In recent years, a well-known state-owned optical fiber cable manufacturer has been rapidly increasing its market share and sales share through industrial upgrading. In this process, the manufacturer’s Finance Department faced many major challenges, one of which was around building an effective and competitive financial service team in order to provide the best financial services, improve financial efficiency, reduce service costs, and achieve innovations in the financial system.
Through building a strategic partnership with Fortune Technology Company, the well-known state-owned optical cable manufacturer adopted Fortune Technology’s RPA finance robot consulting and implementation services based on IBM Cloud Pak for Automation to help optimize its financial processes, reduce costs and increase efficiency. Meanwhile, it also promoted the transformation of its financial organization and laid a solid foundation for building digital and intelligent finance in the future.
100%accurate execution of tedious, high-frequency and low-value-added tasks
70%improvement in efficiency
74%average reduction of labor hours across its invoicing and fund management operations
Business challenge story
How should enterprises innovate to improve their financial management?
In recent years, a well-known state-owned optical fiber cable manufacturer has been rapidly increasing its market share and sales share through industrial upgrading. This rapid development of the enterprise came with a steady increase in the business volume of its financial department that now needed to be tackled efficiently.
Business personnel from the settlement center, the sales center, and the manufacturing center of the financial department were responsible for the management of the enterprise's receivables and payables for its customers and suppliers (bank statement downloading, receipt breakdown, receipt breakdown and accounting, and payment accounting), invoicing application, invoice information maintenance, bank bill issuance, bill accounting and entry, and other financial operations.
Its financial personnel used to log into and operate multiple back-end and front-end systems every day, including the corporate Internet banking systems, the OA system, the corporate cloud storage system, the finance system, the fund management system, the tax management software, the process approval system, etc. Financial personnel had to complete tedious and complex financial processes and operations, so they were quite bothered by a large workload and low efficiency, and often had to work overtime on weekdays and at the end of each month. For example, in order to download corporate Internet banking statements, personnel of the settlement center of the Finance Department had to log into and operate the corporate Internet banking systems of more than 10 banks, involving more than 100 bank accounts every day. Downloading bank statements was tedious and error-prone, and it was particularly difficult to manage the USB devices for various corporate Internet banking systems.
Therefore, the enterprise urgently needed an intelligent solution to help build an effective and competitive financial service team, so as to provide the best financial service experiences, improve work efficiency and reduce human errors and service costs.
Upgrading its digital intelligence with finance robots
The Finance Department had to deal with complex and repetitive tasks. Fortune Technology is a senior RPA ecosystem partner of IBM, and senior consultants and business personnel of the Finance Department of Fortune Technology had repeated in-depth communications with the client. After understanding the client’s specific needs, they decided to provide the client with the RPA finance robot consulting and implementation services based on IBM Cloud Pak for Business Automation. They intended to sort out and automate the business processes for the two major business lines of finance, including fund management and accounting and bill management and accounting.
First of all, at the PoC stage, a robot that could download bank statements from the corporate Internet banking systems was quickly developed based on IBM Cloud Pak for Business Automation, which was required to automatically log into the corporate Internet banking page of Bank of China, select a designated bank account, and download the bank statement for a specific time period, so as to verify the technical feasibility of the RPA robot. After the launch of the robot that could download bank statements from the corporate Internet banking systems, it saved three hours a day for the business personnel of the settlement center, doubled their work efficiency and achieved an accuracy of 100%.
Secondly, an unattended finance robot was developed and deployed to connect various heterogeneous systems, such as the corporate Internet banking systems, the OA system, the finance system, the fund management system and the tax system.
Then, the technical issues in unified management of USB devices from various banks and automatic login were solved to achieve optimization through the third-party Internet banking USB HUB solution.
Finally, 9 finance robots based on IBM Cloud Pak for Automation were deployed for the client, including: the robot for downloading bank statements, the robot for handling position sheets, the robot for receipt accounting, the robot for payment accounting, the robot for billing and accounting, the robot for bill acceptance and accounting, the robot for expense reimbursement uploading and accounting, the robot for invoicing application and entry, and the robot for notes receivable management.
The successful deployment of 9 finance robots created a brand-new high-efficiency financial management model for the manufacturer. It also made the client highly appreciate the functions of IBM Cloud Pak for Business Automation. IBM Cloud Pak for Business Automation is a simple, easy-to-use, high-efficiency and stable container cloud-based intelligent automation software platform for enterprises and has great integration capabilities for automation products and various functions, including a variety of embedded AI, intelligent decision-making, workflow, content arrangement, document recognition, codeless development, machine learning, low-code development tools, intelligent analysis, etc. It enables clients to use pre-integrated automation technologies and low-code tools to design, build and run automation applications and services on any cloud. It is the best choice for businesses that expect to build a new intelligent work model in the future.
Empowering AI to solve its labor woes
After the adoption of the automatic operation processes of the RPA finance robots, tedious and repetitive tasks can now be completed on a 24x7 basis, greatly saving the time consumed by financial personnel in various processes. For example, after analyzing the working hours of existing invoicing operations and fund management operations of the settlement center, the RPA finance robots were introduced to save 75% and 73% of the labor hours invested in the two business scenarios respectively. Moreover, the time consumed in processing unstructured business data and manual review is now eliminated, effectively saving unnecessary costs and improving employee productivity.
The timeliness and effectiveness of business responses were improved
After most of the repetitive tasks were handled by the RPA finance robots, their accuracy, efficiency, and compliance were improved to a great extent. For example, in the bank statement downloading and accounting processes of the settlement center of the Finance Department, robots automatically downloaded, sorted and delivered a large amount of data, which not only greatly improved efficiency but also ensured that the accuracy rate reached 100%. The time consumed for preparing monthly reports was reduced from 10 days to 6 days.
The shortage of staff in the Finance Department was solved
In the enterprise, many complex financial processes needed to be completed by the personnel of the Finance Department, so a lot of manpower and material resources were required to handle repetitive and tedious tasks. After the introduction of the RPA finance robots, personnel of the Finance Department can complete work tasks smoothly on weekdays and at the end of every month, and no longer need to work overtime.
The launch of the 9 finance robots solved the core pain points of the Finance Department in an effective way, transformed the original working methods and concepts of financial personnel, and promoted the reform of the financial organization, requiring the personnel to improve their competency and skills. Subsequently, the finance robots will identify and implement more application scenarios for the Finance Department, recognize representative and valuable business scenarios (empowering AI), discover representative processes for front-end and back-end business departments and launch pilot programs, improve robot utilization and assessment standards, continuously develop their capabilities in delivery and operation and maintenance, based on which a robot-based Center of Excellence (CoE) will be built.
Robotic process automation (RPA) has become a general trend of development. In the future, based on IBM Cloud Pak for Business Automation, Fortune Technology Company will help more enterprises optimize their financial processes, improve business processing efficiency and quality, reduce risks in financial compliance, allocate resources to more value-added businesses, promote financial transformation, and drive the digital reinvention of enterprises in the future.
Fortune Technology Company
Founded in 2013, Fortune Technology Company (also referred to as "Fortune Technology") is committed to providing organizations and enterprises with flexible digital human resources. As a culmination of long-term practices and years of development, Fortune Technology has accumulated rich experiences in the automation of data systems and information systems, and has a business scope covering end-to-end RPA product sale, project consulting, process development and software implementation, process operation and maintenance, and technical training. Fortune Technology has subsidiaries based in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Dalian, providing clients with localized service supports and responses in a timely manner.
Take a Next Step
To learn more about IBM Cloud Pak for Business Automation, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit: https://www.ibm.com/cloud/cloud-pak-for-business-automation