Digital robot crash course

What is a digital robot, and what can it do?

A digital robot is basically a small piece of software, programmed to do specific tasks on a computer, also called a workflow.

It can do more or less anything as long as the workflow can be defined.

A robot’s work can be split into three main parts.

Read and extract data

Read content (data) from many different sources, files, emails, screens, and extract the data you need.

Work with data

When data has been extracted, and before it is being entered in, the robot can work with it. It can calculate numbers or dates, filter content out or add content in, combine data from different sources into one and do many other processes.

Write data

Most common it is that the robot enters data into different softwares, websites or creates documents.

What is a "Workflow"

A "Workflow" is a series of steps a robot does to complete a job. Let us give you a couple of examples of simple workflows.

Invoice processing

  • The robot is checking an email address every 5 minutes to see if there is a new email in.
  • If there is a new email it reads the sender address and downloads the attached invoice to a folder, and checks the file extension to find out what file type it is.
  • It then extracts all text using the process best suited for that filetype.
  • Based on algorithms the robot temporary stores the data that is relevant and drops the rest.
  • It will connect to the operational software and check the amount payable against what is expected.

Booking entry

  • The robot is checking an email address to see if a new booking is in every 5 minutes.
  • If new booking is in it reads and extracts the relevant text.
  • The robot then checks if all necessary data is in the booking.
  • If data is missing it forwards the email to company staff.
  • If all data is in, it will start the operational software and enter the booking.
  • When booking entry is finished, it will send confirmation to both the customer and staff.
  • The robot will then check if there is a new booking in.

A real life workflow is much more complicated than these simple examples. It will have detailed rules and exception handling for every step in the workflow. It also often contains data from other sources and other workflows.

Rules and Exceptions

or, what happens if the robot....

Most workflow steps consist of three events. Rules, exceptions and exception handling.. A “rule” is what the robot should do in a work step if everything is as expected. If there is an unexpected problem it is called an “exception”. Exception handling is what to do when an exception happens.

Here is a common example situation:

  • Rule

    The robot is going to do a search for a customer in the database when entering a shipper.

  • Exception

    When searching the company name it comes up three companies with the same name and address. There are tripple entries.

  • Exception Handling

    The exception rules set up for an incident like this, is that the robot should use the first entry, and send an email to a staff member informing that this customer is in three times, making it easy for the staff to check and delete two entries.

The tech stuff

Setup and Connections

How Flowwy is set up, and how we connect to you.

You will be connected to your own dedicated server in the Flowwy environment. You will never share a server with another customer unless you have chosen to do so. 

Your company data is processed on that server, and your robot is running on the same server.

There is a connection between the workstation in your office, where the actual work is done, and the server, where it is running on. That connection enables the robot to work on your machine.

If you have a cloud based ERP it is not necessary to connect to a workstation. Then it will be a direct connection to your ERP in the cloud instead.

If the robot gets data from websites or online portals, it will connect directly from the Flowwy server where it is running, not from your workstation.

How much work can a Flowwy robot do?

A lot. Exactly how much work one robot can do depends of what kind of work you want it to do.  It is important to understand that a robot can only do one task at the time on one machine.  If you need several workflows done at exactly the same time, you will need more robots, and more machines. (Servers at Flowwy)

If you can run workflows after each other, one at the time, you can fill up the server with robots as long as there is free time to work.

See the example below.

Digital Power at Your Fingertips

Digital robots can do most of the repetitive work you have in your company. Here are some examples of the most common work done by digital robots

Reading pre-alerts and then entering the data directly into your operational software is a great time-saver.

Offer your customers an online calculator and let them get their quote in seconds. Can be integrated with online booking.

Spending a lot of time keeping your sailing list updated? No need for that. Leave the job to a digital robot.

Do you want to let your customers book online. It will save you a lot of time and entry work. Set up online booking for any operational system.

Knowing where your containers are is important. Will the vessel be delayed, or is it on schedule. Keep track digitally. All the way.

Managing all your invoices manually? No need, have them verified and processed in seconds. Works perfect with whatever software you have.