BekaertDeslee optimizes administration with RPA

While BekaertDeslee is specialized in producing high-quality mattress covers, the Belgian company is not one to rest on its laurels. As advocates of continuous improvement, the firm constantly seeks new ways to enhance its production, empower its employees and delight its customers. To accelerate and improve administration, the company recently started integrating robotic process automation (RPA).

During delaware’s innovation and co-creation event series, DEL20, the possibilities of RPA caught the eye of BekaertDeslee’s CIO Rik Holvoet: “As soon as the concept was explained, we were already thinking of the possibilities for our company. We quickly developed a concrete project idea to optimize a specific marketing-related process.”

New customization experience

The idea was to use RPA to extend BekaertDeslee’s BD Cloud – a platform where customers can configure their own mattresses. Rik: “It’s like a showroom where customers can choose from our wide range of fabrics, patterns, etc. to create their perfect mattress. They can save samples, configurations and images, share and discuss these with colleagues or clients and then refine them afterwards in a few clicks.” Because the company works with a huge number of fabrics and patterns and relies on numerous productions and stitching techniques, however, it’s impossible for humans to list all the possible combinations. That’s how RPA can help.

“RPA enables our people to avoid boring, tedious tasks, freeing up their time to focus on adding value and doing the work that interests and fulfils them.”

Rik Holvoet, CIO at BekaertDeslee.

People and machines work hand-in-hand

“In repetitive processes, robotic systems are ideal stand-ins for people: they are available 24/7 and can thus overcome issues like time zone differences, which may hamper productivity and efficiency between our branches around the world. Even more, machines don’t make mistakes no matter how long they’ve been working. However, it’s not our goal to replace people with machines. Rather, RPA enables our people to avoid boring, tedious tasks, freeing up their time to focus on adding value and doing the work that interests and fulfils them.”

As for future applications of RPA, Rik already has some ideas: “RPA could be a great alternative to custom SAP developments, of which we have quite a bit here. RPA techniques might, for example, be an efficient tool to standardize some of our accounting processes.”

Inspired? Kick off your company’s RPA journey by getting in touch with one of our process automation experts.

This article first appeared on Why and how BekaertDeslee explores RPA to optimize administration

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