Automating accounting and financial controlling processes for Adidas

Back-office automation for Adidas AG

Adidas AG, founded and headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, is one of the world largest and most famous sportswear manufacturers. RPA is an essential and growing tool within Adidas to manage and modernize hundreds of back-office processes.

For this project we had the opportunity to work in the famous Adidas Campus in Herzogenaurach to work on automating multiple processes in the finance department.

The goal of the project was to share our best practices and know-how to intelligently automate business processes through Robotic Process Automation, in order to increase both quality and speed of internal administration processes.

As a proof-of-technology, two business processes within the Accounting (invoicing) and Controlling (budgeting/forecasting) domain were selected. Within accounting we automated processing and generation of intercompany invoices. The sports brand has a huge amount of subsidiaries, generating thousands of invoices and intercompany recharges. In addition, since Adidas has daughter companies all over the world, business logic was quite complex. Reducing operational risk by eliminating human error in crucial steps led to a faster and leaner process. In the controlling process, for internal reporting requirements Adidas had to generate multiple forecasting and budgetting reports. These reports were created, handled and checked manually and took multiple FTEs to complete.

“We loved working with you and I am sure you will continue this success in the future!”

Mohammed Al Ghadban – Process Automation Manager – Platform Engineering and Architecture

Both processes presented a lot of challenges, such as integrating custom build SAP modules with in-house applications built by Adidas while using smart robotics to meet the highest quality standards. Both processes were successfully automated end-to-end with massive speed, throughput and quality increases as a result.

Video demo

Automated applications

SAP, Microsoft Office Excel, Chrome, Custom In-house Software

Implementation partner

Digital Innovation

Handling over 1.5M€ of unstructured payments for Hospital AZ Maria Middelares Gent every month.

This specific use-case for Finance addresses a major painpoint that every consumer-oriented business can face: unstructured payments. It happens to all of us: mistyping the structured notice or forgetting about it altogether or even making small errors in specifying the amount. The complexity rapidly increases once there are multiple outstanding invoices within your systems while the payments happen in an aggregated fashion, for example when you are working with a third party for collecting payments.

End-to-end automation

For this large hospital in Gent, Automagica robots are now processing for over 1.5 million euro worth of unstructured payments every month. Together with our implementation partner KIEN and consulting partner KPMG, the end-to-end process was fully automated. KPMG’s role in the project was building the Smart RPA business case and modelling the as-is and to-be processes for unstructured payments. The business case was immediately clear for the hospital and moving forward with Automagica was a clear choice: Automagica could perform the work of multiple fulltime equivalent workers, therefore generating a large amount of time and cost savings for the hospital. This allows the hospital’s valuable finance personnel to focus on higher value-adding tasks and increase the quality and throughput of the hospital’s finance department as a whole.

Implementation Partners

Digital Innovation and KPMG

Video Demo

Automated applications

SAP, Microsoft Office Excel, Bizagi

Electronic health record synchronization at large Belgian hospital

An electronic health record (EHR) is the systematized data collection of patient and population electronically stored health information in a digital format. EHRs may include a range of data, including demographics, medical history, medication and allergies, immunization status, laboratory test results, radiology images, vital signs, personal statistics like age and weight, and billing information.

This large Belgian hospital faced a challenge in synchronizing EHR data from their central applications to various in-house applications and systems. Automagica robots now synchronize this data safely from the source of truth to multiple subsystems, making it safer, faster and more convenient for hospital staff to provide quality healthcare.

The data synchronization required a 0% error rate, which is possible due to the Automagica portal. The portal monitors the processes 24/7 and high-quality automatic reports are generated and send multiple times a day to ensure flawless operation.

Video Demo

Invoice automation for Live Nation

Sportpaleis Group is a company that operates the largest theaters and concert halls in Belgium with over 2 million visitors each year.

One of their key goals is to provide excellent customer support. A popular customer request, especially from their business and enterprise customers, is to provide an invoice related to booked reservations and arrangements. In the past this was a manual process. Customers had to send their request by email to the finance department of Sportpaleis Group. The finance responsibles would then perform a list of checks and process the request to ultimately deliver an invoice to the customer by email.

We installed an Automagica robot capable of performing all those tasks without any form of human intervention. This involves navigating their proprietary ticketing software as well as the accounting software. Instead of sending an e-mail, users can now simply fill in a web form after which the robot will perform all necessary steps to email the invoice back to the end user.

Using this solution, their finance department has more time to focus on quality work while the robot performs this repetitive task in the background. Thousands of invoice requests have already been processed end-to-end, fully automatically by the Automagica robot. Down below is a recording of the robot in action.

Would you like to learn more about Automagica, our Smart Robotic Process Automation software and its capabilities to automate even the most complex processes? Get in touch with us at hello@oakwood.ai or sales@automagica.be.

Video Demo

Updating exchange rates in SAP

For financial reporting requirements, one of our clients has to continuously keep track of exchange rates for international currencies in its  SAP system. In the past, our client had outsourced this activity to a team in India, keeping track of the international currency exchange rates and updating them manually in SAP for each international currency pair. This was a daily and manual routine, however unfortunately resulting in a lot of errors in entering the data. When errors occurred, this generated a backlash on the financial reporting, requiring a lot of rework and causing reporting delays.

With Automagica, updating these exchange rates becomes a breeze to automate. The Automagica robot visits the website of the European Central Bank, taking note of the most up-to-date market exchange rates for foreign currencies. It then logs into our clients SAP system to automatically maintain the currency exchange rates with the OB08 transaction. If an exchange rate for a particular pair already exists, it is either replaced or skipped.

In the video below, you can see our robot in the SAP sandbox environment for one of our implementation partners:

The robot is started through the Automagica Portal, one of the enterprise features we are offering to our Automagica clients.

Using our Automagica robot, our client was able to fully automate the process of updating foreign currency exchange rates in its SAP system, resulting in a 0% error rate with regards to exchange rates and timely financial reporting.

Would you like to learn more about Automagica, our Smart Robotic Process Automation software and its capabilities to automate even the most complex processes? Get in touch with us at hello@oakwood.ai or sales@automagica.be.

Automated digital signing of contracts with eID in Retail

For Auva a robot was developed that completely integrates the Belgian government-issued electronic ID within a contract signing process. This allows Auva to provide their customers with a seamless experience when they need to sign a legally binding document from within Auva’s retail stores.

For renting a PC or notebook, Auva provides a range of flexible solutions. In the past, the contract would have to be drafted and filled in by an Auva employee manually, which would quickly take up a couple of minutes with a risk of (human) errors. Now the customer only has to provide his eID and the contract is drafted automatically, ready for signing, reducing the entire process to less than one minute for the customer and reducing the risk of human errors to nearly zero.

Introduced for the first time at their yearly event “ComputerFestival 2018”, Auva now offers their clients and contacts this easier way to sign legally binding contracts with them. Soon the solution will be rolled out to all of their retail stores to further increase the efficiency and reduce waiting times for their customers.

Auva offers end-to-end servicing in IT for small businesses and home users. Their highly specialized personnel is ready to provide you with tailored advice. Check out their website for more information: www.auva.be.

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