For a sub-contract manufacturer, winning work normally involves establishing your company as a selected supplier, answering RFQs and then completing manufacture. For the end client , even where a supplier has been long established it can often be seen as a worthwhile activity to obtain competition quotes for constant re-evaluation.
As such a sub-contract manufacturer will often need to access multiple RFQ websites, have hundreds of components that all need to be quoted for, all of which will need to be chased up and evaluated for future quotes. Robotic Process Automation can help in a number of ways throughout this process:
Registering for opportunities: Many large organisations ask their suppliers to register through a supplier portal or tender system in order to more effectively gather and compare quotations. The set-up and fulfilment of information into these portals can be incredibly time consuming. RPA can gather documents from a range of sources, extract the relevant information and pre-fill in many areas for review.
Finding RFQs: A bot can be configured to check several website for relevant RFQs. The bot can log in. Stored as secure credentials on the bot’s orchestration platform the username and password can be accessed securely and input as appropriate. From here it can use predetermined search criteria to search for relevant opportunities and export them in whichever format is desired for review. This can be a significant time save saver, especially where there are several tender portals a business may wish to check.
Follow up and review: As a bot can log into applications as though it is a human, its possible to automatically send catch-up emails to RFQs. A bot can use a template to compose an email and then log onto an ERP system, take the data of outstanding RFQ and automatically send an email to follow up. Where an issuing company have several RFQs all in need of follow up, rules could be set up to take all outstanding RFQs within a specific time period.
Bespoke problems require bespoke solutions. Each business has its own processes and way of doing things and so although below are some common ways in which RPA has been implemented into manufacturing firms the best way to find out if your process can be automated is simply to ask our team.