Implementing automation in daily operations is not a question anymore in most insurance companies. The prevailing question is how you get from task automation to end-to-end automation to improve both employee and customer experience. The answer: drive transformation by joining up fragmented processes and siloed departments.
Deep diving into departments such as claims will allow you to re-design typically complex processes – often the reason for inefficient services – while impacting personal productivity through task automation. Something you can only achieve by thinking along a vision that UiPath introduced a while back – a robot for every person – where personal robots step in to take on repetitive tasks, freeing up people for higher value work. In such work environments, everybody has the power – and the mindset – to automate and enable change.
To follow this vision, start with an initiative to develop digital assistants by persona. Create robots for high frequency tasks for employees that are available on demand. This way you can provide roles such as Underwriters, Claims Officers, control functions with four or five task automations that they can use. Think of, for example, the collection of information where they are pulling data from five or more systems for a contract renewal. Why not get a robot to do some of this repetitive, heavy lifting task and leave humans to do the more interesting value-added tasks?
While task automation does not go very deep in terms of complexity, it certainly gets the message out there and the learnings happen. As an example, doing tasks like out of office replies and requesting days off gets people familiar with automation (digital assistants and being in control of them) and creating acceptance. And to get champions across your business, you certainly need people talking about automation and accepting it.
As part of the change process bottom-up, they will learn the benefits of using robots to take on the boring, repetitive tasks that are not adding any value.
The super-user is dead, long live the citizen developer
Traditionally every organization has super-users; subject matter experts that are fully proficient using Excel sheets and macros. They have a lot of knowledge and experience and can provide great insight into often bespoke processes but they have rarely written down anything. And if they leave, their knowledge disappears.
It is important for organizations to turn these subject matter experts into automation champions, into citizen developers using his or her expertise to extend automation development beyond the Center of Excellence. Involving experts with citizen-led, low-code automation allows them to learn new skills, solve their roadblocks quicker and be more productive. With automation at this level, processes become transparent and knowledge more available.
How to get from a bottom-up to a top-down approach?
Most organizations choose to pick a department to look at end-to-end process automation and to demonstrate the value to the department. In insurance companies claims is often looked at as a department of which you can get a double benefit through automation; 1) you are obviously optimizing the functioning of the department by making it as efficient as possible to respond to customers quickly, and 2) you can reduce the loss ratio by finding more fraud.
Whichever way you start your automation journey, top-down or bottom-up, avoid doing too much all at once. The technology is agile, much faster and gives you results quicker, so do not bite off too much because otherwise three or six months later you are still not seeing the benefits. Begin small and keep delivering results quick. By doing that your champions will actually see the results which will keep them engaged. Next to that, avoid change fatigue – results are important. Success builds on success, so take people with you and you will be surprised by the level of interest.
Roger Peverelli and Reggy de Feniks – Founders The DIA Community
This editorial was the second in a series of deep dives by UiPath on RPA – sharing use cases, lessons learnt, governance, top tips, etc. Click here to read the first article of this series, and stay tuned to find out more and to get answers to the follow up questions you undoubtedly have on the topics touched on here.
UiPath is a driving force behind the Fourth Industrial Revolution with its end-to-end platform for automation that enables organizations across all industries to scale digital business operations at unprecedented pace. In a series of editorials, UiPath will share their vision on Automation in Insurance, sharing use cases, lessons learnt, governance, top tips and much more. The first article on this subject started of by saying ‘people are at the centre of enabling and unlocking the benefits of robotic process automation (RPA) technology.’
For more information about RPA in the insurance industry, see our partner DIA TV