Robotic Process Automation (RPA) simplifies HR processes for a global MNC
Infosys BPM’s client is an MNC providing business consulting, information technology and outsourcing services to over 1000 clients across 50 countries.
The Business Challenge
Owing to its large global footprint, the client has employees working in numerous offices across the world. Its HRO function handles a variety of processes including talent acquisition, talent administration, talent development, employee life cycle, employee experience, compensation and benefits support, and HR reporting. Each of these processes were composed of several activities that were not only effort-intensive but also crucial for employee satisfaction.
Because of the size of the client which had grown rapidly, its HR function was faced with the challenge of efficiently handling an enormous volume of transactions. It needed to meet the time-critical needs of business while compromising neither on quality and compliance requirements nor employee satisfaction.
Determining automation scope
Infosys BPM studied the client’s HR processes and analyzed each of their stages in detail to understand the suitability of introducing Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and reducing the effort involved in dealing with the quantum of data.
Following the study, Infosys BPM created use cases for deployment of automation. The ideal process candidates for RPA are deterministic or rule-based in nature. RPA lends itself particularly well to activities such as:
- Reading / copying / synchronization of data between web applications, ERP, backend systems
- Validation / verification of extracted data
- Reading data / attachments from email
- Sending emails / mass mailers
- Scheduling of meetings
- Data standardization
- Data logging for audit purposes
The study revealed several such processes that could be successfully automated based on their volumes, average handling time, and risk of error. Infosys BPM categorized the various stages of the processes into four buckets based on the scope for automation: Very High, High, Medium, and Low. The results of the study are presented in the figure below.
Figure 1: HRO RPA Applicability Use Cases
Infosys BPM automated several of the processes identified during the scope study. The automation reduced the manual intensive aspects of the work, while speeding up the processes and reducing the possibilities of errors to almost nil. Below are selected examples of processes that benefitted from automation.
Shift allowance calculation: The client gave a shift allowance to its employees working in processes for international clients across different time zones. The allowance was calculated by taking the swipe-in/swipe-out timings from multiple backend systems. This process which was done manually, was time consuming and the scope of error was high owing to the large set of data.
Infosys BPM designed the RPA bot to automatically read and validate the data from the multiple backend systems and calculate the allowance. The bot did this periodically leading to on-time clearance of the allowances.
The shift allowance automation led to a 65% reduction of manual efforts and 83% reduction in average handling time (AHT) with zero errors.
Background verification for new employees: This process involved cross-verification of details such as name, and date of birth for each interviewed candidate against a set of multiple databases, each holding hundreds of thousands of records. The processing volume and time taken grew exponentially every year owing to the increase in the candidates interviewed and the level of accuracy expected for such a critical process.
Infosys BPM designed the RPA bot to receive the required details from the input sources, automatically cross-check the details with the backend databases, and create the process reports at the end of operation without any manual intervention. All the interim reports are reconciled into a final master report which is then automatically uploaded into the backend system in a scheduled manner. The enormous processing load is split across multiple bots to deliver the results in a short time.
The background verification automation resulted in 85% reduction in total manual effort involved and 35% reduction in average processing time with zero errors ensuring no compliance faults.
Generation of offer letters for new employees: This process entailed a series of steps which needed to be adhered to perfectly for compliance to regulations without compromising on accuracy. The AHT was approximately 15 minutes per new employee owing to the manual steps involved.
Infosys BPM automated the entire process and reduced the processing time by 90% without compromising on the procedural steps and regulations.
Scheduling of client training programs for new employee: Client scheduled training programs need to be blocked in the new employees’ calendars along with their respective dates and location details. A huge amount of manual effort was involved, increasing the scope of errors and further compliance issues.
Post automation, the process was error free and led to 95% savings on the manual effort.
Training calendar mailers for employees: The HR team sends out regular emails to the newly on-boarded trainees as well as to existing employees as part of the client’s training program.
Infosys BPM completely automated this mass mailer system leading to 75% manual effort reduction.
Full and final (F&F) settlement for attrited employees: This payroll process activity required exhaustive and accurate verification of all the pending dues by the employees across the departments of the firm. Mistakes in this process could be detrimental resulting in financial losses and compliance issues.
Infosys BPM designed the RPA solution by embedding the business rules in the bot which followed these rules when processing the employee records. The bot increased the processing speed by 95% and also ensured all business rules were followed leading to complete compliance.
Figure 2: Value Delivered through RPA
Infosys BPM’s implementation of RPA delivered the below benefits which could not have been achieved through a simple automation program:
- RPA did not require invasive integration of existing legacy systems as it replicates agent interaction.
- Human agents no longer need to perform mundane manual tasks, automation achieved an average manual effort reduction of 70% and a net savings of USD 0.68 Million
- The average handling time in the process has reduced by 55% resulting in quicker processing and better turn-around time
- The zero rate of errors in automated processes has improved accuracy of operations
- The use of robots has ensured ease of scalability for future increase in processing volumes, increase in volumes would simply require deployment of additional software robots
- RPA has provided for multiple user roles for increased security
- User’s activity trails are logged in the form of user logs which can be used for process audits and compliance purposes.
- Versioning capability is available for bot upgrades. This allows complete user control over any update applied to the bots and also enables roll-back to an earlier version of a bot, if required.
Infosys BPM expertise in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has delivered significant gains in productivity and accuracy for the client, and a business case for increased use of automation across the client’s business processes.