Toyota Material Handling is a part of Toyota Industries Corporation, which spans 17 different companies operating in five sectors. The company is a supplier of material handling equipment, including the market-leading truck, forklift, truck service, and storage equipment brands. In Norway, Toyota Material Handling Norway AS (TMHNO) is the largest player in the industry, with around 180 service technicians across the country.
The first process selected for automation was the company’s sales order process, which – although complex – carried significant improvement potential for the organization. The manual process involved four different systems and required retyping the same information on each system because of a lack of integration. The business-critical process was time-consuming, tedious to complete, and prone to costly errors.
Digital Workforce is one of the leading RPA service providers globally, both in terms of revenue and headcount. The company provides services across a range of industries. Since 2015, over 200 large global customers have used Digital Workforce’s services to transform their businesses with intelligent automation. Toyota Material Handling began working with Digital Workforce in 2020 because of its proven competence and expansive offering. This enabled TMHNO to meet all its automation service and technology needs through one partner. Digital Workforce delivers automation solutions to TMHNO that utilize Blue Prism RPA technology. It also delivers online training to help TMHNO build internal competence in RPA.
Toyota Material Handling uses Canon e-Forms for submitting customer orders for clear, concise, and organized access to information. The smart forms can dynamically change based on previous submissions and perform simple calculations. Moreover, all information collected on forms can be conveniently saved and easily processed. In the sales order process, Canon e-Forms are used to structure data and ensure that all required order details are captured by the sales team. The automation is triggered when a salesperson submits an e-Form. The robot picks up the new e-Form and extracts an offer from an XML file in TMHNO’s sales quotation program. Next, it adds the customer details to a back-office system and continues to another system to complete specifications about the ordered machine.
If the order is subject to e-sign or special design requests, the robot stops and notifies a human colleague to take action. If not, it completes the details on TMHNO’s ERP and back-office systems and submits the order. Orders that require human intervention return to the robot for completion after being approved.
Automating the sales order process has significantly improved the quality of TMHNO’s output by eliminating errors. This has led to a better customer experience, improved quality, and cost reduction in alignment with the company’s original goals.
People whose work has been directly impacted by the robot have received it very positively. The team has already been able to allocate time worth two full-time employees for more customer-facing work and quality checks. Perhaps most excitingly, the automation has enabled TMHNO to grow the business and handle more sales orders than was possible with a manual process.
“We had a record high March 2021, with a record number of machines ordered. I don’t think we would have been able to process orders for so many if we didn’t have the RPA solution in place. It enables us to follow the demands of the business and respond to the market quicker.”
Lars Petter Bjørgen, Sales Director, Toyota Material Handling Norway