A major milestone was reached this year in the successful evolution and scale of the RPA market.
In April 2017, one of Japan’s leading financial institutions, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Inc. (SMFG) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) launched an important initiative aimed at increasing the productivity and efficiency of their operations.
Looking at the newest technologies that could help deliver on these goals, they selected RPA as a critical transformation lever.
Having every intention to turn automation into an important part of the organization’s future, the group established a Productivity Management Department to take on this ambitious plan which currently projects cost reductions of ~$450 million by 2020 and nearly $1 billion in the medium-term.
SMFG/SMBC recount the progress they have made with this project in an official media advisory released on November 13.
By now, over 400.000 hours—about 650,000 hours including processes currently under development—of annualized savings across 200 operations have successfully been achieved.
Drawing confidence from UiPath’s highly flexible and scalable platform, a complete Attended and Unattended solution has been deployed.
The Attended digital workforce supports the group’s front-office centric activities, enabling the staff to develop the automation themselves and to work alongside the Robot by exerting direct command over it. Complementary, the Unattended digital workforce targets all the high volume processes that do not require human touch, working 24 hours per day and 365 days per year to sustain high-throughput, high-intensity processing.
Key areas of RPA implementation at SMFG/SMBC
- Compliance and risk operations (suspicious transactions, internal loss verification / measurement);
- Information gathering processes used to enhance sales and planning capabilities ( customer transaction or industry data);
- Support branch operations (customer performance reports, mortgage loan brochures);
- Routine Operation Center processes with high volumes related todeposits, currency exchange, loans, etc;
- Routine Headquarter processes (reports, payments, application operations).
1 million hours of capacity are expected to be generated by the end of this fiscal year, and more than 3 million hours within the next 3 years, equivalent to the workload of about 1, 500 people.
UiPath is honored to be working alongside some of the foremost advisors and partners in the industry for this project. Accenture Japan, EY, Deloitte, IBM Japan and PWC, all aligned behind a common strategy to deliver powerful results at SMFG/SMBC.
Leveraging the partner network’s specialist knowledge and capabilities, a Center of Excellence was built to ensure high quality development under a robust management structure and finally to support the industrialization of the initiative. As a result of this approach, enhanced governance, security measures, and the standardization of development methods were successfully achieved.
Work style reform
The development of the group’s robust plan is proceeding apace. The knowledge accumulated in the CoE will be extended to the group’s companies with the support of the Japan Research Institute. They will further exploit UiPath’s training structure to the advantage of employees who are in this way encouraged to put their skills to good account and be actively involved in the development and use of RPA. The anticipated 3 million hours of productivity improvement over the next 3 years will allow the companies to adopt workstyle reform, with more reasonable working hours and optimal assignment of people across roles.
2017, the breakout year for RPA
Financial institutions are among the earliest adopters of advanced technologies, and of RPA specifically. It makes sense. They are traditionally intensive environments that rely on speedy interaction with customers and the market. Gravitating towards automation brings immense opportunities. Even more so in Japan, where the financial services sector is particularly mature, refined and well seasoned technologically.
It’s these first adopters that are also the first to scale RPA deployments, and it’s their success stories that are bringing RPA on the verge of becoming an essential part of the arsenal of every enterprise’s digital business.
2017 is showing the signs of a breakout year for RPA.
Watch out for 2018, it should be even more exciting.