A Trainee’s Insights

Dennis Leier wrote a research paper on the use of bots – digital robots – while working as a trainee. His work plots digital progress at DMK.

Technology and digitization have fascinated Dennis Leier ever since he was a child. Now he’s 24 and he has put them at the heart of his professional career. Working as a trainee industrial clerk, his eyes lit up when he heard DMK was planning to introduce Robotic Process Automation (RPA). The software was to be used in DMK’s Global Business Services (GBS) division, the part of the company where services are bundled and improved. Leier’s training involved writing a technical paper and he asked if he could focus on RPA. It turned out to be the perfect topic for him. “I just have an affinity for IT,” he says. He focused on the use of the software that creates automated processes to make workflows fast, effective and secure. DMK has been using the software in a pilot project since 2020.

Digitizing tasks

The process control system, also known as a bot, is new for DMK and is now established as an important tool for purchasing, for example. The supply chain for the food industry is one of the most dynamic and complex there is, with response times, consistency and accuracy all critical to ensuring competitiveness. Automating repetitive processes is one way to save significant amounts of time. In purchasing, for example, bots can list the conditions, prices and discounts offered by contract partners and organize orders and confirmations. That is very helpful, as staff had to enter new supplier data manually in the past, which was extremely time consuming. Bots, on the other hand, can process information in a matter of seconds. Bots take on such repetitive task, work around the clock without a break and even keep processing data through the weekend. All that is a real plus for the company.

“Colleagues see the software as a source of support, serving as an aid for repetitive tasks.”

Dennis Leier, Procurement Services Partner.

Alwin Wendt, Senior Manager Service Management, has been promoting the use of bots for some time. “There was a significant risk of errors when it came to monotonous, repetitive work involving a great deal of data processing,” says Wendt. “Thanks to the bots, that’s no longer an issue.” Staff stress levels are falling while the potential for savings is growing. “Dennis Leier’s paper has really shown the advantages of bot use and also helped bring some structure into the project.” That also shows how well people are cooperating in the organization, as all are interested in the new software, he says. Christian Braunisch, IT DevOps Engineer from Application Development, was the key person when it came to developing, programming and technical support, adds Wendt. “If you’re familiar with programming, it’s all very easy to understand,” says Braunisch.

No substitute for people

Leier’s work on the interaction between bots and humans serves several purposes. When he presents his results to the purchasing department, he explains that the bots are new tools for daily work and describes how they function. He also clarifies that the bots are there to make life easier and represent added value for staff by handling some activities so they can focus on more important tasks. “People are more willing to accept the bots thanks to the pilot project launched two years ago. Colleagues see the software as a source of support, serving as an aid for repetitive tasks,” says Leier. That’s something he is proud of. He has spent the past two years working as a Procurement Services Partner and is looking closely into further areas where bots could lend a helping hand in future.

“There was a significant risk of errors when it came to monotonous, repetitive work involving a great deal of data processing. Thanks to the bots, that’s no longer an issue.”

Alwin Wendt, Senior Manager Service Management

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