Kickstarting the Automation Journey Worldwide

Client Overview

A global manufacturing company partnered with Roboyo to support them on their journey to embedding intelligent automation services throughout the organization. The purpose of these efforts is to ensure ongoing operational efficiency in both back and front-office processes, create a sustainable automation business model, and bring new technologies closer to business units.

To kickstart this journey, Roboyo assessed over 1,000 business processes to demonstrate the automation potential within the company and help build a cost-neutral business case to accelerate the path to automation.

Region

Worldwide

Industry

Industrial manufacturing

Process type

Rapid Process Assessment

The challenge

A company with almost 150 years of history has grown to become a global organization with offices around the globe. Best known for its kitchen and bath products, it also has a diverse product portfolio ranging from manufacturing generators to furniture.

Like many multinational corporations, ensuring ongoing operational efficiency and driving productivity throughout the front and back-office business functions are core components of an enterprise strategy to remain competitive and achieve organic growth. To realize this strategy, our client recognized the value of incorporating intelligent automation into their existing business processes. Our client partnered with us to support them in defining a vision for automation and operationalizing activities to:

  1. Demonstrate the automation potential within the organization to improve operational performance, increase capacity, and drive productivity
  2. Develop a portfolio of global and local automated processes to generate rapid ROI
  3. Design and operationalize a centralized automation function to manage its end-to-end automation service delivery model which can be easily scaled

1. Demonstrating the Automation Potential

Whilst it is known that a high proportion of business processes can be automated to some degree, often, the type of processes proposed for automation may not always be the best candidates – either due to return on investment, business impact, or generation of a compelling story. Selecting the wrong processes can cause several issues:

  • Sunk costs: attempts to automate processes either not ready for automation, or too complex in their current state, can lead to sunk costs due to extended timelines and an unstable process in production.
  • Poor ROI: a lack of understanding of the business case for each process can result in mis-prioritization of cases to automate generating low ROI.
  • Lack of confidence: without a strong demonstration of both the business case and the tangible outcome of the automation, it is difficult to justify the investment required to really unlock the value.

To address these challenges, Roboyo conducted a global rapid assessment of over 1,000 processes and sub-processes in seven business units as the first step in the company’s automation journey. The purpose of the assessment was to identify the best candidates for automation, generate a cost-neutral business case, and kickstart the investment required to begin their automation journey.

2. Developing a Portfolio of Automated Processes

Often, process automation is branded as a simple way to rapidly generate productivity and efficiency gains and we have all heard the phrase “anyone can automate”.

Whilst this is technically true and there has been an upwards trend in the volume of citizen developers adopting RPA as a low-code automation solution, to effectively develop a stable and sustainable process requires an applied understanding of end to end development requirements – this includes process definition, design, development, UAT, deployment, etc.

To address this challenge, Roboyo supported the company in adopting a methodology which enables both the rapid development of complex processes through Roboyo as their implementation partner and the development of internal capabilities through Roboyo’s citizen developer program.

3. Design and operationalize the automation function

Establishing sufficient capability to scale automation across an organization is a key issue for many organizations – whilst it is estimated that 74% of organizations will have started their RPA journey by 2021, below 5% of those organizations can continue to produce automated processes at pace and across business functions.

To further establish the foundation to scale we supported our client in designing a centralized automation function to own and manage their end-to-end service delivery model as a grassroots initiative. This included ownership of the automation business strategy and ensuring activities align to the enterprise strategy, designing and operationalizing the right governance forums and processes and creating a toolkit enabling the company to “move fast” with idea creation and development.

Automation Process Management graph

Strategy

The strategy defines the overall target and guides every activity to an aligned and common goal.

End-to-end service & Delivery model

The core of the model is the end-to-end service and delivery model. Every phase is backed up by defined methodology, structure, tools, and people.

Culture – Service – Governance – Infrastructure

The baseline for every activity relies on strong governance, a defined service portfolio and management, proper infrastructure, and culture to drive innovation.

Project Impact

Business Units across all three regions

Processes assessed

Business Analyst awareness sessions delivered

Weeks end-to-end project duration

ENABLING THE AUTOMATION FUNCTION

To run the model internally we recommended a lean concept to our client, which could be stood up using six dedicated and specialized resources. Amongst other roles, critical to the success of the automation function is establishing a sound automation infrastructure.  This is essential for scaling the portfolio of automation opportunities and accelerating subsequent development cycles. It is also critical to ensure the IT department is also involved in the journey to derive requirements and foster alignment and support.

The Automation Function or Center of Excellence will also provide the technical governance and organizational structure for intelligent automation (short,- to mid-term outlook), including the design of the right roles and responsibilities within the selected automation software and ownership of the RACI for driving technical solution preparation and delivery.

Once established, the Automation Function drives and governs the overall service delivery model from pipeline management and process identification, to development and management in operations. The function owns automation delivery methodology, providing the tools and templates necessary to equip business units with the means to engage in automation.

CoE gobernance

We embarked with the vision of creating a strong foundation to scale automation across the client’s organization and accelerate their path to growth. The rapid assessment enabled us firstly to effectively identify a large backlog of opportunities ready for automation which would help generate the space and time needed for growth and in parallel, raise awareness and develop a sound business case to kickstart activities.

Michael Hawkes, Consultant at Roboyo

Project Results

BUSINESS FUNCTION

Corporate Accounting

Accounts Payable

Corporate Treasury

Customer Services

Supply Chain

Human Resources

Business Finance

PROCESSES ASSESSED

560

152

81

96

20

36

156

TOTAL COST ASSESSED

$ 1m

$ 2m

$ 300k

$ 1m

$ 50k

$ 100k

$ 500k

AUTOMATION POTENTIAL

40-60%

40-50%

20-30%

50-60%

40-50%

40-50%

30-50%

Detailed roadmap planning

As described, throughout any automation program it is necessary to:

  1. Create the pipeline of opportunity through the Rapid Assessment
  2. Ensure the Automation Function is running with the critical components to drive a standard, best-practice methodology (an Automation Function ‘MVP’)
  3. Continuous management of the pipeline against identified opportunities, current technical capability within the automation spectrum and complete execution of global/regional opportunities
RPA development is our next step together, as the rapid assessment has been successfully executed, our client now disposes not only of a clear process automation pipeline but also a strong base to scale automation within the entire organization.

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