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Top global company Nouryon use automation to drive business growth

ABOUT

Nouryon is a global chemicals company, divested from AkzoNobel in 2018 and owned by private equity company Carlyle and Singapore Sovereign Wealth Fund GIC. It provides essential chemicals in the manufacturing of everyday products for industries like paper plastics, building materials, and personal care items. The company operates in more than 80 countries around the world.

THE CHALLENGE

Nouryon wanted to implement robotic process automation (RPA) to help grow their business. They started by talking to the Information Management (IM) team and explored solutions that would enable the business to do more with its resources. Process automation was one solution. The RPA team started the project in 2018 and set goals to create a scalable RPA infrastructure, build internal capabilities and governance, and automate more process use cases.

120

entities reconciled

100%

IT Compliance accuracy

75%

time reduced maintaining employee database

Sital

“Process Automation makes our lives easier. Implemented thoughtfully, we are more effective and successful at our jobs.”

-At Sital, Functional Domain Lead,
Smart Automation
quote

THE SOLUTION

To date the Information Management team has demonstrated value for automation in Finance, Human Resources and IT Management use cases. These processes were used to showcase the capability of RPA to various business departments, creating awareness for RPA value, and surfacing more automation use-cases. Now the Finance leadership team is interested in automation to optimize their processes.

Processes Automated

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Intercompany Reconciliation

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Employee Dataset consolidation

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IT Compliance controls

 

THE WHOLE STORY

The initial step for Nouryon was to assess the suitability of the vendor software on the market. The option chosen was based on how the RPA software worked, enabling the team to automate itself, its open-source capability, and operational ecosystem.

The Finance use case was concerned with intercompany reconciliation between the 120 legal entities within Nouryon. The process involved making sure that if one entity sent an invoice to another, both have booked it, and there was no mismatch against it. With the help of automation, the company is now managing this time-consuming process and can centralize it in one department instead of in many local entities.

In HR, a daily process to create a single source of employee information required that data from two databases was combined. An Excel spreadsheet had to be used to match and check the list. With automation this now runs overnight, eliminating the need for the daily 45-minute manual work.

With many staff, contractors, and vendors involved in IT projects across the business, the process to check any system changes against the InControl ruleset is moving from an annual report to an on-demand check with the help of automation. This has improved compliance and eliminates errors and omissions that could impact business negatively. Automation will support a strategic move from detective to preventive controls.

THE FUTURE

Nouryon is moving on from its RPA pilot stage and is working to implement automation into everyday processes to support business initiatives. With the Finance team leading the automation efforts, the HR and Procurement departments are now also seeing opportunities to use RPA and plan to start working on their own projects. The Information Management team will investigate other capabilities like optical character recognition, natural language processing, and machine learning when there are use cases in the business that demand this functionality.

“We are doing a lot of things that can be automated. RPA is definitely something we want to have in our toolbox.”

-At Sital, Functional Domain Lead,
Smart Automation quote

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