REIMAGINE WITH AI

A Regional US Bank regains confidence in its automation program

SLK Software’s Automation Run Center gives a new lease of life to the client’s automation program. The bonus was freeing of 25+ bot licenses.

A regional bank based in the Midwestern United States serving commercial customers, small and medium enterprises, and retail customers

The bank was dissatisfied with the performance of its automation program and considered it a liability. They wanted to overhaul their bots to improve ROI and user experience.

SLK Software stabilized and rationalized the automation using its Automation Run Center expertise.

The bank was able to improve bot performance, eliminate bot breakdowns, and release 25 licenses for new automation.

The Challenge

Grappling with bot repair and process inefficiencies

When maintained well, automation lends organizations immense efficiency improvement, quality, and cost savings. However, most organizations struggle with RPA management as they fail to pay attention to a simple fact — bots require regular monitoring and maintenance. Various factors such as changes in the UI bots interact with, changes in policy, and requirements missing during design cause bots to be pulled out of production, impacting cost and the expected ROI from RPA.

In this case, the bank began its automation journey with a small, four-member team from IT and a bunch of operators who were amateur developers. In three years, they had automated over 80 business tasks.

The bots were notorious for inconsistent processing and availability that limited their expected scale and efficiency. Since the bot operations were already running on tight bandwidth, the maintenance of bots fell on the IT team. The lack of context and handover led to long lead times in bot repair and a growing delay in getting new automation ready. The team had also missed taking into consideration the key elements of automation that enable scale and efficiency. This led to avoidable bot-operation inconsistencies, failure, and business dissatisfaction.

As a result, the business leaders began to lose faith in the promise of automation.

SLK’s Solution

Unlocking automation value through standardization

SLK Software came on board to analyze the existing automation and help drive a structured approach to achieve business outcomes. Our experience of large automation deployments for over 500 unique processes paid off. One look at the existing program, and we knew what was wrong. The structure of the program itself was weak, and stabilizing the automation was a pressing issue.

We started on the stabilization efforts to keep the lights on and immediately drive scale and efficiency from the deployed bots. This included an extensive review of the upstream and downstream functions of each automation process and its application characteristics, bot design, and platform elements. We prioritized business-critical bots and initiated stabilization efforts that eliminated bot breakdowns and gaps on security angle. While the deep-dive analysis reaped effective results, SLK Software realized that there was more potential to drive value with automation rationalization to utilize bot licenses effectively across the enterprise.

To prevent such issues in the future, we recommended ongoing support from our Automation Run Center (ARC). Our ARC experts specialize in building automation that drives peak performance, monitoring and maintenance of bots to ensure consistent performance, quick turnaround, and repair of bots in case of a failure or anomaly with L1 and L2 support services. We also engaged L3 services for the bank that focus on enhancements based on changes in application or process but do not warrant a design change. The ARC collaborated with business and development teams to build new automation that meets the defined processing standards. With tenets across the automation cycle — Onboard, Deploy & Configure, Support, Assess & Improve, Innovate & Govern — SLK Software was able to drive automation efficiency and build more automation that enabled scale and delivered on the RoI

Benefits

SLK Software’s efforts showed quick results. Within a quarter, stabilization brought automation breakdowns down to zero.

SLK Software addressed the issue of Bot performance, including the underlying automation implementation. For instance, automated processes that took 25 minutes per item were now refined to do the same within a couple of minutes. This resulted in consistent processing and the assured adherence of SLAs.

The access provisioning around automation processes were redesigned to cater to the security implementations on automated processing

In addition, the rationalization efforts enabled the bank to release 25 licenses for new automation. However, the most significant benefit of this project was that the process owners regained confidence in their automation program and looked at automation in a new light.

The overhaul of the automation program, instilling the right mix of talent, nimble but effective governance, and a reliable and ever-available ARC led to the bank changing its outlook on automation.

Instead of focusing on opportunities at a task level, the automation charter now looks at end-to-end business processes to improve customer servicing capabilities while keeping employee morale high.

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