In an interview with CIO Applications, Cathy Hughes, Principal, and Doug Wendler, CEO of Machina Automation, share their insights on how Machina Automation is helping energy companies implement RPA and usher in an era of intelligent automation for the energy industry.
How has Machina Automation been able to steer RPA innovation in the energy landscape?
At Machina, we strive to be the foremost thought-leader in energy business process automation. We seek to do this by leveraging deep industry experience and digital transformation intellectual capital specific to energy companies. Our team possesses a vast knowledge of energy business process, which spans the entire energy value chain. This knowledge, combined with a deep understanding of how to apply automation software to architect intelligent solutions, provides our clients with a unique combination of skills critical to automation program success. Additionally, we have developed a proven set of methods and tools created specifically to serve the needs of digital transformation programs at energy companies.
What are some of the challenges in implementing RPA in the energy sector? How do you address the setbacks?
We would group the challenges that are often encountered in implementing RPA into three primary areas: getting started, successful financial planning, and achieving scale. RPA is a whole new ball game and companies need to plan for success from the start. To successfully initiate an RPA program, companies must understand how to best organize their teams and governance structures to facilitate success. To do so, they must also understand the differences in implementing and managing intelligent automation solutions, as opposed to traditional solutions, and plan accordingly. From day one, to be successful, RPA projects must be able to evaluate and prioritize their processes utilizing a thorough understanding of what factors drive the strongest ROI from automation.
We believe a strong understanding of automation ROI is critical to successful financial planning, which is also key to implementation success. Many companies fail to start with an “eye on the prize” mentality.
At Machina, we address the challenge of successful RPA implementation delivery by focusing our entire company on intelligent automation and providing a full suite of experienced-based service offerings to our customers
At Machina, we address these challenges and others by focusing our entire company on intelligent automation and providing end-to-end services to our customers. We ensure that these services cover the full intelligent automation lifecycle, from advisory to implementation to operations and support, while also facilitating our customers’ ability to network with others who are facing similar challenges and maintaining tight partnerships with key leading vendors.
Is there a specific methodology that you follow to implement your solutions?
Yes, we have built a methodology for the implementation of automation solutions based on decades of experience implementing systems for the energy industry. This experience has been adapted to meet the needs of today’s real-world intelligent automation solutions and has been tested and proven through its use in our engagements and implementations. Our methodology and offerings support the full gambit of services needed by clients embarking on intelligent automation: advisory, implementation, operations, training, and optimization.
Could you share a client success story with us?
Yes. We will walk you through two such stories. First, we were engaged by a company that wanted our help in developing the core of what has become their center of excellence for RPA. We helped them strategize and define their programming standards, develop their design templates and their development approach, and identify the roles they need as well as defining the responsibilities for each. This support helped them jump start the establishment of their center of excellence and ensured that they launched their project effectively.
On a more traditional development project, we worked with a retail provider in Houston. The company wanted to automate several of their manual processes and prove that RPA could be successful in their business environment. We initiated the project by helping them prioritize and select the right processes to augment with a digital workforce component. This led to a POC and pilot for two of those processes. As an example of the results that can be achieved, one of these was a reconciliation related process. The process was originally run by five individuals but is now automated utilizing four UiPath robots. After automation, the process requires only part time human intervention to ensure the robots are functioning properly and to resolve any process exceptions that may arise from time to time.
What are Machina Automation’s future endeavors?
We have a few strategic initiatives planned for the future. While we will continue to focus on serving the energy industry, we will also be building more capabilities across the full lifecycle of our automation offering with our partners including UiPath, ABBYY and Enate. Alongside, we will also continue enhancing our support service offering to ensure that our clients have the long-term support they need to be successful. Finally, we will expand our global delivery model to provide additional cost flexibility and further improve our implementation and support capabilities.