Vale is one of the world’s largest mining companies committed to transforming natural resources into prosperity and sustainable development. With more than 124,000 employees, the company is based in Brazil and has offices in 30 other countries.
Vale wanted to reinvent work processes to enable employees to achieve their best productivity levels. The company’s employees had to complete many administrative tasks, including the registering of invoices, which were not related to their field of work. This work resulted in the loss of human capital as these workers were not utilized for their experience and knowledge. The company looked to RPA as a way for FTE’s to work alongside bots, allowing staff to focus on the traditional work while theDigital Workers handled the “boring” and repetitive work.
Bruno Rocha, Workforce Effectiveness Leader
The RPA journey started small, with experiments on smaller tasks requiring minimal resources. The company targeted processes in finance and in their back-office, which required a lot of manual and repetitive work. After implementing automation, the company quickly noticed an increase in employee satisfaction, who were now able to focus on more work that required ingenuity and expertise.
One of the main reasons Vale chose to work with Automation Anywhere as a strategic partner was because of their local presence in Brazil. Having Portuguese-speaking CSMs they could rely on for RPA support, made them feel that Automation Anywhere was investing its resources in LATAM to ensure continuous success of their customers in the region. Because automation was not prevalent in the country, there were not a lot of resources available to them. However, with the help of Automation Anywhere, after just a few months, the first bot went into production. Currently, there are more than 1,000 bots in production with more than 350 automation processes.
Not only did RPA help increase work productivity, but it also helped Vale avoid costly penalties. In one case, the company was receiving almost 6,000 invoices per day from city halls around Brazil. Due to the volume of invoices coming in, employees couldn’t analyze each document, and with that, there was a high risk of penalties. RPA was deployed to get through the backlog, and Vale structured a database to use SAP to compare invoice information inside the ERP. With that, invoices were processed efficiently, and employees could act before any penalties were applied. The estimated cost avoidance totaled to more than $2M.
After successfully implementing RPA within the corporate functions of the company, Vale now wants to focus on expanding automation to its primary operations. There are plans to speak with the people who work in mines, logistic rails, ports, shipping, and other areas of the core mining to showcase RPA capabilities and assess how automation can support them in their daily routines.