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Rapid automation: dairy cooperative Pienas LT replaces paper waybills with electronic ones

2021 / 11 / 26

The accelerating today’s environment does not go with manually filled waybills. Replacing paper documents with electronic ones as quickly and “painlessly” as possible, filling them in and managing using a mobile app – that is the result that the dairy cooperative Pienas LT, which has started digitalising this process in cooperation with the software services company Novian Systems, is going for.

“Fast business processes, efficient data, and the resulting insights and results are a necessity for most of today’s businesses or organisations. Thus, although we have automated a number of activities, in the face of a global pandemic, we have seen that we cannot continue working the way we used to, and we are currently working on a project that we find very important – the digitalisation of waybill data and accounting,” said Vytautas Rimkus, IT Project Manager at Pienas LT.

According to him, “paper” processes are becoming increasingly inconvenient and create excessive technical work for the company’s employees. This automation stage is expected to make the employees’ working time much more productive. In addition, according to V. Rimkus, this change will prevent human errors, and the necessary data will be uploaded to the systems in real-time.

Chose low-code solution

The Pienas LT representative said that automation and digitalisation processes had been an integral part of the business strategy since the beginning of the plant’s operations.

“We have started the digitisation journey with fully automated production. This was followed by the digitalisation of accounting and business management processes and intelligent, informative, and modern analytics. We are currently working in this direction with one of the main business processes – the digitalisation of milk collection waybill data and accounting, which is directly related to many stakeholders: milk suppliers, drivers, company administration staff,” V. Rimkus said.

According to him, that is why it was important that this step would meet the expectations of all parties and be modern and rapid, and the result would be easy to use: the company aims to transfer milk collection data electronically instead of filling in more than 100 paper waybills every day.

After a thorough analysis and design phase, a low-code smart app solution based on Microsoft Power Platform technology, which can send data directly to the accounting system, was chosen for the process digitalisation.

“One of the key advantages of the so-called low-code technology is that it allows us to realise the application we are developing in a short time and make software changes quickly and adaptively as the process changes,” V. Rimkus said.

Homework for the organisation before the start

Speaking about the automation processes started in the company, the representative of Pienas LT noted that it was important to prepare the organisation before starting. “We started with a blank sheet of paper: we drew the most important parts of the process and tried to find out where we get “stuck.” Once we identified the difficult parts, we looked for ways and IT solutions to change that,” V. Rimkus said.

According to him, the company has identified three main stages of requirements analysis and design: modelling business processes, defining functional and non-functional requirements, and selecting technologies for implementation. “It should be noted that modelling even the smallest processes in this way reduces potential project management costs and shortens realisation time,” V. Rimkus said.

Currently, the company Pienas LT has completed the design stage and is testing electronic waybills. Finally, with the full implementation of the solution, drivers collecting milk from farmers will no longer have to fill in paper waybills and manually convert milk from litres to kilograms, the mobile app will help them with that. Accountants will no longer have to transfer data from paper documents to the accounting system, all they will have to do is check the correctness and record them; milk suppliers will receive the waybills electronically.

“Another important thing is that the information on the quantities of milk collected will be obtained promptly directly from the accounting system, thus ensuring that both the records and the data provided to the milk supplier are identical,” V. Rimkus said.

Rapid automation – when you need a quick and easy solution

According to Paulius Skamarakas, CCO at Novian Systems, the rapidly growing so-called low-code solutions, as in the case of Pienas LT, are a great solution when you need a fast, easy-to-create solution to automate a clear, not very complex process.

“We can say from experience that these solutions are increasingly successful in many areas: from day-to-day operations, administration, personnel to production. Their demand is increasing significantly, especially at a time when there is a shortage of programmers in the market and the need for mobile applications is much higher than IT departments can handle,” P. Skamarakas said.

Why is process automation relevant?

  • It frees employees from routine technical work
  • Financially rational
  • Prevents human error
  • Provides flexibility when working remotely
  • Increases employee satisfaction and productivity

According to him, the Microsoft Power Platform environment, which provides a unified infrastructure and joins information storage, processing, and analytics processes, is especially suitable for the creation and development of these less technologically complex solutions.

“Solutions based on it allow to quickly, essentially effortlessly, and cost-efficiently implement solutions that meet the organisation’s needs,” P. Skamarakas said.

Key benefits

According to P. Skamarakas, one of the key benefits of low-code solutions is that they allow you to build applications quickly, even employees of organisations can do it using ready-made advanced tools.

He said the timing of the decision is currently one of the most important factors.

“Obviously, using ready-made IT solutions takes less time to develop a specific application, but the total time to develop a solution, of course, depends on the complexity and scale of the solution – the larger it is, the longer it takes. Just as important are the organisation’s readiness to become more digital and a clear understanding of the processes, all this facilitates the transformation journey,” the representative of Novian Systems said.

According to him, it is important to note the financial benefits of these solutions as any automation must be financially rational.

“By implementing, expanding, and maintaining these solutions, organisations save costs. First, they incur lower costs for IT work because they use an already partially developed solution where part of the processes can be done by the company’s employees. Second, automating processes saves employees’ time and allows them to do more creative work,” P. Skamarakas noted.

Why are low-code solutions gaining popularity?

  • Faster response to demand: applications are developed quickly, they allow for employing pro-dev resources, reusable components and low-code tools;
  • Lower costs: the solution is developed and implemented faster, existing resources can be used;
  • Seamless application management: low-code solutions are managed via integrated security, management and compliance capabilities;
  • Easy to integrate and expand: ready-made connections and an interface to cloud services make it easy to integrate and expand low-code solutions.

According to him, the benefits of these solutions, as in the case of Pienas Lt, increase due to convenient mobile access, applications are available on smart devices or a web browser. Also relevant is that in the future, if additional needs arise, these applications can be expanded and integrated with other information systems.

Novian group companies know both classic and latest solutions

According to P. Skamarakas, in addition to the increasingly popular low-code solutions, Novian companies, as a group with experience in software services, IT infrastructure maintenance and digitisation, can offer customers a wide range of IT solutions and services.

The Novian Group in Lithuania consists of the programming companies Novian Systems and Elsis PRO, the IT infrastructure services company Novian Technologies, and other companies in Estonia, Norway and Moldova.

At the end of 2020, Novian Group companies have joined forces to provide customers with general IT solutions tailored to their specific needs: from city or country-wide programming of information systems or digitisation of documents to the development and maintenance of IT infrastructure. Between 2016 and 2021, the projects implemented by the Novian group of companies spanned more than 50 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, and America.

Novian companies have been implementing projects in various areas of business, e-government, aviation, defence and energy for many years.

Source: project.

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