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‘Choose the Right Technology for the Right Process’

Future Workforce Links Business with Automation

by Marco van der Hoeven

FastPath Automation, a provider of Intelligent Automation solutions, has recently joined the ranks of the international enterprise, Future WorkForce. This integration aims to help Future WorkForce better serve the Benelux market, driving innovation among its customers and partners. Rocking Robots interviewed Edwin Provoost to gain insights into the strategic rationale behind this move.

“The automation market’s maturity level is evolving,” observes Edwin Provoost, Managing Director of Future WorkForce NL. “It wasn’t long ago when I had to explain what the acronym RPA stood for to CFOs. Now, they comprehend the concept of technology replicating certain repetitive human tasks and understand what RPA entails. They’re ready for the next phase.”

One of the reasons for integrating into Future Workforce was this maturing market. “The dynamics of supply and demand are shifting. This demands a strategic reorientation from us. Previously, our approach was predominantly product-centric; now we focus on consultancy because our clients’ queries align with strategic objectives like profitability and agility.”

Machine learning

The proposed solutions might include shortening processes or introducing other measures to keep employees engaged, rather than solely focusing on cost savings through time efficiencies. “We interpret corporate strategies from a macro perspective and translate them into concrete actions. Our services no longer focus solely on RPA; we offer a diverse array of solutions including process optimization and low-code development. In some instances, automating a process is not the right answer.”

The suite of new solutions includes intelligent document processing powered by machine learning. “With these comprehensive solutions, we address challenges holistically, demonstrating concrete efficiencies we can bring to an organization. For example, if you have 1,000 FTEs, we could potentially free up the equivalent of 170 FTEs in budget. That represents tangible value.”

This value not only resides in financial savings but also in the evolution of tasks. “The resources freed up can be reallocated to areas where they offer additional value. For instance, a controller, once liberated from creating Excel files, can identify potential risks and opportunities. This transformation can bring about organizational change.”

Comprehensive approach

Achieving these results requires a comprehensive approach. “Incremental steps may yield a 7% efficiency gain, but a complete overhaul can result in a 17% gain. We explain this to organizations using concrete programs, which start with a pilot. Based on measurable potential, we propose a systematic, multi-year approach to ensure organizations receive returns. We even dare to guarantee this.”

With strategic questions evolving, so too are the key stakeholders for Future Workforce. Provoost says, “In the organizations we engage with, the CFO and CIO are our principal points of contact. However, the organization’s maturity significantly influences this dynamic. Some companies need a boost, as they have stagnated in their development. We have defined several profiles based on their maturity, tailoring our approach accordingly.”

“We provide managed services for organizations at every stage of their digital journey. The CFO plays a crucial role in this, as the European automation market is relatively nascent. The CFO is often the anchor for digitization policy, and that’s where we direct our efforts. Discussions about cost savings and profitability typically occur with the CFO.”

Complex structures

Our partnerships play an instrumental role in navigating the complex structures of larger, international organizations. “We develop strategic plans with them to ensure a smooth digital transformation. Our partnerships, such as the one with UiPath, are invaluable. They provide robust support, enabling us to better assist organizations or facilitate customer demonstrations. As a Diamond Partner of UiPath, we have access to many opportunities that might otherwise be inaccessible.”

AI is increasingly influencing these solutions. “We live in a rapidly evolving world. A prime example is the use of algorithms to identify patterns in large data sets. This includes identifying customers who exhibit behaviors that could lead to churn or converting unstructured information, such as PDFs containing transport order information, into data for a planning tool.”


“Selecting the right technology for the right process is crucial. Sometimes a simple intermediary application, such as a low-code platform, may suffice. In the logistics industry, where many documents are still exchanged as PDFs, there is a significant potential for intelligent document processing.”

AI usage goes beyond technology. Compliance is crucial, as national and international regulations increasingly dictate permissible activities. “For instance, if you employ a mathematician who uses algorithms to identify patterns in data, the algorithms must adhere to legal requirements.”

Issues like these are gaining importance because, at the end of the day, it’s about people, not just technology. “Our goal is to liberate and empower people, facilitating communication, interpretation, and creativity. Technology is merely a tool to achieve this. We aim to humanize work by boosting productivity and enhancing quality with concrete solutions.”

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