Colleague robot moves into the office: Audi is now developing bots to carry out monotonous tasks for employees at PC workstations. The digital robots can perform tasks such as entering data or creating standardized reports faster, more efficiently and without errors. The company wants to relieve its employees of such work so that they can concentrate on complex and value-adding tasks. For this purpose, Audi built up development expertise in the area of robotic process automation (RPA) last year. In mid-2019, Audi IT founded a center of excellence that provides the central platform for RPA.
In the premium manufacturer’s production plants, man and machine have been working hand in hand for some years. Now, employees with PC workstations are also receiving help from robots in the form of a digital assistant called “Audi myMate.” After a pilot phase, the first virtual robot started work in asset accounting in August 2019 and has since been entering and booking capital goods in the system. The employees in this area have thus gained time for more demanding tasks such as analyzing the recorded data. At present, several bots are already in use for the Four Rings, and Audi intends to continuously increase the number of digital assistants.
The software robots imitate human employees in the desktop interface. They have their own identity, for example as SAP users, and work in a virtual environment. RPA is suitable for all processes in which decisions are made on the basis of clear “if-then” rules. Starting in 2020, the company plans to equip some of its digital assistants with artificial intelligence.
“With the introduction of RPA, we are pushing forward the digitalization of our business,” says Dr. Bernd Martens, Member of the Board of Management for Procurement and IT. “We are using bots to make our processes more efficient and faster, and at the same time are giving our employees more time for more interesting work – a win-win situation for everyone.”