Four little words that strike fear into the hearts of even the toughest managers: copy and paste errors. When workers must repeatedly copy information from one area of a screen to another, it doesn’t take long for ‘operator error’ to arise. Data become corrupted; databases and webpages become incorrect; and customers start wondering whether they really chose the right supplier. However, when you can do your screen scraping correctly just once and then replicate that quality automatically, the operator error disappears. This saves time and therefore money – most fitting for the case of the company Elite Clocks and its use of Automation Anywhere’s screen scraping.
Just in Time Screen Scraping
Elite Clocks provides the market with the best clocks and related products at excellent prices and with superlative service. To do this requires continually up dating data from online sources that is loaded into the company’s database records, inventory and information for customers. Previously this was done as a manual process. Errors were inevitable and the effort involved also meant inventory updates were often late. But automating the screen scraping and update process with Automation Anywhere allowed for a reduction of the time required from a week down to just one day.
The starting points for using Automation Anywhere for this kind of screen scraping project are often the smart macro recorder and the data pattern recognition function. The macro recorder lets users record once and automatically replay many times a manual data extraction operation. Automation Anywhere automatically builds a script of commands for replay. The script can then be edited, amended and extended using the inbuilt editor. SMART Automation means that the automated actions will also be able to handle resized webpage windows, redesigned pages and network delays. Data pattern matching means that Automation Anywhere will also automatically fetch all data of a certain type on a given web page or pages.
Reformatting, Transfer and Storage
For Elite Clocks, the next part of the solution was to then automatically transfer the results of the screen scraping into an Excel file, generate a text file (a CSV file for example), and load the contents of that text file into an online inventory database. All this is eminently possible with Automation Anywhere, and is just part of the total functionality available. Other customers also use Automation Anywhere to transfer and load data between applications such as CRM (customer relationship management) and ERP (enterprise resource planning), or from network management outposts to an online support alert system, for example.
A Classic No-Brainer?
In business, a ‘no-brainer’ is a solution that is so obviously advantageous that it would be silly not to use it. An example is using a software application that saves you as much money every month as the price you paid (just once) for a license. That’s what Elite Clocks found with Automation Anywhere. For anyone who wants to dig a little deeper, Automation Anywhere also has an integrated ROI (return on investment) calculator and graphic that shows customers how much better they’re doing by using the application.
If you’d like to know how Automation Anywhere, the automation software with extensive easy-to-use web recorder functionality, can help you plan your business automation processes and then automatically run them for you, try a free Automation Anywhere trial to see what it can do for you.