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CLIENT: Deloitte Region: Americas Industry: Professional Services

Learning to Love Automation: RPA Wins Over Deloitte

Deloitte is a large professional services firm that relies on numerous business processes to deliver high-quality services.

Not all of those processes were working in its favor, however. Deloitte teams set out to use Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to make the organization faster, and better than ever. But first, they needed to get the rest of the company on board.

RPA presents a better way to do business

“There has to be a better way of doing this. We simply cannot do it the way it’s been done the last 20, 25 years.”

Sameer BohraDirector of Emerging Technologies & Products, Deloitte Canada

That was the issue Sameer Bohra and his team faced at Deloitte. As the director of Deloitte Canada’s Emerging Technologies & Products division, Bohra had a duty to make the business better through the latest cutting-edge tech.

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Bohra saw a lot of potential in RPA to replace the many repetitive, manual processes that bogged down different business units and kept employees from giving customers their all.

Making the case for RPA

Bohra’s team started out targeting low-hanging fruit that could produce immediate results. They held a discovery session to identify the most viable opportunities for automation. Within a couple of weeks, Bohra had more than 50 potential opportunities to choose from. A few stood out for the undeniable ROI they could produce.

First up was billing automation, specifically targeting processes related to Deloitte’s primary sources of revenue. Developers created software robots that can manage the billing process without any hands-on support. Practitioners simply issue a billing command, and the RPA bots take care of the rest.

Fewer billing errors, quicker billing cycles, and faster revenue collection—what exec wouldn’t be impressed?

"That has been a game-changer for us," Bohra says.

And if that didn’t convince the powers that be that RPA was worth the price of admission, Bohra’s team created RPA solutions to bring another RPA win, this time in HR: talent acquisition and onboarding.

Onboarding is a notoriously long, highly manual, and expensive process. But Deloitte’s entire workflow is managed by software robots, from issuing an offer letter to requesting a background check. Deloitte has significantly cut down on the cost of onboarding new employees as a result.

“We have to bring business along on this journey.”

Sameer BohraDirector of Emerging Technologies & Products, Deloitte Canada

The final piece of the puzzle was winning over ground-level employees who would be using RPA every day. Easier said than done.

“Automation” doesn’t always go over well with workers who think that tech is just a way to lower headcount. Who’s going to welcome RPA with open arms if they think it’s going to make their job obsolete?

To alleviate those concerns, Bohra set to work, creating a change management strategy that would build trust in RPA solutions.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • 4Week delivery cycle
  • 50+Initial RPA opportunities

“Our motive had always been to elevate our practitioners' experiences by relieving them of mundane activities,” Bohra notes. “Explaining that took some time to gain that confidence.”

Part of Deloitte’s RPA success can be chalked up to its rapid delivery method. From start to finish, developers can create and launch a software robot within four weeks. RPA is all about speed and efficiency, after all.

What’s next for Deloitte’s RPA roadmap?

Deloitte’s RPA journey may have started with basic RPA solutions, but the company has far more ambitious plans for the future.

“We started our journey in late 2017 with basic RPA, and now we’re talking about taking it to the next level.”

Sameer BohraDirector of Emerging Technologies & Products, Deloitte Canada

Bohra is excited about advanced solutions like cognitive automation that move way beyond unattended RPA. UiPath will be an important team member as Deloitte explores the full potential of this technology.

Bohra’s team at Deloitte plans to take advantage of the UiPath AI Fabric to continue pushing the limits of what RPA can do. The company will also start empowering everyday employees to develop their own software robots with a citizen developer program.

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