Inspiration

👷‍♂️ As people got better at work, they built tools to work more efficiently, they even built computers to work smarter, but still they couldn't do enough work! They more work they did, the more work they created, and not the good kind. Not the, 'lets-sit-around-and-come-up-with-ideas' kind. Not the, 'I-cant-wait-to-get-to-work-so-I-can-jump-into-a-new-project' kind. The crap kind. So humans had to do more work they didn't like - that made them robotic. That didn't inspire. And then robots came in, which showed humans a way to put fun back into work, so that they can spend less time on the things they hate doing, to make more efficient the big tasks, to stop making the humans act like robot and start teaching the robot to learn the humans, not to replace them but to free them. Because work only works, when we're happy at it.
-- This is my inspiration, the story of work.

Looking at it at the lens of the Finance industry..
🔎 ..imagine your Sales Management and CRM pipeline in Monday integrating into any of your ERP and CRM systems to execute end to end business process, for instance, automatically establishing sales quotes, validating sales orders and pricing details, following-up for cross-selling and up-selling opportunities & contract renewals, automatically receiving and posting payments, send dunning letters, create reminder reports.. and more. For customer onboarding and invoicing, say, one that can process forms for potential customers and manage customer master data, takes invoices of all formats, extracts & aggregates data and then automatically tallies it against the POs, GRs & contracts and posts to ERP; expedites manual process for mismatches, automatically trigger Invoicing based on sales order and goods receipt.. These are all very manual, repetitive, and very robotic tasks that can be taken away from a human so they can focus more on analytical and more revenue generating tasks, impacting not only employee and customer engagement but also catered to meet and exceed DSO (Days Sales Outstanding) metrics, near and dear to the heart of your CFO.

👨‍💼 Chief Finance/Revenue Officers (CFOs/CROs) across organizations are continuously striving to help grow businesses and go beyond managing cost / numbers and ensuring compliance. In order to achieve this, there is an emerging vision of Digital Finance driven by advanced Finance Management/CRM tools integrated with end to end process automation capabilities. The goal is to create an agile F&A operation that proactively responds to stakeholders, boost productivity and enables the business to quickly evaluate and act on value propositions.

📈 This is why October last year, Gartner released the top 10 strategic trends for 2021, and on that list is what they termed as Hyperautomation. According to Gartner, “Hyperautomation is the idea that, anything that can be automated in an organization should be automated. Hyperautomation is driven by organizations having legacy business processes that are not streamlined, creating immensely expensive and extensive issues for organizations.” Hyperautomation does not only cater to targeted departments such as in Finance, CRM or Sales processes but every bit enterprise functions across different industries, hence, it is both function and industry agnostic.

🚀 With Monday.com Work OS, combined with complementing technologies for advanced automation such as UiPath, what if we could build an integrated platform built for hyperautomation? Remember, I've only talked about above, some of the common use cases in CRM and F&A, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. With Monday.com and UiPath - together - possibilities for automation are endless.. work is history.

What it does

Monday App Integrations to automate end to end business processes, bringing endless automation possibilities.

💡 Document Understanding 💡

Alt text

Integration recipes (with custom triggers, actions and entities) to provide the capability to extract and interpret information and meaning from a wide range of documents.. Because there's no company in the world which does not deal with documents, especially in the industries like banking, finance, insurance, manufacturing, HR, public sector, etc.

🔽 Read (Digitize)
🔆 Interpret (Classify/Extract)
❓ Validate (Human Validation, as needed)
🔁 Act (Exporting/Processing to Downstream systems

According to studies conducted by IDC and Everest group, automating document processing alone can lead to 35% cost reduction, 52% decrease in errors, 17% reduction in time employees spend on document processing and 40% increase in employee productivity.

💡 Automations - Real World Use Cases 💡

Alt text

💰 Main Use Case: Sales Order Management - From Order Receipt to Posting or to Any Downstream processes
AI-powered document extraction and automated processing of sales orders into virtually any Finance and CRM systems leveraging UiPath Automation Platform. End to end processing of sales orders from ingestion, SO posting and anything in between. Building any type of automation never gets this easy.

