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El Angel

El Ángel, S.A. was established in 1976 as a food processing plant in Costa Rica specializing in two product lines, dulce de leche and guava jam, in a region with no basic infrastructure, including potable water, electricity, or paved roads. With a strong sense of social responsibility, El Ángel Group unleashed the potential of the region and its people. Now, 45 years later, it has expanded and differentiated activities to six different companies, 87 products, and 500 employees, 55% of whom live in rural areas.

Business Problem

The Services division of Grupo El Ángel (SEA Servicios Múltiples), specializes in providing administrative, financial, and consulting services. They face an increasingly competitive environment, with clients expecting faster responses, personalized attention, and an overall better customer experience. 

Due to this demand, El Ángel saw the need to modernize processes and free people from repetitive tasks so that they could focus their efforts on serving their customers. Their accounting and finance processes in particular stood out as clear automation opportunities.


Appian Solution

To streamline their modernization initiative, El Ángel selected Appian to automate critical accounting and finance processes:

  • KPI Reporting. An Robotic Processing Automation (RPA) bot logs into a web-based ERP system to compile statistical information and build, integrate, and edit a report, which is emailed to the process owners. These reports contain supplier data, daily sales amounts, supervisor outreach reports, and are generated on both a daily and monthly basis.
  • Bank Records. An RPA bot copies 4,000 values from Microsoft Excel and uses them to feed the ERP system to create accounting records. The bot then executes the ERP processes for bank reconciliation and accounting controls.
  • Accounting Records Assistant. An RPA bot copies information from Microsoft Excel and updates the ERP system for account statements and entries. After the ERP is updated, the bot automatically creates around 250 invoices and bank records so invoices can be paid. 

From initial identification through implementation, El Ángel was able to automate all three critical processes in just five weeks with Appian:

  • KPI Reporting: 1 week
  • Bank Records: 2 weeks 
  • Accounting Records Assistant: 2 weeks

Automation with Appian has saved the accounting and finance team an average of 3,360 hours per year. Other benefits include the following:

  • The team is more motivated, efficient, and agile in their work thanks to automation. Each member of the team can save up to 72 hours of tedious manual work each month. 
  • Process quality improved by eliminating reprocessing that used to take up to two hours due to unintentional errors in manual data processing. 
  • Greater control and visibility of process performance.