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Digital process automation: Bonitasoft tool boosts BPM work

Evoke Technologies, an IT services provider, has been using Bonitasoft’s digital process automation tool and getting results for clients in manufacturing and life sciences.

Evoke, based in Dayton, Ohio, focuses on areas including cloud computing, big data analytics and business process management (BPM). The latter field is where Evoke is getting a lift from Bonitasoft’s DPA technology. DPA offerings aim to automate an organization’s digital processes. It crosses paths with both BPM and robotic process automation (RPA).

Low-code DPA tools offer a quick path to automation, enabling BPM initiatives or, some industry observers would say, evolving BPM into an approach that meets the fast-paced demands of digital transformation.

Manufacturing projects

Older BPM technology has acquired a reputation of being too complicated for business users to readily grasp. Evoke has come across such cases and helped turn around a deployment at Hyster-Yale, a lift truck manufacturer based in Portland, Ore.

“They had in place a legacy BPM platform that was extremely complex and extremely expensive to maintain and support,” said Adam Korzeniowski, vice president of sales at Evoke. “They were coming up to the end of license with that BPM vendor and started exploring opportunities to replace the BPM system with something more lightweight.”

A consulting firm recommended Bonitasoft to Hyster-Yale and the company moved forward with the implementation. The project encountered difficulties, however, and Bonitasoft introduced Evoke, one of its channel partners, to Hyster-Yale, Korzeniowski noted.

Evoke’s initial project was around change order management. When a Hyster-Yale customer or internal engineer requests a deviation of a standard part — a new type of switch for an actuator, for example — a complex process of reviews and approvals follows. The documentation department, for example, must update the technical drawing of the altered component. The finance department has to make sure how the change will affect the overall cost of the product. The customer service team must check on inventory levels.

Evoke used Bonitasoft’s digital process automation offering to automate the change order management process. The project took five months of development, Korzeniowski said, noting the customer believes the development process on Bonita software is 10 times faster compared with traditional methods.  He also noted licensing cost savings in the transition from the previous BPM platform to BonitaSoft.

Change order management is a complex but low-volume process. Korzeniowski said Hyster-Yale handles 600 to 700 change requests globally per month. That contrasts with the repetitive, high-volume use cases traditionally associated with RPA. DPA may be viewed as taking on lower-volume, higher-complexity end-to-end processes, including those involving human interaction. Some RPA adopters, however, are taking on more complex processes.

Evoke completed the change order management assignment in October 2018 and moved on to a second project involving Hyster-Yale’s excess and obsolete inventory management process, which concluded in March 2019. A third project at the manufacturer is underway and scheduled for completion in December 2019.

Pharma takes on digital process automation

A pharmaceutical customer, meanwhile, tapped Evoke for a series of BPM projects in which it also used the Bonitasoft DPA offering. The customer’s in-vitro studies, which involve numerous handoffs among scientists, chemists and analysts, had been coordinated through email and Excel spreadsheets. Automating those exchanges saved the pharmaceutical company about 11,000 workers hours, Korzeniowski said. Evoke also helped automate the customer’s in-vivo clinical trial process.

Laboratory asset management was another task for Evoke. The pharmaceutical client must keep tabs on multi-million-dollar gear such as centrifuges and mass spectrometers. Evoke used Bonitasoft to automate the process of tracking equipment as it moves from lab to lab or into warehouses for storage if a lab is being renovated. The tracking also extends to equipment donated to academic researchers or sent back to the manufacturer as a trade-in for new gear.

Evoke’s BPM projects point to digital process automation as another component of the digital transformation toolbox and one partners may well consider, alongside RPA, as they pursue projects.

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