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Using RPA for Efficient Workflow Management: An Automation Success Story for ShipLab

By May 29, 2024Automation
Using RPA for Efficient Workflow Management An Automation Success Story for ShipLab

Our latest blog explores a recent engagement where a leading logistics company sought Bitcot to revolutionize its rate inquiry process through automation. 

Grappling with the time-consuming and error-prone task of manually gathering and comparing rates from multiple parcel providers, our client recognized the need for a transformative solution. 

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) emerged as the game-changer, promising not only substantial time savings but also unparalleled accuracy and efficiency gains.

Our client’s employees spent countless hours navigating various parcel provider websites, inputting package details, and meticulously compiling rates – a laborious and repetitive endeavor. Errors were inevitable, leading to potential revenue leakages and suboptimal service selections.

Our client embarked on an RPA journey, harnessing the power of RPA solutions for streamlining operations.

This blog post delves into the intricate details of their RPA implementation, highlighting the challenges overcome, the strategies employed, and the remarkable results achieved. In our discussion of this project, we’ll delve into real-world examples of robotic process automation to provide practical insights, guidance, and understanding.

The Client Challenge and Manual Process Issues

The Client Challenge and Manual Process Issues jpg

Currently, the manual completion of these tasks by the client is time-consuming and labor-intensive. 

Gathering and comparing parcel provider rates manually entails a series of intricate steps, each demanding meticulous attention to detail and a significant investment of time and resources. These steps include:

  • Input Gathering: Collecting details like package weight, dimensions, destination, and shipping speed.
  • Rate Inquiry: Accessing multiple parcel provider websites or contacting them to request rates.
  • Data Entry: Manually inputting the details into each provider’s rate inquiry system.
  • Rate Comparison: Compiling and comparing the obtained rates to determine the best option.

The manual process of gathering and comparing parcel provider rates takes several hours, hampering decision-making and diverting resources from strategic tasks. 

Manual processes are also prone to errors, leading to suboptimal decisions and potential losses in cost efficiency and service quality.

The Need for Automated Rate Fetching and Comparison in Parcel Delivery

The client required a solution to accurately fetch the rates from various parcel providers based on specific input details they provide. This input included parameters such as package weight, dimensions, destination, and preferred shipping speed. 

The goal was to automate the process of obtaining the most current and relevant rates for parcel delivery, ensuring that the client receives timely and accurate pricing information to make informed shipping decisions.

Automation is the key to enhancing productivity and reducing manual tasks. One powerful tool for achieving this is RPA, which integrates seamlessly with various platforms to automate workflows. 

Using RPA, a software robot can be programmed to log into each parcel provider’s website, input the specific details provided, navigate through the rate calculation process, extract the relevant pricing information, and consolidate it into a comprehensive report.

Our RPA Solution: Automating Shipping Rate Inquiries with Secure Data Integration

Our RPA Solution Automating Shipping Rate Inquiries with Secure Data Integration jpg

To streamline the client’s needs, we developed an RPA solution that automates the rate-fetching process from various parcel providers. The automation solution involves:

  • Secure Data Access: Automating access to a SharePoint folder where input files are securely stored, ensuring that only authorized personnel can access the data.
  • Automated File Handling: Utilizing a direct URL for uploading input files using a standardized template, which simplifies data entry and ensures consistency.
  • Workflow Automation: Automatically triggering the rate comparison process upon file upload, processing the input details, and generating an output file with the best rate options, sent directly to the client’s email.

This RPA system not only reduces manual effort but also increases accuracy by standardizing the input and output format and minimizing human error in data entry and rate comparison.

Achieving Up to 90% Time Savings: The Impact of RPA on Parcel Rate Inquiries

Achieving Up to 90 Time Savings The Impact of RPA on Parcel Rate Inquiries jpg

In the traditional approach, processing rate inquiries was a time-consuming task that demanded meticulous attention to detail. Employees spend more time gathering data, inputting details into various systems, and comparing rates. 

This manual process is not only labor-intensive but also prone to human error, leading to inconsistencies and delays.

Implementing an RPA solution revolutionized the rate inquiry process for our client. By automating data collection, input, and comparison tasks, the time required to complete these inquiries was drastically reduced. 

  • Manual Process: Typically takes 2-3 hours to gather data, input details, and compare rates.
  • Automated Process: Reduces the time to about 15-30 minutes from start to finish.

The adoption of RPA has led to a remarkable time saving of up to 90%. This efficiency gain has allowed employees to redirect their efforts towards more strategic and value-added activities.

Flow Demonstration: Automating Rate Inquiries with RPA from SharePoint Access to Result Delivery

Flow Demonstration Automating Rate Inquiries with RPA from SharePoint Access to Result Delivery jpg

The automation flow comprises a meticulously orchestrated sequence of operations, meticulously designed to optimize efficiency and accuracy throughout the rate inquiry process. 

  • Accessing SharePoint: The RPA bot accesses the SharePoint folder through a secure URL. Users log in with their client-specific credentials.
  • Uploading Files: The bot uploads the input files to SharePoint using a provided template. Files are named with the current date to prevent conflicts.
  • Processing Data: Upon file upload, the automation is triggered. The RPA system processes the file, fetches rates from various providers, and compiles the best options.
  • Sending Results: The best rate options are sent to a designated email address, completing the workflow.

