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With RPA, Eastman gives employees the power to do more

ABOUT

Eastman, headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, is a global specialty materials company that produces innovative products and solutions such as additives, specialty chemicals and fibers found in everyday products. With 14,500 employees around the world, the company serves customers in more than 100 countries and had $10 billion in revenue in 2018.

THE CHALLENGE

In order to equip and empower employees to do more meaningful work, the company wanted to use RPA to eliminate parts of the job that were repetitive and routine. Automation was a way to make processes more efficient and help save costs.

20,000+

Hours saved annually

120+

Bots in production

10+

Orgs using RPA

David Cowles

“RPA empowers employees to do more meaningful work.”

-Marshall Couch, Intelligent Automation Consultant quote

THE SOLUTION

After using a testing tool to automate parts of the business, the company saw the value of RPA and got excited to do more. They decided they needed something more purpose-built, scalable and a bit more user- friendly. After an evaluation of tools available, Automation Anywhere’s RPA was selected because the platform had the ability for unattended bots, large and complex automations, and the setup process was intuitive and easily learned.

Processes Automated

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HR

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Accounting

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Procurement

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Supply chain

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Data processing

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Finance processes

 

THE WHOLE STORY

While they were able to implement attended bots into production fairly quickly, it took about five months for the first unattended bot to be implemented, a longer process because the company chose to automate larger, more complex processes. To date, there are more than 100 attended bots and 20 unattended bots in production.

RPA was first implemented in the company’s finance groups in areas where employees were using Excel to process data. After successfully automating in finance, RPA was expanded to other departments including the supply chain group and procurement. Currently, Eastman has 120 bot creator licenses, and more than 10 groups across the organization are using automation. With bots extracting data in bulk and uploading information straight into spreadsheets and tables, employees were freed up to do more creative and higher value work.

Eastman has led hour-long bot building workshops to help spread the word about RPA. With this program they have reached more than 300 people. Eastman has also hosted eight bot-a-thons at various locations around the world. Teams of five work to build a working bot for a real-world process in two days. Teams at bot-a-thons are excited when they begin, and even more excited when they leave. The teams get to choose creative names like “How A-Bot That,” “BotChain,” and “Botaholics” for their teams.

LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE

While the focus has mainly been on automating business functions, the company is now looking into expanding its RPA program into other areas as well with interest from the manufacturing and engineering teams. The RPA team has no plans on slowing down and wants to implement more unattended bots before the end of the year.

“We certainly don’t plan on slowing down. I think RPA is here to stay.”

-Marshall Couch, Intelligent Automation Consultant quote

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