How did EURALIS manage to automate the transfer of complex data in less than a month with RPA?
We needed to find a solution that would enable us to transfer 120,000 lines of complex data between two VIF applications. Manual transfer would have been very costly, a source of errors, and a long and painful process for our teams. Talan immediately suggesting automating this data transfer with the UiPath RPA solution, which allowed us to complete the project on time!
Loic Le Lionnais, Information Systems Manager at EURALIS
Context and challenges: automate and secure the merger of two VIF applications in a short timeframe
Created in 1936 in the South West of France, EURALIS is an agricultural and agri-food cooperative. Currently present in 120 countries worldwide, in 2019 it generated turnover of €1.37 billion and employed 12,000 farmers and more than 5,000 employees on 5 continents. The cooperative is organised around four divisions:
- Investment and development
- Food (culinary workshops: duck section and catering section).
In the catering section, one of the group's entities began to overhaul its strategic vision in 2018 and wanted to merge the servers of several legal entities. This situation put the sales management tools at the forefront. Up to that time, the entity had been using two VIF applications (one for supermarkets and hypermarkets and one for local stores). Management therefore expressed the need to merge these two VIF applications.
This merger involved a considerable transfer of data on import and export functions not available as standard in the VIF ERP for reasons of complexity. These data (‘LATs’ – price action lines) are essential for administration of the group’s sales as they include price degradation parameters (discounts granted to customers).
The Sales Department therefore approached the Group’s Information Systems Department to find a solution to transfer all this information. Two options immediately emerged:
- Specific development with VIF
- Manual processing of data
These two methods proved to be very costly both financially and in terms of manpower.
“We estimated a workload of 80 man-days and a period of 6 months for manual recovery, which is really huge, especially given an already busy schedule.”
Euralis’s Information Systems Department approached Talan’s teams to find out whether other innovative technological solutions existed on the market to simplify and automate data transfer at a lower cost.
The solution: automate the data transfer and relieve teams of repetitive tasks with RPA
Talan proposed an RPA solution with UiPath that would replace users having to carry out the transfer manually, by fully automating the export and import chain. In addition, RPA provides control in the transitional phase (verification of data completeness, accuracy, etc.) and compliance (control of data validity, switch to new reference lists, etc.).
A POC was set up with the Talan teams to demonstrate that the RPA met the need at a lower cost than the two solutions previously considered and with a reduced risk of error. Talan's teams then worked for two days in mid-March (just before lockdown) to implement RPA at Euralis.
In terms of immediate results and benefits, the RPA solution for this data transfer project has proven that all lines can be transferred in two or three days. Robotisation has also made it possible to secure and make data more reliable, while respecting the planned lead times for the project as robots can operate 24/7. In all, including preliminary scoping work and robot configuration, automation via the UiPath tool enabled data recovery in less than one month, compared to the 6 months estimated for manual recovery.
“RPA was the best possible solution, especially in light of the COVID-19 crisis that has hit us all. Manual data transfer would have mobilised the sales administration team, already limited in number and subject to a heavy workload at the best of times. With the health crisis, all these teams have been working from home. Orchestrating such a data transfer and pacing the project through remote meetings, at the same time as managing day-to-day life turned upside-down by the crisis, would have been far too complicated and time-consuming.”
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