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Robotic process automation improves productivity for Government Agency

The Opportunity

The agency’s license application processing unit was struggling with processing the high volume of complicated applications it was receiving daily. This led to a number of issues, including the following:

  • KPIs not being met, as it wasn’t possible to action all applications within the set time period
  • Lower quality responses due to the volume of applications the team received
  • High employee cost, inflated by the number of staff required to work through the applications

As part of a larger transformation project, the Agency were looking for a reliable Managed Professional Service provider to work with them to harness new technology and develop a sustainable solution to these challenges, with the aim of allowing them to continue to meet regulatory demands and by providing the following:

  • Fewer manual processes
  • Better customer services
  • Improved data quality

This would then make the end-to-end process simpler, easier and quicker.

RedRock had already put in place a fantastic team of 110 experts, who were working across a number of transformation projects within the Agency, and due to the reliability and achievements of these teams we were asked to extend our support to deliver solutions for the license application processing unit.

The Approach

At RedRock, we underpin all our Managed Professional Service engagements with the same core values:

  • Client enablement
  • Teams of excellence
  • Impartiality

Each engagement is directly overseen by one of our Portfolio/Technical Directors to ensure this. From the outset, our Portfolio Director collaborated with the Agency to ensure we fully understood the project’s desired outcomes. This also included monitoring progress and performance, providing updates and support where necessary.

By engaging with staff from the Licence Application Processing Unit, we showed that RPA should be focused on humans, not robots

From our discussions with the Agency, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) was identified as offering the best potential to improve case throughput. By introducing virtual workers into carefully selected areas of the business, RPA can emulate the way people use business systems, the decisions made and the processes they follow, in order to improve, replace or digitise manual, repetitive work processes.

The Solution

Using our approach, we were able to provide the following team of experts who were co-located with the Agency’s in-house team:

  • Business Architect - overall lead, working on complex business processes to articulate to developers
  • Business Analysts x2
  • Project Manager - responsible for achieving overall milestones, budgets and vendor management

Due to the large, quality resource pool we have built up at RedRock we are able to tailor-make teams based on their ability to meet our client’s needs, rather than just utilise who we have available at the time.

RedRock created the business case and benefits realisation plan for RPA and supported the Agency in obtaining approvals from their internal investment board, as well as from the parent department. To achieve the delivery of RPA, we adopted a three-stage implementation:

  1. A pilot for specific applications representing 10 per cent of the overall volume and limited functionality
  2. Full submission checking with full volumes of product licensing
  3. Extended functionality for full case handling with exception handling intervention

The RPA solution was built to cloud-only principles with Thoughtonomy chosen as the best-fit platform due to the highly complex nature of the work. This was fully integrated into a multisystems environment and can handle numerous kinds of products, submission types and technical formats with various stages of processing.

Our experienced team were able to upskill the Agency’s in-house teams, building a legacy by developing internal capability and embedding a sustainable solution, ensuring they could fully manage the RPA systems implemented when our contract ended.

The Outcome

It was essential that the benefits of RPA were measured, which is why RedRock designed a dashboard to be implemented as part of the RPA solution. The following significant business benefits have been measured since RPA took effect:

  • Faster throughput (30-95 per cent more efficient)
  • 50 per cent less time spent reworking processes
  • Between three and 10 times greater capacity
  • Like-for-like faster executions by as much as 30 per cent
  • A saving of six full-time equivalents who are now utilised with higher value tasks
  • More efficient user journey
  • Positive return on investment within two years
  • Skills development of internal staff to ensure a seamless exit
  • First successful, operational ‘high complexity’ instance of RPA in central government
  • Contract with Thoughtonomy renewed to expand use of RPA, possibly due to in-house team now having skills and experience to carry out the work

RedRock also established a business-wide working group to act as a communications forum. We identified opportunities to deploy RPA elsewhere, hosted two showcase events for leaders and decision makers across the Agency and led events with other government departments to share lessons learned and the key factors essential for successful RPA implementations.

Due to the success of the project and reliability of the team provided we are currently in talks with the Agency to provide further support on additional applications of RPA.

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