When the Skipton Building Society, headquartered in northern England, needed to expand its capacity without adding headcount, it conducted an analysis of where it might automate certain operations. As one of the largest building societies in the UK, it provides a range of financial services, such as savings, mortgages, and insurance.
Daryl Foster, leader of Process Improvement, Support & Automation at Skipton Building Society, spearheaded the operational analysis. He was looking for areas where he could increase efficiency and relieve as many as 2,000 staff members to focus more on customers and higher-value tasks, which would help the organization expand.
In his case study outlining Skipton Building Society’s journey into automation (entitled “Alfred Housing Bot”), GigaOm analyst Mark Chillingworth describes how Foster and his organization arrived at robotic process automation (RPA) as the answer to Skipton’s quest for increased efficiency. Chillingworth portrays how Skipton used RPA to keep staffing levels the same while relieving team members of the repetitive procedural work. RPA also greatly improved internal communications.
Foster and his team at Skipton examined several methods to improve operational efficiency, including RPA. He understood the first RPA deployment would not return a direct profit, so he looked at how RPA could improve the organization, the service it provides, and staff operations. “We asked our subject matter experts in the organization if they could do much more important work,” says Foster, as he tried to discover ways to make the organization more efficient.
“RPA allows us to grow. There were a lot of processes that were very repeatable and mundane. We are very much a human touch organization, so our colleagues can focus on that,” says Foster. He and his team at Skipton Building Society opted for Kofax RPA to automate and accelerate home price evaluation, one of the many repetitive financial tasks at the organization.
The statistics and benefits are impressive when looking at the numbers following Skipton’s RPA deployment:
- 1,300 hours per year saved on a single process (Skipton expects to increase by a factor of 10 as it automates more processes.)
- 89 percent data processing accuracy
- Faster customer response times
- Shorter mortgage lead times
- Existing subject matter experts (SMEs) can now support more complex work and increase their own skills.