Bridge to Digital Transformation: The company thinks big, starts small, learns fast, and scales quickly to succeed with RPA
After a move to outsource its accounts payables operation to a business services giant, the company started searching for ways to make the function more efficient and reduce errors. They also wanted to leverage their skilled employees to provide better customer service and add more value to the business.
After evaluating all the options on the market, the company choseAutomation Anywhere RPA to start its digital transformation journey and automated its invoice processing, help desk, and internal financial reporting processes.
Reduction in errors
FTEs refocused on value-added tasks
"You need to think about transformation not as localized to a particular business function, but as an end-to-end transformation. These things are messy but ultimately the greatest value is derived when you rethink the business overall."
— Associate Director of Finance
To identify ways that RPA could help, the company performed two major workshops. The first one, called the “digital innovation workshop,” looked at every aspect of the accounts payable operation—from procure to pay—to identify which aspects of it were routine and repetitive and could be automated completely. Then it did a “transformational roadmap” workshop to rethink how the entire process could be re-engineered to provide better customer service with a mixture of a human employee and digital software robot (bot) workforce.
The outcomes of both of these workshops were numerous innovative ideas, many of which the company plans to implement in the next two years. The benefit of doing it this way was that the company came up with end-to-end solutions that were truly transformational rather than just automating piecemeal tasks.
Procure to pay
The company achieved its initial goals—and more. It got the first initiative—automating accounts payable—up and running in less than six months and increased the efficiency of the operation by 300%. Errors were completely eliminated. Twenty-five employees were assigned to higher-value jobs that contributed more to the company. Indeed, the RPA project was so successful it was expanded enterprise-wide, with the goal of automating half of all corporate financial business processes within two years.
Although the company started its RPA journey with North American accounts payables, it is now extending it to order management and receivables, and to its master data and reporting teams across Europe, Australia, NewZealand, and India. The target for 2018 is to deliver automation across its world-wide finance operations.
"Today we have silos where different people within the organization have responsibility for different stages of enterprise-wide processes, but automation gives us the opportunity to start rethinking what’s possible and getting insight into end-to-end business processes."
— Associate Director of Finance
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