Automation Anywhere partner Winning Formula has introduced automation at business services provider Smartgroup.
Smartgroup offers salary packaging, fleet management, payroll services and workforce optimisation. Work usually involves a lot of paperwork, inputting data into spreadsheets and other tasks that require extra manpower.
The company looked into Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solutions to help transform the business, eventually landing on Automation Anywhere and Sydney-based partner Winning Formula.
Discussions started as early as 2015 when Smartgroup started with a pilot involving a few work processes impacting clients and their experience.
Winning Formula managing director Wassim Soliman told CRN that Smartgroup has “a very nice culture in place” and ensured staff won’t be impacted by the technology.
“[Smartgroup CEO Deven Billimoria] made a commitment on day one that nobody would lose their jobs because of RPA,” he said.
“[The staff] trusted him, and that made a huge difference because dealing with a workforce who has no fear of automation coming their way makes them work with us much better.”
Soliman said Winning Formula also worked with and trained Smartgroup staff to become RPA consultants internally within the business, later to be deployed as the corporate consulting team to help develop a list of key processes.
Some 45 processes have since been automated, including one particularly boring process that the staff were happy to get rid of.
“We selected the processes with some clear criteria — first it has to make a big impact to the business in terms of helping them to scale, so it was really important for them that they can build extra capacity,” he said.
“Second was the impact on the clients — so whatever process that’s selected has to deliver good customer experience, by either improving or solving the challenge they have.
“And finally, the third criteria was finding processes that have been annoying of that have caused stress. By taking this work away, [Smartgroup] staff will be happy.”
Soliman said having financial reconciliation automated was the most well-received decision, and involved downloading bank statements from different bank accounts, reconciling the statements, putting them into spreadsheets, comparing them and other tasks that usually have to be completed for “hours on end every day” with a big team to go through all of the tasks.
“It doesn’t have much value, and the tasks are very mundane and mind-numbing,” he said. “So by taking those tasks away from the people and to a robot, the staff have been able to work with us closely.”
The first program in 2016 was “extremely successful”, according to Soliman, which eventually landed them another project to cover another division the following year. This year, Winning Formula has started working on more of Smartgroup's divisions.