✔  Monday.com Board Status Flow
🔵 Incoming (Attach order) > Extraction (Trigger Document Understanding)
🔴 Extracted details pushed to Monday Board via Custom Trigger and Entities > For Approval
🟡 Approved (Trigger SO Posting)
✅ Done
✔ Integration Recipes (Custom Actions - UiPath Workflows)
💡 Document Understanding
📮 Sales Order Posting
Sample Downstream systems Involved (Posting step)
📟 SAP Via GUI 💠 SAP Via BAPI 🌐 Web CRM
✔ Easily customizable workflows to automate specific business processes

💵 BONUS Use case - Expense Reimbursement/Validation to Concur
Ingesting attached receipts and reimbursement forms from Monday Boards, then intelligently processing documents to do classification, extraction, validation and post processing which will then be pushed into SAP Concur for expense entry

✔  Monday.com Board Status Flow
🔴 New (Attach receipts/reimbursement forms) > Processing (Trigger Document Understanding)
✅ Extracted details pushed to Monday Board via Custom Trigger and Entities (Trigger Expense Entry) > Processed
✔ Integration Recipes (Custom Actions - UiPath Workflows)
💡 Document Understanding
📮 Expense Entry (SAP Concur)
✔ Easily customizable workflows to automate specific business processes

How I built it

The project was built using:
🆚 Visual Studio ASP.NET Core 3.1
👨‍💻 Monday.com (GraphQL) API V2
▶ UiPath Automation Platform
Alt text

Challenges I ran into

The documentations around Monday API especially the API playground is quite good, very concise and comprehensive so it really helped me solve a lot of problems. But in terms of notable challenges that made the journey of developing this app more exciting, here are some of those below.
▶ Fully grasping and wrapping my head around the concept of creating and using custom triggers and entities and implementing it in my ASP.NET core code.
💢 Designing the recipes and bringing everything together (Monday Integration Recipes + middleware backend via ASP.NET core web API + UiPath workflows) was where the complexity sets in, and that's where I've devoted more time - designing an efficient data flow and execution architecture.
📹Drafting and finalizing video presentation and drafting the submission article took some level of effort also, in an aim to really get the whole message across.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

🤗 Considering I'm relatively new to Monday Platform (luckily so far, experience using it for my projects has been great!), in just a short amount of time, I am really proud of what I've built so far - several useful real world use cases and end to end integrations. Of course, this would have not been easier if not for the developer documentations and live workshops I've joined. So thanks to the community manages and Monday technical team who are very accommodating during those live workshops and in slack. Special mention to Matthew Burns for helping me extend my trial access for me to complete recording my projects! You guys are awesome!

What's next

Demo desktop automation is currently limited to run on robots on my remote machine since use case is specific to target system installed (e.g. SAP). So in the future it would be good to have:

➕ Streamlined bot and workflow consumption model 👨‍💻
🔐 Integrate authentication to UiPath Platform to auto provision robots
📑 Board Views and Widgets - List out all available UiPath automations available for consumption on a Monday board that's related to the board context
➕ Additional use cases across various business functions 👨‍💻

Notes on Current Usage

On top of MondayAppOne, automation workflows (Document Understanding + Desktop Automations) have been built and executed using UiPath 'robots' through Orchestrator. These are triggered by the custom actions in MondayAppOne. Note that there are at least two ways that the workflows are executed - Foreground or Background.

Background execution - this is the default setting. https://i.imgur.com/h7WObkx.png

The automations execute on a remote machine preconfigured with the UiPath robots as well as the demo applications that are part of the use case (i.e. SAP). So what you will see is just the board populating after the automations run in the background for a few seconds (~1 min). This is the ideal and preferable approach for large enterprises who has large volume of transactions and Unattended backoffice automations, running in parallel on dedicated robot VMs to cater any end to end automated process.

For Foreground (this is what's on the demo video), this is essentially an Attended automation scenario where the robot acts as a personal assistant, asking for a human input from time to time at certain points in the automation. In this case it runs on my local machine along with the target applications it's automating (i.e. SAP) and so is the use case wc is specific for my work. As mentioned on the next step, in the future versions I'm planning to streamline the provisioning of robots for attended automations, build more generic workflows and make it's consumption as well as machine pre-configurations easier by integrating authentication to UiPath.

✅ In terms of the demo use case, sales order board setup, there are around 8 output fields from the document extraction workflow that you can map to the board columns, customer name, order number, document number, etc. Aside from that, it also extracts line items, so if you created a subitem column containing 3 numeric fields, this will map to the line amount, quantity and unit price. You just map the 'SubItem Mapping' custom entity to a text column in the parent item and the custom action already dynamically maps the subitem fields to these numeric fields in the subitem if they are available.

Below are sample board setup Sales Order Board: https://i.imgur.com/qYWSEdp.png

Expense Board: https://i.imgur.com/jzMVVeY.png

Built With

  • .netcore
  • asp.net
  • c#
  • csharp
  • graphql
  • ml-document-understanding
  • monday-api
  • mondayapi
  • uipath
  • uipath-automation
Share this project:

Updates