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Maintaining supply chains in today’s economy involves a huge amount of effort – this is especially true when perishable foods are being processed and transported. Scientists from the Universities of Northampton and Birmingham have investigated the extent to which Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can be helpful in overcoming these challenges, using the beef industry as an example. They came to the conclusion that RPA can make such supply chains significantly more efficient and minimize risks in terms of quality, safety and food protection.

Stagnation entails risks

For a long time, sectors such as the beef industry have relied almost exclusively on human labor. In times of a skilled labor shortage, however, this model is reaching its limitations. It is also vulnerable to disruption, as demonstrated not least by the coronavirus pandemic, which has also completely paralyzed the production of numerous food producers in Germany. According to the researchers, the “risk of random disease epidemics disrupting the operations of food processors” has actually increased since then, as many actors have hardly drawn any conclusions from the pandemic.

RPA can be the solution

Considering this situation and the generally advancing digitalization of the economy, the researchers see RPA solutions as a decisive competitive advantage that is also easy and relatively inexpensive to implement: “Robotic Process Automation frees human employees from monotonous activities in supply chain systems and allows them to focus on the company’s goals”, the study states. “The use of RPA in supply chain systems has led to significant cost reductions and has had a positive impact on productivity and the company’s strategic goals.”

Digital assistants work 24 hours a day without interruption, which has accelerated production in the examined companies and ensured greater efficiency. “Robotic Process Automation tools can also adapt to demand, are more scalable and can reuse components to support the automation of different tasks,” the authors say. Taken together, this is a “huge advantage that improves customer service and overall supply chain operations”.

Based on various simulations, the researchers came to the conclusion that Robotic Process Automation improves the safety, quality and traceability of beef. “The use of RPA ensures greater efficiency at operational and employee level,” they conclude. “The nutritional value, hygiene, safety and traceability of the beef are […] greatly improved due to rapid production and processing at all stages of the supply chain.” Productivity has almost doubled thanks to the use of RPA.

Link to the study

"Fred", your digital Assistant

“Fred” is a digital assistant developed by Brain4Data that combines capabilities from the fields of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Augmented Intelligence (AI). He streamlines work processes by bundling and processing information and providing it at the right time. In this way, “Fred” frees up his human colleagues and reduces unnecessary communication effort within the company. The digital assistant works across departments and thus merges all relevant information – for example from sales, production, logistics and accounting.

“Fred” independently alerts you of important business events and provides tailored recommendations for action. The digital assistant also offers modules for sales optimization, project and personnel resource planning, construction object qualification and much more. “Fred” can process data from all common programs such as Excel or SAP applications. This means that companies can keep their existing IT infrastructure intact and employees can continue to work with their familiar software.

About Brain4Data

Brain4Data GmbH und Co KG in the German town of Saarwellingen develops solutions in the fields of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Augmented Intelligence (AI). We analyze communication and processes in companies. On this basis, we identify automation potential that supports a flawless stream of work and communication. We also offer the digital assistant “Fred”, which can be used to automate processes and simplify workflows.