Metal flakes in ground meat? Sesotec uses RPA to automate global spare-part orders for sophisticated inspection systems for the food industry. Interruptions to these high-tech systems would mean that customer production stands still. Just by deploying of RPA, Sesotec finally digitized its spare-part procurement, both boosting revenue and cutting costs. Now, its employees enjoy having far fewer monotonous, manual hours of work. 

Metal flakes in ground meat? Half-empty praline packages? Sorting grain or PET bottles by color? The global food, plastic and recycling industries all around the world benefit from using the innovative, high-tech systems at German company Sesotec. Sesotec develops systems to handle product inspection, detect foreign bodies, and sort materials. Both large companies in the food industry and local butcher shops use these systems, allowing them to avoid customer complaints and costly recalls. A total of seven subsidiaries located in Asia, North America and Europe, and over 60 international partners operate and maintain more than 83,000 Sesotec system installations currently.  

Order-to-cash process: Automation increases revenue and efficiency 
The Sesotec systems comprise software and hardware components, for example short-range infrared cameras or measuring sensors. When systems are down, a number of risks come into play: When production is at a standstill, consumers receive contaminated products or systems are damaged. In turn, this results in delivery delays, revenue loss and dissatisfied customers. Subsidiaries and major customers around the world order spare parts for these business-critical systems directly from Sesotec. This is why Sesotec automated its order-to-cash process for spare-part orders using the RPA platform XceleratorOne® from Servicetrace. By automating these processes, the company generated substantial gains to both efficiency and revenue.  

Major customers require a wide range of product data and drawings to install the spare parts. Previously, employees copied this information only manually from SAP and into a product data management (PDM) system. The PDM system is a central repository for product-relevant data for everything from the product lifecycle to 2D drawings.  

Processing data on spare-part lists manually is time-intensive
Processing data on spare-part lists takes a lot of time, is monotonous – and prone to errors. As of 2019, the effort for this process cost approximately 15 hours per week, and counting. Positive business developments also mean growth in the order volume for spare parts. Because the ordering process is always the same, occurs frequently, and follows specific rules, it is highly suited for automation using Robotic Process Automation (RPA).  

RPA makes a key digitization project possible 
Another long-time goal at Sesotec has been the rollout of an online spare-part catalog to optimize the ordering process. However, this project has been “on hold” since 2017 because it was much too time-consuming to transfer data from all systems into an online system by hand.  

“Without RPA, it would have been impossible for us to roll out our online spare-part catalog. It would have taken us years to copy over the product and spare-part data.”

Sandra Hoffmann, Assistant of Group Director ServiceOptimizing the ordering process: RPA boosts both online revenue and customer satisfaction at Sesotec 
The automation offered by the Servicetrace X1 platform allowed Sesotec to implement the online spare-part catalog at last. Being able to quickly and correctly process spare-part orders is a priority for Sesotec customers: Rapid processing and delivery reduces production delays. As a result, this process is a deciding factor for high customer satisfaction. In addition, automating these processes frees Sesotec employees from numerous hours of monotonous, manual work. This time can now be reinvested into tasks that add value. 

Greater customer satisfaction: Fewer production stoppages, more revenue 
Sesotec saw the following automation results: 

  1. Acceleration: 24/7 availability and no wait times, meaning faster processing and delivery of spare-part orders  
  2. Improved quality: Error quota reduced  
  3. Revenue loss minimized: Decreases in the number of production stoppages for end customers led to fewer revenue losses 
  4. Time to add value: Automation reduces the employee workload – employees can now redirect their focus to tasks that add value and customer support 

Sesotec – an innovative high-tech company 

Sesotec GmbH has developed high-tech systems for detecting foreign bodies and sorting materials for a highly diverse range of requirements in close cooperation with its customers around the world since 1976. Sesotec helps its customers to manufacture products with the highest quality at the maximum possible value, while using resources wisely. In addition to its headquarters in Germany, Sesotec is represented in all the pivotal world markets with a total of seven subsidiaries in Singapore, China, the U.S.A., Italy, India, Canada, and Thailand, and 60 partners. 
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