Next week (December 15 to 17 inclusive), Robotic Process Automation (RPA) market leader UiPath is hosting the ‘Reboot Work Festival’. The virtual event’s aim: highlight the ways companies are using automation to reinvent the way they work and free their employees to realise their potential, and it includes some fascinating-looking automation use case studies live on-stage on Day 3, Customer Day.
One that caught our eye was Sanjay Patel, Senior Vice President and Head of Takeda Business Solutions (TBS), who is set to talk about how he’s working with RPA to drive digital transformation at his company, part of the finance function at Tokyo-based Takeda Pharmaceutical.
Mr Patel, can you tell us a little about your part of Takeda?
Takeda Business Solutions (TBS) specialises in building and delivering simplified and innovative solutions across the organisation, enabling the business to focus on strategic decisions and core operations. We partner with Finance, Procurement and HR to bring locally relevant and globally-scalable solutions and optimise end-to-end processes reaching all employees. To do that, TBS offers the latest technology, innovation and capabilities in AI, robotics, automation, design thinking, and analytics.
What is your position and responsibility in your organisation?
I’m Senior Vice President and Head; I’m responsible for providing strategic leadership for the organisation, as well as create an environment where my team is empowered to reimagine, rethink and recreate an enhanced and simplified end user experience for everyday processes. In the end, we want to allow our business to focus on what really matters: patients.
What was the business problem that led you to work with UiPath?
In January 2020, members of my team, IT, Finance and HR met with UiPath for an immersive workshop on robotic process automation and artificial intelligence. Our goal was to apply RPA and AI at Takeda to help eliminate repetitive, mundane business tasks to allow employees to focus on their core activities.
Quickly after, we kicked off an Intelligent Automation Center of Excellence that has three key objectives:
- Leverage digital innovation to enable seamless end-to-end processes
- Provide an enhanced and simplified employee experience
- Accelerate the development of digital champions across the company.
Through this partnership with UiPath, we have also applied exciting possibilities with robotics-as-a-service. Plus, via predictive analysis, we have determined that thousands of hours could be saved on tasks like billing transactions and invoice processing with our bots, which are being scaled globally. In addition, we are democratising automation in TBS through a program called Automation Ninjas; employees with no prior knowledge of robotics, embark on a five-week immersion program to get trained and certified on automation using UiPath’s StudioX software.
This empowers them to automate everyday repetitive and manual tasks, which means they have made an immediate impact on their role. Since April, we have trained more than 190 such ‘ninjas’ from TBS and other parts of Takeda’s Finance organisation in 20 locations, who have developed more than 200 bots. They are saving thousands of hours increasing efficiency and accuracy, avoiding human errors and duplication, while focusing on the more interesting and higher value-add part of their jobs.
So where are you now with your digital transformation via automation?
Digitalisation is one of our four key measures of success in TBS’s operating model. We have built a comprehensive digital ecosystem in partnership with IT, including artificial intelligence, robotics, automation, and analytics-focused solutions. And embracing robotic process automation has already allowed TBS and other functions to reduce processing times; in fact, process ownership is key to the successful transformation of our processes, and a “game changer” that will elevate TBS to become an intelligent business solutions organization. Through process ownership, we strive to continuously improve the employee experience, standardise policies, measures and targets, as well as simplify and automate processes to reduce cycle time and costs while increasing the consistency and quality of our work.