With 6,000 products manufactured at 200+ locations in 36 countries, Dow Chemical delivers a broad range of manufactured products in chemicals, electronics, water, coatings, packaging, agriculture, and more. As you can imagine, it’s a highly complex enterprise with a variety of enterprise applications to support its many lines of business. So how do you maintain quality in business process execution, given this level of complexity?
Dow chose an automation path for business process validation with two primary goals in mind – achieving higher quality with less effort. Dow was looking to:
Improve the overall reliability of Dow production systems
- Reduce the number of defects found in production
Reduce the effort and cost associated with manual testing
- Achieve faster test cycles
- Reduce number of designated manual testers
Today Dow uses automation to ensure the quality of more than 600 business process scenarios and systems across the enterprise for a range of business processes including order-to-cash, procurement, finance and more. The company uses the full range of Worksoft solutions, including Worksoft Certify®, Certify Impact, and Business Process Procedure.
Today, 80% of Dow’s regression testing is executed via automation. This includes testing for major releases, weekly production changes, SAP patch upgrade projects, and health checks for non-production environments.
Dow recently presented their results, shared their keys to success, and discussed their challenges at the 2015 Worksoft Customer Conference. Automation has helped Dow reduce operational costs, deliver successful upgrades, accelerate projects, boost the durability and quality of their test assets, and improve documentation and training for greater staff efficiency.
With automation, Dow:
- Saved about 8,000 hours of labor in 2014 through automation
- Increased the speed and completion percentage of test execution activities, achieving 50% faster test cycles
- Improved overall reliability of production systems with approximately 25% fewer production defects
The team found that the Worksoft platform was easy to use and learn, which helped cushion the effect of resource turnover. Worksoft’s ability to create reusable components meant that the portfolio of automation assets could be built and maintained quickly and efficiently. What’s next for Dow Chemical? They will be looking to:
- Expand automated test coverage to more non-SAP applications
- Extend automation into new functional areas
- Implement “Lights-Out Testing” for periodic, scheduled execution of automated business process validation