Responsible for generating profit and loss (P&L) statements, the Intellias back office had to aggregate data from all over the organization to summarize revenues, costs, and expenses. Intellias employees had to regularly refresh over 160 P&L spreadsheets manually to aggregate a joint Power BI report for business analytics, consuming about four work hours several times per week. To optimize this time-consuming task, we leveraged robotic process automation (RPA) to introduce back-office automation.
Apart from being repetitive, refreshing spreadsheets required intense human concentration, inducing weariness and increasing the probability of errors. We pursued two primary goals when building a smart bot based on back-office automation software: save time and money while eliminating drudge work for our colleagues.
The initiative to automate P&L aggregation came from our delivery operations department, which provides timely data inputs and updates across the company’s projects. Eager to free up valuable time for strategizing, planning, and other intellectual tasks, the department wanted to benefit from back-office automation to replace manual work. To overcome this challenge, our RPA office created a bot to perform routine P&L aggregation, allowing employees to apply their knowledge to more interesting activities.
Research and analysis
Once we decided to improve the efficiency of our business operations, we started searching for optimal ways to do so. Our options were to create a whole new system for centralized data input or use back-office automation software. The first option would have required building a proprietary platform from scratch, involving high costs and much time for development, testing, and integration. Therefore, having analyzed existing RPA tools for back-office automation, we opted for UiPath to create a software robot in the shortest time and at minimal expense.
To address the needs of Intellias back office colleagues, an engineer from our RPA office assumed the role of business analyst to interview stakeholders and reveal their requirements. This resulted in a detailed step-by-step process description to rely on when designing the bot.
Automation in action
After successful testing, the newly developed software bot took care of back-office robotic automation, minimizing the need for knowledge workers to manually process documents. For example, whereas our colleagues used to open each P&L spreadsheet to mechanically refresh it by hand, now the bot goes through a list of files and performs refresh operations using hot keys. It also nimbly handles all pop-ups that appear on its way.
The bot updates documents overnight when no one is using the files, then provides a status report via email after each run as part of the back-office automation process. This allows employees to see reported errors, if any, first thing in the morning and handle them manually.
Using a business-ready platform for back-office robotic automation, we developed a smart solution to fulfill our operational needs promptly and cost-effectively. This way, we didn’t have to change our processes and build a completely new workflow. We leveraged our RPA expertise to offload high-volume tasks from humans to a digital workforce, bringing tangible benefits:
- Two weeks spent on creating a smart bot using back-office automation software to tackle routine operational activities
- At least one worker-day per week is released by employing RPA to make time for efficient use of employees’ intellectual capabilities
- A quick return on investment (ROI) within two months after launching the bot to profit from back-office robotic automation
- Improved team morale thanks to saving employees from dull tasks and boosting their motivation
- Error-free operations are consistently performed by the rule-based robot, whereas humans can easily lose concentration
Many organizations want to streamline their workflows by leveraging software robots for day-to-day operations, and we have successfully implemented back-office automation here at Intellias. Creating a bot allowed us to quickly automate mundane operational activities without changing any processes, which would require costly rearrangements and much time for approvals.
Above all, we aimed at eliminating unproductive manual work on the part of our colleagues by building a bot to perform low-value-added tasks. This reduced overhead costs and enhanced employee motivation and performance, providing more time for our colleagues to apply human decision-making and analytical skills.
Using RPA technology has enabled us to easily automate business processes and lay the groundwork for intelligent automation at scale.