As a prominent real estate firm specializing in property development, property investment, and property management, CIFI Group boasts expansive geographical coverage in China, ranging from first-tier cities to cities with high growth potential. CIFI Group's developmental projects cover properties of various types, including residential, office, and integrated commercial complexes.
The fast expansion of the CIFI group Centre of Excellence (CoE) coincided with a significant increase in the volume of transactional data, which the staff was burdened with manually downloading, processing, and validating as part of the standard reconciliation procedure. Manually accomplishing this would require a significant amount of employees' valuable work hours, which would be utilized to:
1. Individually log into each of the 14 banking online systems
2. Download the financial data from each bank's online system
3. Download the financial data from the CIFI group's system
4. Individually compare the financial data from all relevant systems for discrepancies
5. Write a report to be sent to the relevant parties.
Feeling the process to be painstakingly time and resource-intensive, CIFI Group hoped to leverage intelligent automation to minimize the need for human resources in performing this routine yet critical task. Given a large number of data sources involved and the repetitive, rule-based nature, RPA was identified as the ideal solution, and Laiye RPA was selected as the preferred automation product.
RPA AND FINANCE: THE SECURITY CONCERN
Robotic Process Automation in these particular types of scenarios is not easy. There is often one obstacle firms encounter on a regular basis when seeking to deploy RPA in this field: security tokens. Many banks and financial institutions that CIFI Group cooperated with required the use of USB Security Keys to access their online systems. This is a physical flash drive that would need to connect to the machine through which the user hopes to access the online banking system.
How could an RPA bot identify and use the correct physical USB key corresponding to the relevant bank to enter the online system?
Laiye introduced a network hub, a physical device that could store multiple USB keys for automation purposes to address this roadblock. The network hub incorporates hardware and software to transmit USB data to the operating virtual machine and the PC via TCP/IP network.
This alone, however, was insufficient.
Laiye went further and developed a device named KeyBox which, besides having the ability to store up to 30 passwords, assists in the input of passwords during the RPA operation.
Laiye RPA was successfully deployed to ease the process once the authentication hurdles were overcome using a combination of network hub and KeyBox. The procedure would be entirely automated after RPA deployment since the RPA bot would:
1.Automatically log in and download the necessary transactional data from all 14 financial institutions' systems.
2.Automatically download the data from CIFI Group's own system
3.Automatically conduct cross-comparison while flagging any discrepancies
4.Automatically generate a report to be sent to the relevant parties
Automation of the above steps enabled employees to direct their efforts on tasks requiring human thought. Consequently, there was a reduction in labor hours, labor costs, and a boost in employee productivity.