Insight 1: RPA+ML can be very rewarding

How you can easily add AI to your RPA automations – A real-world case study

The RPA team of Posti, the Finnish logistics giant, started to use machine learning to boost their invoice automation. These are the key insights from that project. A good read for whoever is leading or contributing when taking existing automation and making it intelligent using machine learning.

In short, the problem was that Posti receives ten thousand purchase invoices a month. For accounting, payment and taxation purposes, each invoice needs to be associated with 1) a reviewer 2) a budget/account 3) department and 4) value added tax code.

In the purchase invoice automation process the goal was to automatically fill the 4 missing fields based on 4 known invoice fields. Such forms get continuously filled by the countless senior employees, accountants, managers and executives in virtually all organizations. Image source: Aito

As a solution, UiPath was used to copy the historical invoices to the predictive database. Then the predictive database queries were used to predict the missing fields:

{
  “from” : “purchase_invoices”,
  “where”: {
    “purchase_number “: “XY12345678”,
    “company_id”: “234234–3”,
    “vendor_number”: “0002948810”,
    “currency” : “EUR"
  },
  “predict”: “reviewer”
}

The predictions with high confidence/probability estimates were then used to fill the missing fields in the invoices by the RPA machinery and automate distinct phases of the process.

RPA+ML projects are not that expensive compared to the traditional ML projects if done with a predictive database. Posti RPA team estimated that the median RPA project may take e.g. 3 months on average (there is typically a lot of analysis, communication and organizing overhead involved), while an RPA+ML project might take 4 months (extra month for the ML part, the extra data integrations, extra communication and the extra steps to handle possible errors). Still, it’s good to reserve significantly more time to the first RPA+ML project done by your organization.There are lot of use cases. It was estimated that 10%-20% of the Posti RPA use cases could benefit from the similar kind of machine learning. The business benefits of RPA+ML applications can be high: possibly hundreds of thousands of euros, because of high automation rates in moderately complex high volume processes.

Read more here: Insight 1: RPA+ML can be very rewarding

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