Founded in Finland in 1920, Kemira Oyj is a global chemicals company serving customers in water intensive industries. Kemira has two main segments, Pulp & Paper and Industry & Water. As of 2019, Kemira had annual revenue of around EUR 2.7 billion and over 5,000 employees.
To keep such a big business running smoothly, Kemira must maintain tight control over operations, including administrative and finance activities. Shared services teams at Kemira handle huge volumes of business, and with operations continuing to grow, the group was looking for ways to manage a rising workload more
“The objective was to enable us to meet greater workload without impacting the quality or cost-effectiveness of operations. We identified an obstacle to this: much of people’s time was filled with time-consuming, routine activities.”Jarkko Hanhimäki, Senior Manager of IT, Kemira
Many of these tasks involved manual data entry, reporting, or data-quality checks.
After evaluating RPA offerings from different vendors, the group selected Kofax RPA.
“We chose Kofax RPA because it offered very powerful capabilities in a user-friendly package. Whereas other solutions had a steep learning curve, Kofax RPA doesn’t require users to have a huge amount of specialist knowledge, which allows us to really take ownership of the solution. What’s more, Kofax offered a very attractive licensing model. The pricing was competitive, and we were free to build as many robots as we wanted.”Jarkko Hanhimäki, Senior Manager of IT, Kemira
Kemira determined that RPA offered an ideal solution to its efficiency and quality challenges. Working with teams from Kofax and IT services partners Festum and Efematic, Kemira trained 20 process experts from different functions to design, monitor or build Kofax RPA robots. Kemira has integrated Kofax RPA with business applications including SAP ERP, SAP reporting portal through a web services layer, and several other business applications. The Kofax RPA robots automate a wide range of repetitive tasks involved in extracting and processing information from these applications and data sources.
“It took us just two weeks to create our first robot, and we deployed two robots during the first month and scaled up to four robots in another month. We’ve developed the capability for several functions to implement robotics, and now we work with each of them to design and develop new robots. We started using Kofax RPA in our procurement and finance areas and then expanded the solution to other functions, for example, product safety and R&D. We plan to scale up the solution to build use cases to cover several tasks targeting cross-functional end-to-end cases. We are developing the robots in an agile way in sprints.”Jarkko Hanhimäki, Senior Manager of IT, Kemira
Next, Kemira is focusing to find automation opportunities for end-to-end scenarios covering several business functions and combining RPA with other automation tools, including machine learning.
- The increased automation delivered by Kofax RPA has enabled Kemira to give back around 5,000 hours annually to its finance teams.
- In procurement, the company has released 1,500 hours a year to operations.
- Overall, RPA is releasing around 20,000 hours annually back to operations.