniel Neuhäuser, Head of ERP Core Solutions at Villeroy und Boch comments:
“With SAP Intelligent RPA and SAP AI Business Services, we use software bots that automate routine tasks and initiate processes independently. This speeds up processes, saves employees time and enables them to concentrate on more strategic activities. “
By automating routine tasks, Villeroy & Boch was able to achieve the following business results:
- Increased operational efficiency and accelerated workflows.
- Employees can focus more on strategic tasks and devote more time to more valuable business activities.
- Increased accuracy and ROI as bots now have the ability to record more information.
Villeroy & Boch is the first SAP customer to develop and go live an intelligent bot that uses both SAP Intelligent RPA and SAP AI Business Services. The hyper-automated solution provided the company with 10 digital assistants that automate accounting, purchasing, and customer service tasks. In addition, the solution has helped review, classify and process over 6,000 documents annually.
Villeroy & Boch expects to further develop automated solutions with SAP Intelligent RPA. The plans include:
- Develop unattended bots on a virtual machine to further accelerate processing and workflow.
- Provision of another intelligent bot to optimize procurement workflows.
- Creation of intelligent bots that support the automatic extraction of accounting-relevant data from unconstructed documents.
- Use SAP Conversational AI to create a chatbot that can be accessed through Microsoft Teams to handle user questions and interaction with SAP ERP through SAP Intelligent RPA.
About Villeroy & Boch
Founded in 1748 in Lorraine, France; Villeroy & Boch has developed into a global lifestyle brand. Headquartered in Mettlach, Saarland, the company claims continued success by combining tradition and history with modern elements. The company is now celebrating its 270th anniversary.
This pioneering hyper-automation technology was submitted by the Villeroy & Boch Group as a contribution to the SAP Innovation Awards 2021.