Companies need automation but only a handful can make it real, claims Taras Firman, Data Science Competency Manager at ELEKS. In his interview for AI Conference Kyiv, the expert dwelled on the benefits a company gets after automation of its manufacturing processes and pointed out the aspects that slacken the tech advance in Ukraine.
Taras Firman holds the position of Statistic Analysis and Machine Learning Competency Manager at ELEKS. The expert has been engaged in simulation for about 5 years. He started the career as Computer Vision Engineer and then proceeded to Math Analyst and Data Scientist.
Interviewer: AI Conference Kyiv (AI)
Respondent: Taras Firman (Т.F.)
AI: In 2016, the Russmann company decided to improve its operational processes and inked a contract with ELEKS as a technological partner. Tell us more about the solutions you offered.
Т.F.: The company used an imperfect and old ERP system. The first task was to update it. Many processes proved to be ineffective and were performed by a human. The planning strategy was just the repetition of the old methodologies.
First and foremost, we took over the building of a new module for demand forecasting, which reduced planning mistakes by 12%. We analyzed the previous tendencies in demand for rent taking into account regional specifics, the need for various vehicle types (pre-ordered bodywork, mileage).
At the same time, we focused on the optimization of costs needed for vehicles turnover, particularly their delivery to rental points. The planning process apparently requires understanding the demand for certain automobiles at a certain time and place. We also had to outline the requirements for a car transporter truck and its driver – for example, working time. What is more, sufficient vehicle procurement and effective depreciation policy are needed in order to maintain a fleet.
ELEKS created a module that ensures the optimization of these processes. Its introduction allowed the company to cut monthly expenses by about $50 thousand.
AI: Partners gave you quite little time for a project – 2 months. How did you manage to meet the deadline?
Т.F.: First, we launched several processes at once. Second, more than one specialist could join the work on a module if needed. Apart from that, our team was already experienced in tasks related to forecasting, traffic flow optimization, and resource planning, which gave us confidence at the early stages.
AI: What did the final result look like?
Т.F.: Russmann got a new ERP system allowing to plan its activity in accordance with the market requirements. The result of the new module inclusion is well-designed planning and visible cost cutting.
AI: What are the company’s steps towards automation of its manufacturing or business processes?
Т.F.: To answer this question, multiple aspects should be taken into consideration. Primarily, one has to understand whether a company needs automation, whether there is a possibility and assets to implement it – for instance, preliminary data. In terms of time, again, it may take from several months to years.
AI: Is there demand for business processes automation in Ukraine?
Т.F.: Automation is sought-after but the majority of enterprises cannot carry it out. This is due to various factors: inefficient management, the absence of changes and budget, etc.
AI: What are the prospects of the AI market in Ukraine?
Т.F.: We are currently elaborating a couple of AI-powered projects for the Ukrainian market. Unfortunately, the drive for innovations lies on the back of inflation and a political shift. This slackens the overall speed of tech inclusion.
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processes, register to AI Conference Kyiv
scheduled for June 4.
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