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Robotic Process Automation to Elevate Flooring Operations

Logo - Robotic Process Automation to Elevate Flooring Operations (Flooring Services)

The Customer

A leading provider of flooring materials and installation services in the United States.

The Project

Robotic Process Automation to Elevate Flooring Operations


The Customer approached Improving with a significant business challenge. Their internal ERP system, RFMS, lacked robust integration capabilities with the various billing portals used by their clients, primarily in the Texas real estate builders market. As a result, the Customer relied on manual processes to reconcile work orders, payments, and invoices, leading to inefficiencies, errors, and significant resource allocation. Improving proposed a solution leveraging Automation Anywhere, a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tool, to automate the data extraction and integration processes. By implementing RPA, the Customer aimed to streamline their operations, increase efficiency, and reduce costs associated with manual labor.

The Challenge

The manual reconciliation process for work orders, payments, and invoices was time-consuming and prone to errors. The Customer spent hours manually entering data from multiple billing portals into their ERP system, resulting in delayed payments, potential inaccuracies, and a drain on human resources. The lack of integration between RFMS and the billing portals created a significant bottleneck in their operations, hindering growth and scalability.

The Solution

Improving proposed implementing Automation Anywhere to automate the data extraction and integration processes. The team started by developing a proof of concept (POC) to integrate one builder and test the capabilities of the RPA tool. Once the POC yielded positive results, the project expanded to include multiple builders and billing portals. The solution involved leveraging Automation Anywhere’s screen scraping capabilities to extract data from the billing portals and using queries to update RFMS based on the extracted information.

The team implemented a dynamic logging solution, allowing for flexible and comprehensive tracking of bot activities. This enhanced logging system provided valuable insights and facilitated troubleshooting. To ensure accuracy and minimize exceptions, the team employed string matching, data cleansing, and wild card matching techniques to cross-reference the builder portals with RFMS. This approach resulted in a match rate of over 95%, significantly reducing the manual effort required for exception handling.

Additionally, the team utilized Automation Anywhere’s ability to drive the RFMS Windows client to automate the check posting process. Previously, accountants relied on spreadsheets to track and post checks, leading to potential errors and inefficiencies. By automating this process, the team saved hours per day, especially during month-end cycles.

The Technologies & Methodologies

  • Automation Anywhere: The RPA tool used to automate the data extraction and integration processes.

  • RFMS: The internal ERP system utilized by the Customer.

  • SQL Server: The database technology underlying RFMS.

  • Classic ASP: The technology used in one of the billing portals that required screen scraping.

Icon - Automation Anywhere (1)
Icon - RFMS
Icon - SQL Server
Icon - ASP Classic

The Business Benefits

  • Significant Time Savings: The implementation of Automation Anywhere’s RPA solution saved the Customer hours per day, particularly during month-end cycles. What previously took manual effort can now be accomplished in a matter of minutes, allowing the company to reallocate resources to more value-added tasks.

  • Increased Efficiency: With the automated data extraction and integration processes, the Customer experienced a significant boost in efficiency. The solution streamlined their operations, reducing errors and delays associated with manual data entry.

  • Reduced Costs: By eliminating the need for extensive manual labor, the Customer achieved substantial cost savings. The RPA solution reduced the number of hours spent on reconciliations, resulting in improved resource allocation and increased productivity.

  • Improved Accuracy: The implementation of string matching, data cleansing, and wild card matching techniques enhanced the accuracy of data reconciliation, minimizing exceptions and errors. This increased accuracy led to improved financial reporting and better decision-making.

  • Scalability and Growth: With the automation of their billing processes, the Customer is well-positioned for future growth. The streamlined operations and reduced manual effort allow the company to scale their business without the need for significant additional resources.

Lessons Learned

Through the implementation of this project, Improving learned valuable lessons that can be shared with future clients and teams undertaking similar initiatives.

One key lesson was the importance of breaking down RPA bots into sub-bots for reusability and flexibility. Initially, the team developed monolithic bots but found that creating sub-bots from the beginning would have been more beneficial for future scalability and maintenance.

Another lesson learned was the need for creative solutions when dealing with older systems, such as the classic ASP-based billing portal and the Windows client-based RFMS. The team had to devise novel approaches to capture data from these systems, as they lacked modern integration capabilities. This required iteration, creativity, and collaboration with Automation Anywhere’s support team to overcome challenges.

Why Improving?

By leveraging Automation Anywhere’s RPA capabilities, Improving successfully helped the Customer overcome their manual reconciliation challenges. The implementation of automated data extraction and integration processes not only saved time and increased efficiency but also reduced costs and improved accuracy.

The Customer can now focus on scaling their business and expanding into new markets, confident in their streamlined operations and improved financial reporting. The success of this project has led to the Customer extending their partnership with Improving, further expanding the scope of the automation initiatives. As a trusted partner, Improving continues to deliver innovative solutions and exceptional support, helping the Customer achieve their business goals and drive growth.

Business Transformation
Professional Services

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