AI-powered RPA bots set new order creation benchmarks at Horizon Global
Horizon Global is the leading designer, manufacturer, and distributor of a wide variety of high-quality, custom-engineered towing, trailering, cargo management, and related accessory products. The company serves original equipment manufacturers, retailers, dealer networks, and consumers as a category leader in the automotive, leisure, and agricultural market segments.
Manual processing of customer purchase orders created significant administrative burdens for Horizon Global. The validation and entry of each order was labor-intensive, time-consuming, and error-prone, requiring valuable resources to manage each part of the process. This often led to slow fulfillment and impacted customer satisfaction.
Horizon Global wanted to leverage Robotic Process Automation (RPA) not only to improve customer service and timely order fulfillment, but also to maximize efficiencies, improve accuracy, and manage volume spikes with minimal employee turnover.
increase in data entry accuracy
hours saved per month
decrease in processing cost
"It’s amazing to see how RPA can be launched in such a short time with immediate savings.”
—Raj Singh, Global Head of Applications, Horizon Global
In partnership with Thirdware, Horizon Global implemented Automation Anywhere Enterprise A2019 and IQ Bot and launched a pilot to streamline their order processing. The company identified an RPA owner from IT and one from business to drive and manage the RPA initiative and started with two use cases to demonstrate quick wins. Automating the customer order creation process has freed the customer service team to focus on more challenging and engaging activities that add value to the organization and its customers.
Customer order creation
THE WHOLE STORY
Horizon Global receives more than 36,000 customer purchase orders annually in non-electronic data interchange (EDI) format. Each customer order needs to be validated for accuracy and entered into the Epicor enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. When a customer order is received via email or fax, the Enterprise A2019 sales order bot downloads the customer order document and routes it to the IQ Bot for data extraction and further processing. IQ Bot automatically reads and extracts data from customer order, such as company name, shipping address and instructions, order number, and requested date—regardless of the document format (Word, PDF, JPG) and how it’s displayed. The extracted information is then validated for accuracy and business rules, such as available inventory and orders on hold.
Exceptions reporting is handled through email notifications to the customer service team, as are all order details, whether processed successfully or put on hold.
The RPA solution works non-intrusively on the Epicor ERP application and minimizes touch points in order processing without disrupting business operations.
Streamlining the customer order creation process from start to finish has eliminated inefficient steps and improved communication with customers, making it more efficient, personalized, and cost-effective.
After the successful pilot, Horizon Global has been reviewing its business processes and have identified many automation opportunities. The company has selected two focus areas for the next phase of its RPA implementation: employment and training administration (ETA) reporting and process understanding and technical feasibility for cash applications.
In addition, the company plans to leverage a combination of attended and unattended automation, along with IQ Bot, to identify and automate other areas that currently rely on significant manual and repetitive work.
“Automation of this process has led to a decrease in manual errors and freed up time for handling more complicated orders.”
— Scot Sloan, Customer Service Manager, Horizon Global
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