Telecommunications corporation as a practical example: 1,500 virtual employees relieve the company’s technical service staff and achieve improved customer satisfaction.
There is no way around digitization. From specialized media to the office, everybody’s talking about new technologies and devices that automate and accelerate processes and make them more efficient. Against this backdrop, the results of a survey conducted by Bitkom Research become even more astonishing. The study revealed that German companies invested only 4.6% of their sales into digitization in 2017. Because of the close relationship between digitization and Robotic Process Automation it is now time for companies and their decision makers to realize the potential that RPA offers for their workflows and to utilize the magic of thoroughly planned RPA projects for their commercial success.
The magic of process automation was the main subject of an expert event held by the manager magazin in Mannheim (Germany)
In the beginning, most companies focus on numbers. Automation rates of up to 98% and cost reductions of up to 80% let many companies confidently consider the introduction of RPA. However, companies beginning their considerations are cautioned not to succumb to the wishful thinking that process automation is an immediate out-of-the-box solution for any company and any process. Instead, they should focus on a detailed analysis and cooperate with a competent, experienced partner.
RPA in the Technical Customer Service
One of the company managed to digitize the customer service and technical service segments with impressive success thanks to intelligent process automation and a close cooperation with RPA company. Since 2015, the industry giant uses RPA in its technical service, complementing its employees in the customer-service sector with 1,500 so-called “multi-skill front-end assistants”. The technical service impressively demonstrates how intelligent process automation simplifies the daily routine work. Around 18,000 times a day, technicians visit customers to find and repair complex network faults.
Before the introduction of RPA technology, it was necessary to use a hotline to notify an expert who then did the analysis using a measurement tool. This time-consuming task resulted in long delays for the customers. Today, a specially designed Android service app based on RPA technology handles this information-retrieval task. With their ability to provide the measurement result as quickly as possible, the software robots save a lot of time and effort while also minimizing errors. Using the smartphone app, technicians submit the request and the customer’s phone number to the measurement application which then automatically executes the measurement. Immediately processing the request, the software robot provides the result to the technician using the app. Thus, measurements can now be made within 60 to 90 seconds instead of an average of 4.2 minutes. Since the transformation, the telecommunications group gradually installed 1,500 virtual employees in its technical service and customer service departments, thereby automating more than 180 internal processes.
What kind of approach should be taken? At the beginning of an RPA project, a proof-of-concept details the processes lending themselves to automation. In this context, project managers must ask themselves several questions: Which are the most labor-intensive processes? Which processes are highly iterative? Which processes generate the most FTE’s? In the next step, new solutions must be developed in joint workshops. During all these steps, it is necessary to involve the employees into the RPA project and to make them aware of the new challenges.
Anybody wanting to make RPA a success must make sure that intelligent process automation is not introduced using a brute-force approach, but on a collaborative basis involving the employees. There is more to RPA than just technology, and companies must increasingly consider and master the methods and the overall context. In addition, automating operational processes does not end at the day of the implementation. To make an RPA effort sustainably successful, it must be followed by continuous monitoring, adapting the software robots in case of any changes to the system landscape.
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