LEAN – Are robots taking over our office?

As we at TT Gaskets are LEANing towards the future, we want to streamline more than just our factory floor. Our process requires more work than what can physically be seen in the production. Offering products, handling orders and purchasing materials include plenty of “routine tasks”.

Are routines actually necessary? 

These routines take more of our time than we expect as those are the tasks we do on a daily basis. We consider them as part of our job, even though they are not actually necessary anymore. Just like in the factory floor, robots and automation are doing the repetitive tasks so we as humans can focus on more challenging and productive work. The same can be done in the office as well.

Easier said than done, but not that difficult after all 

Automating the use of different systems is actually easier than it sounds. It doesn’t require large investments on software development and updates as current system interfaces can be used with RPA. Robotic Process Automation is used to create automatic workflows that imitate the mouse movement, clicks and keyboard input we humans do. Thus, automating the tasks we would otherwise do manually each time.

RPA software is relatively easy (and cheap) to use in comparison to the benefits of timesaving and productivity it potentially gives. Of course, it requires clearer and more unambiguous instructions than a summer trainee, but after that it can be left alone to perform the task it has been given.

Significant timesaving potential and productivity-boost 

We have estimated that at best, one single automated workflow that processes orders can save tens of hours of work per year. Let alone, reducing the number of oversights, typing errors and double- booking errors that cause plenty of harm later on. The time saved can be used to help our sales team in offer calculations, give better customer service and overall develop the job of coordinators. This is why we are soon piloting the first RPA applications in the office.

We hope that LEANing our office (and production) creates a positive feedback loop that leads to more time saved in the routines, thus giving us more time to become better at what we do best. Providing Smarter Sealing for a Safer Future is easier when you are productive and do meaningful and pleasant work rather than just struggle with routine tasks.