Robotic Process Automation at a Council Service Provider
To get RPA moving, this fast discovery engagement analysed the Licensing processes and identified practical automation opportunities with annualised savings of around £400k to be delivered by the end of the first year.
The organisation is contracted by a number of UK County Council Authorities to coordinate and execute their Streetworks Permit, Notice and Licence operations. The initial scope was focused on the request, evaluate and verification tasks for one authority where they employed ~40 dedicated staff with a total process cost of approximately £4m pa.
Challenge & Opportunity
This department was facing issues with their process due to the sheer number of applications that meant some were not receiving the necessary scrutiny, potentially causing a loss of revenue and causing some applications to be approved in error. Overall, the processes were thus not very cost effective while the team was resource constrained. The leadership team identified the licensing process as one that could possibly benefit from automation but did not know where to start. Their initial assessment projected around a 10% improvement in process execution time.
The primary focus was initially what was described as three discrete process variants at varying stages of maturity, across four sites with changing levels of management autonomy. The various teams were working in silos and did not have an end-to-end or holistic view of their processes. With multiple stakeholders and a decentralised structure, knowledge was localised with individuals with a distinct lack of business decision-making rules and training materials.
- As-Is processes in the overall licence approval area were mapped and documented at a field-level of detail. Performance issues were logged in readiness for the subsequent improvement initiatives, during a two week span.
- Discrete processes were redefined as one common core with ancillary administrative tasks. Potential for automation solutions was analysed via process simulations.
- Process optimisation and improvement actions were documented; five automation solutions and numerous process enhancements across four work packages were identified.
- Costed Business Case was presented to the board – savings were calculated on the reduction in execution time enabled by the automation interventions.
- Detailed implementation plan that included the documentation of rules and procedures before testing, deploying the first bot to automate basic verification and providing full user training – a second phase would follow, deploying a second bot to automate more complex verification procedures.
A compelling, fully costed business case that yielded the following benefits: