Points of View

The secret to automation success is using the right tools in the right way; Arla Foods gets practical with RPA

Oct 9, 2019 Elena Christopher


Robotic process automation (RPA) is not a panacea; it’s a software tool. It’s outstanding at automating standardized processes using structured data via screen capturing and database connections. Supporting tools and resources like SQL scripts, APIs, .Net, or cognitive capture tools extend its functionality. The market hype associated with RPA continues to be massive; however, missed objectives and lackluster returns on investment create a pall of disappointment and dissatisfaction—with many companies not even using the full functionality of RPA. But this may be a good thing. Perhaps the cold slap of mediocre results can awake us from the daze of thinking a singular magical software tool is going to transform our businesses, mass-produce bags of money, and slash headcount without any need for massive change management or process reinvention. The increasingly clear reality is that RPA is a powerful tool when enterprises use it correctly with a powerful supporting cast of complementary tools, supported by an execution approach that prioritizes solving problems, not standing up bots.


HFS with support from Blue Prism, is showcasing real enterprise journeys with robotic process automation (RPA). This report spotlights Arla Foods, a Scandinavian multinational dairy cooperative. Looking around the marketplace, Arla is one of the enterprises that is quite satisfied with its RPA program. It does not have the most bots implemented, but it has scaled RPA broadly and is reaping notable benefits. Its secret is taking a practical approach to automation – literally using the right tools for the job, ensuring enough technical expertise to know what works and what doesn’t for each business problem, and having enough backbone to pick and choose which emerging best practices work best for its enterprise.


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