This automated flow ensures a seamless and efficient process from accessing data in SharePoint to delivering the final results. The entire workflow, which previously took several hours, is now completed in a fraction of the time. 

By automating these steps, the company not only achieves significant time savings but also enhances accuracy and consistency in rate inquiries. 

Final Results: Boosting Productivity, Accuracy, and Efficiency with RPA for Shipping Rate Inquiries

Final Results Boosting Productivity Accuracy and Efficiency with RPA for Shipping Rate Inquiries jpg

The adoption of the RPA solution has yielded transformative results across key operational dimensions. It’s fundamentally reshaping the organizational landscape and driving efficiency gains that reverberate throughout the business ecosystem. 

  • Increased Productivity: Employees are now free from tedious manual rate inquiries, allowing them to focus on more value-added activities.
  • Enhanced Accuracy: The standardization of the data entry and retrieval process minimizes errors and ensures consistency across transactions.
  • Improved Efficiency: The overall speed of processing rate inquiries has improved, leading to faster decision-making and enhanced service delivery to end customers.

In essence, the implementation of the RPA solution marks a pivotal milestone in the organization’s journey toward operational excellence.

By harnessing the power of automation, the company not only amplifies productivity, accuracy, and efficiency but also redirects valuable human resources toward more strategic and value-added activities.

How You Can Optimize File Management for Seamless Automation

How You Can Optimize File Management for Seamless Automation jpg

In any automated workflow, efficient management of input files is a cornerstone for seamless execution. From accessing the designated storage location to ensuring data integrity and consistency, each step plays a vital role in streamlining the automation process

In this context, navigating the SharePoint folder where input files reside marks the initial crucial step. 

To begin with, accessing the SharePoint folder where your input files will be stored is the first crucial step. By clicking on the provided URL, you can easily navigate to the folder.

If prompted, logging in with the client credentials supplied by your organization is necessary. This step ensures that only authorized personnel can access the files, maintaining the security and integrity of your data.

Next, uploading your input files using the provided template is vital for consistency and accuracy in the automation process. The direct URL to the upload location simplifies this task. 

By adhering to the template or renaming the file with the current date before uploading, you ensure that the system recognizes and processes the files correctly. 

An important note to remember is that if you upload a file with the same name repeatedly, a prompt will appear asking whether to replace the old file or keep both. To avoid disrupting the flow, it is recommended to select the option to keep both.

Upon successful file upload, the automation flow is triggered automatically. The system processes the input file, and the output file is sent to the designated email address, completing the workflow seamlessly.

Enhancing Shipping Rate Inquiries with Power Automate Integration

For more complex workflows, Power Automate can be highly beneficial. You can streamline your document management processes with ease through Power Automate integration with SharePoint, ensuring seamless collaboration and efficient workflows.

Start by navigating to the Power Automate login page via the provided URL and logging in with the client credentials supplied by your organization. 

Once logged in, click on the SharePoint account to proceed further. Within the SharePoint account, locate and click on the “Shipping” section, followed by the “See All” button to access additional options.

Uploading input files using the template is a crucial step that remains consistent across different workflows. The same procedure mentioned earlier applies here, ensuring that the files adhere to the template and are named appropriately to avoid conflicts. 

Upon successful file upload, the flow is triggered automatically, processing the input file and sending the output file to the designated email address.

To ensure a smooth automation process, always use the provided template for consistency. Renaming files with the current date helps avoid conflicts and ensures a seamless workflow. Additionally, keeping client credentials secure and not sharing them unnecessarily is essential for maintaining the security of your data.

By following these steps and tips, you can effectively use RPA to automate your workflows, save time, and enhance productivity. 

Automating tasks with Microsoft Power Automate enables you to streamline repetitive processes, such as data entry and email notifications, leading to increased operational efficiency.

Final Thoughts

RPA is a game-changer in the world of workflow management, offering organizations the ability to automate manual, repetitive tasks with precision and efficiency. Businesses can streamline their operations and ensure cost savings with RPA implementation.

While the implementation of RPA may seem daunting initially, following a structured approach and partnering with experienced RPA vendors like Bitcot can ensure a smooth transition. 

As demonstrated by the real-world example of automating parcel rate inquiries, the outcomes are tangible and can significantly impact an organization’s competitiveness. Moreover, the benefits of RPA for small businesses will revolutionize traditional workflows, enhancing efficiency, accuracy, and productivity. 

Embrace the power of automation and unlock new levels of efficiency with RPA. Stay ahead of the curve and position your organization for success in the ever-evolving business landscape. Get in touch with our RPA experts today to learn more about RPA benefits and how we can help implement an RPA solution for your business.


Raj Sanghvi

Raj Sanghvi is a technologist and founder of BitCot, a full-service award-winning software development company. With over 15 years of innovative coding experience creating complex technology solutions for businesses like IBM, Sony, Nissan, Micron, Dicks Sporting Goods, HDSupply, Bombardier and more, Sanghvi helps build for both major brands and entrepreneurs to launch their own technologies platforms. Visit Raj Sanghvi on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter. View Full Bio