Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte

A digital Sherpa along the way to automation

"Democracy is where the people affected make the decisions“ – as the German philosopher Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker so aptly expressed it. This is more relevant for companies today than ever before. New technologies are successful only if employees can be actively brought on board – from the very beginning. BSH Hausgeräte GmbH recognized this fact. Fujitsu accompanies and partners with BSH on this exciting journey.

Challenge

Company-wide RPA scaling with the highest possible employee involvement.

Solution

  • Customized RPA democratization workshop
  • Intensive coaching by Fujitsu experts

Outcomes

  • Evaluating the existing RPA program
  • Establishing a company-wide vision for RPA democratization
  • Identifying automation potential in new areas
  • Creating development standards and synergies
  • Adapting the current RPA model as well as the workflows, platform and infrastructure
From the inside out: Thanks to co-creation, we were able to lay the cornerstone for democratization together with Fujitsu.

Ralf Pauer, Head of the Competence Center for Intelligent Automation, Global Business Services, BSH

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process ideas and use cases were developed by the BSH staff solely during the BSH Automation Weeks.

The customer

Founded in 1967, BSH Hausgeräte GmbH has grown from a German export company to one of the world's leading manufacturers of household appliances and provider of digital functions, services and content. BSH produces the entire range of modern household appliances in 40 production facilities around the world. Its goal is to improve people's quality of life with outstanding brands, high-quality products and innovative solutions.

Democratization is the key

When it comes to robotic process automation (RPA), BSH Hausgeräte GmbH is a known quantity. The internationally renowned manufacturer of household appliances has been using automated processes in its Shared Service Center for some time now. "As we gained more experience with RPA, we soon saw the importance of expanding RPA to the entire organization," says Ralf Pauer, Head of the Competence Center for Intelligent Automation at BSH. As with any other technology, one thing holds true for scaling RPA: Companies can be successful only if they manage to bring their employees on board and integrate them into a comprehensive democratization process at an early stage. In other words, the use of new technology should not be decided "behind closed doors." Instead, the decision needs to be made by the employees involved in order to actively use and further develop software robots, known as bots.

"We wanted to familiarize our workforce with the new approach as early as possible," remarks René Hinkfoth, Global Business Services Manager at BSH. "That is the only way to alleviate fears and build enthusiasm and interest over the long term." After all, BSH's employees not only had to accept RPA but also be able to identify and implement optimization potential themselves in the future.

A flexible companion for development from the inside out

"Fujitsu turned out to be the perfect fit for supporting our concerns," Ralf Pauer adds. "A partner with the experience and knowledge needed to accompany us throughout our automation journey, no matter where we are at a give point." As a "digital Sherpa," Fujitsu takes on different roles, depending on the company's level of experience and specific requirements.

In the first step, Fujitsu and BSH jointly developed a one-day democratization workshop. Experts from Fujitsu led and moderated the workshop. The objective was not only to understand democratization as such but also to analyze BSH-specific challenges, potential and internal and external dependencies. "To identify needs, develop a vision of the future and lay the groundwork for the democratization process, we must first establish a common understanding," says Bastian Nägelein, Business Developent Manager at Fujitsu.

Putting theory into practice

The BSH Automation Weeks were one of the workshop results, with Fujitsu acting as coach. Over a period of four weeks, employees from Accounting, Controlling, Logistics, Customer Service, Purchasing and HR learned the principles of RPA and developed process ideas for their own departments. At the end of the event, some of these ideas were even put directly into practice during a competition. A total of 187 employees participated, and they developed more than 70 process ideas.

"Our colleagues were enthusiastic," René Hinkfoth concludes. And Ralf Pauer sums up the experience. "The event enabled us to alleviate reservations and generate enthusiasm for RPA. The next step is to make use of this momentum and forge ahead. One thing is certain: This wasn't our last set of Automation Weeks."

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