In the Spotlight: Optimizing Experience Delivery through Business Process Automation
One of the ways we support our clients as they look to transform how they offer employee benefits is to leverage our strategic investments in business process optimization and intelligent automation. Ian Menard, Director, Process Automation, is In the Spotlight to discuss how business process automation contributes to enhancing our clients’ and their mobile employees’ experience.
How does business process automation fit into BGRS’s experience delivery?
Ian Menard: The business use cases we target are those aligned to our customer experience and digital transformation goals. For example, a higher priority is applied to those that best match enhancing the customer experience such as reducing processing times for mobile employees’ inquiries or expense management. The more we automate these repeatable, high-volume activities critical to our clients and their employees, the more we allow our customer-facing teams the time to focus on guiding our clients’ relocating employees and tailoring support to their needs according to where they are in their relocation journey.
While automation is not new to BGRS, just over a year ago the organization decided to establish a formal Center of Excellence (CoE), in line with BGRS’s customer experience transformation initiative. The CoE is a centralized function that drives innovation and business solutions around two specific capabilities, business process optimization and automation. These two capabilities are intimately linked, both with benefits of their own, but ultimately very powerful when combined. In other words, business process optimization is often critical to successful process automation. As a CoE, we are focused on driving innovation and bringing the latest best practices in these areas. A big component of our role is to stay attuned to the evolution of the broader intelligent automation space. For example, recently we successfully integrated robotic process automation (RPA) with machine learning in a project where the swift and accurate classifying of documents is critical to processing customer and supplier transactions.
We actively partner with business units to solve a specific business challenge by assessing where and what type of automation will provide the most appropriate solution. We look at each opportunity from a number of perspectives including, coordination of work across/within teams, streamlining the ways we capture and store data, supporting SLAs, ensuring the quality of outputs, and data accuracy, all of which ultimately connect back to the clients’ and their employee experience. We see improving the experience of our employees as equally important and are constantly finding better ways for intelligent automation to effectively interact with humans in the workplace. We always think of automation from a human-centric perspective and how these tools enable our employees to focus on the activities where humans excel, compared to the more routine and repetitive tasks where RPA excels.
What are a few examples where automation benefitted our clients and their mobile employees?
Ian: Above, I mentioned the document classifying project, which automates digital document archiving and enables effortless retrieval of documents related to the employee mobility journey. Given the complexity of cross-border or domestic mobility and the number of documents involved in each move, often containing confidential information, this was a critical automation project. At the time we completed the project, we were among the first three clients of our service partner, a leading enterprise automation consultancy, to successfully implement this technology to solve a business problem.
Another example is how we evolve our use of RPA to automate mobile employee expense management. We are now adding a new automation capability, “human-in-the-loop,” to further enhance automation of workflows, such as claims processing, that blend highly repeatable or administrative components with those that need human judgment and intervention. We are enhancing the interfaces between our employees and the technology in ways that effectively reduce the cycle time and human effort and improve their ability to make decisions and problem solve.
Enabling choice and personalized benefits delivery is another area of focus for our clients and we are using intelligent automation to accelerate our strategy execution. For example, we are using RPA to accelerate the loading and completion of our new digital policy solution, which in this scenario will result in improved accuracy and several months reduction in the deployment time as compared to the manual process.
Overall, our focus is on changing the way we work and evolving the ways in which humans and computers can collaborate more effectively to deliver an outstanding customer experience. In the last twelve months alone, the various tasks and business processes we automated have improved the overall efficiency by hundreds of days and improved quality through reduced cycle times and accuracy.