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The Challenge

Tedious tasks were bogging down our Ad Ops.

Primacy’s Ad Ops team, led by Marty Stammer, had been managing a materials worksheet to manage the highly important, highly detailed and highly manual process of managing thousands of media placements across multiple platforms – each having their own array of requirements. This had been effective, but incredibly time consuming.

The Insight

Before we could automate the process, we had to improve it.

We discovered eight different versions of the materials worksheet across different accounts – not a significant issue when processed by hand, and by someone like Marty who has been managing the process for years – but a real complication when setting up an automated process.  Before applying automation, we needed to standardize the materials worksheet.

RPA workflow showing previous steps.
The Ideation

Before we could craft a better process, we needed to understand what we already had.

We began with an open-ended discovery workshop to map out the existing marketing workflow, before modeling a reimagined materials worksheet process.  From there, our tech team adopted an agile development process to deliver working iterations to the Ad Ops team for feedback and insights. They then optimized and refined the robot’s efficiency over the following weeks. Improvements to our initial design emerged including the creation of more flexible controls over timeframes and standardization of the existing process for inputting non-standard dates.

Smarter Experience

Divvying up the workload between our team and their new robot.

Traditionally, our Ad Ops team spent countless hours reviewing individual materials worksheets for accuracy, filtering the details for the current period, flagging outstanding placements, resorting the rows by priority, adding essential details, and merging it all into one spreadsheet, before sending it out.  With their new RPA, this critical step in the marketing workflow happens in mere minutes across all accounts. For the Ad Ops team, this means spending less time in the weeds and more time on high value initiatives, including managing vendor relationships and improving collaboration with other internal teams.

RPA development screens.

Building a robot robust enough to withstand exceptions, interact with the right applications and access the right user privileges took some ingenuity.

For this initiative, Primacy elected to build upon UiPath’s Enterprise RPA Platform. To provide our Ad Ops team with maximum control, we built an attended robot for this effort and deployed it via the UiPath Orchestrator, a server-based application that provides control over all robots within a given network. Our tech team improved not only the product in development between sprints but the deployment process itself as real-world feedback was gathered. Installation of the robot on additional user machines was simplified, as an example, by a newly added feature which dynamically constructs the path in Dropbox to each materials worksheet using their network username.

The Outcome

Immediate ROI and improved morale across our marketing team.

Ready for deployment after one month of design, implementation and optimization, the newly deployed robot is already saving 6 hours of labor every Monday, which equates to over 300 hours a year. Our Ad Operations team is now using this time to utilize their experience and expertise for initiatives that are driving meaningful results for our clients. And the benefits were so immediate that Primacy's RPA team went right into evaluating other portions of the marketing workflow for additional automation opportunities.

"I always looked at the previous process as a necessary evil. It worked, but it was just a long, tedious process. And with that many inputs, you had to be vigilant about catching any mistakes. The robot the team built saves me so much time... not to mention stress because I just have to check for any human error, instead of doing the whole process myself."
Marty S.
Primacy, Ad Ops Manager

Dropping Some Data

Year One Numbers
1 Month to design, implement, optimize and deploy
300 Hours of work saved a year
8 Client accounts optimized at launch
305% ROI projected over three years
1 Marty smiling a lot