SAP Build Shaping the Future of AI-Driven Enterprise Automation
In this blog post, we will showcase how SAP Build Process Automation can automate task-intensive operations and streamline business processes. The following use cases were delivered to one of the leading American multinational software corporations that makes software products and services for the engineering, construction, and manufacturing, industries.
The customer has been relying on manual and repetitive processes in several areas of logistics and finance in their S/4HANA system. As a ‘Future of Work’ initiative, the customer aimed to automate and enhance some of their current manual processes. This would allow their employees to divert their attention towards strategic analysis.
As part of this initiative, the customer identified several areas for optimization and looked at the month-end closure processes as a starting point. The customer identified some of the bottlenecks such as Pullback Reconciliation, Asset Acquisition, and Revenue Accounting and Reporting processes were not optimal due to lots of manual validations. These processes were intrinsically complex, and the IT team was unable to meet the expectations of the business, which weakened the relationship between the business and IT.
Use Case 1:
At the end of each month, accounting teams execute a ‘Pullback Reconciliation report’ to identify any variances in the pullback data. This report aims to provide visibility to the team so they can begin analyzing the data. It is crucial that any differences in Pullback be resolved before the soft close. This is a time-sensitive process that requires significant employee hours to identify variances.
To complete the monthly billing process, at least two transactions need to be executed – Advance Returns for Tax (Fiori Application) and F.01 (Transaction Code). For each currency, it takes approximately 20 minutes to prepare one reconciliation report, and since the customer has five commissioner entities, it takes a minimum of 100 minutes per month. However, this time can increase if the recon needs to be prepared by transaction currency in case of any differences.
Use Case 2:
This report streamlines monthly asset acquisition-related financial reporting for businesses through a manual process. To complete the task, the following steps needed to happen:
- Navigate to the custom Fiori Web application and download the asset acquisition Excel report.
- Visit another standard Fiori Web application and download the currency exchange rate.
- Converting the foreign currency rate to USD and adding a table summarizing the details from the Excel report.
Completing this task can take up to two hours of employee productive time. It is also error-prone, requiring multiple back-and-forth and manual scrolling through Excel sheets.
Manual Process Flow
Following is the process flow of the Manual work:
- To demonstrate quick time-to-value, it is essential to implement this automation use case in less than three weeks.
- The automation should be able to run on different systems with minimal or no code changes.
- It should also be scalable for any number of company code and GL account combinations.
- It is important to make sure that the automation is simple and intuitive for end-users to trigger and receive the final report.
- Empowering the IT team with the capabilities of SAP Build Process Automation is crucial for success.
SAP MaxAttention Engagement
SAP MaxAttention team as a trusted partner for diving innovations was involved. The following were the key results that were delivered:
- The automation use cases were delivered in less than two weeks.
- The SAP MaxAttention team demonstrated its value-add by showcasing quick time-to-value, return on investments in SAP Build Portfolio, and lower total cost of financial operations.
- The customer’s IT team was impressed with the speed and agility with which the use case was realized and delivered, as it helped to strengthen the relationship between IT and the business.
- The engagement outcome established the IT team’s trust in the SAP Build Process Automation product and paved the path to continue the realization of further use cases.
The following image illustrates the Automation BOT architecture diagram:
Key Business Values
The following are the business KPIs of the Automation BOT. Some of the KPIs are based on the feedback received from customer:
- Future-proof customer journey to become an ‘Sustainable Intelligent Enterprise’.
- Automate Faster:Achieved end-to-end process automation with rapid execution.
- Innovation Platform: Established Business Technology Platform and SAP Build Automation as an innovation platform that now enables customers to realize other automation use cases.
- This maximizes the value of existing investments through the usage of simplified SAP Integrations and automated processes across Heterogeneous Environments
- Reduced errors and time spent on manual repetitive tasks and validations.
Next Steps – Journey towards AI-Driven Enterprise Automation:
Following are the upcoming Innovation Use Cases that are being explored:
Scenario 1: Premium Document Processing
The customer’s current manual and paper-based invoice management system within the logistics domain is inefficient, error-prone, and resource-intensive. This outdated process leads to delays in processing invoices, increased risk of errors, and a lack of real-time visibility into financial data. To address these challenges and improve invoice management in the logistics domain, there is an urgent need to digitalize and automate invoicing processes with cutting-edge state-of-the-art technologies such as Generative AI and Advanced OCR technologies.
Scenario 2: AI-Driven Digital Assistants
Need for a cost-effective, scalable, and efficient AI-Driven Digital Assistants for customer support, data collection, and automation of daily routine tasks supporting the following aspects:
- Employee Engagement: Providing timely and efficient support is essential for businesses. AI-Driven Digital Assistants can handle routine inquiries, offer 24/7 assistance, and engage with employees in a personalized manner, improving overall customer satisfaction.
- Cost Reduction: AI-powered Digital Assistants aim to significantly reduce operational costs by automating repetitive tasks and inquiries by infusing AI capabilities for decision-making, reducing the need for a large customer support team. This cost-effective solution can lead to substantial savings.
- Compliance and Documentation: AI-Driven Digital Assistants to ensure compliance with industry-specific guidelines by providing accurate and auditable responses to internal and external user inquiries.
By showcasing the immense potential of the SAP Business Technology Platform and SAP Build capabilities, the customer is now actively pursuing the following key SAP AI-driven initiatives:
Additional customer use cases using SAP Build – AI-Driven Process Automation: