When Skipton Building Society, based in the north of England, needed to expand its capacity without adding staff, it undertook an analysis of where it could automate certain operations. As one of the UK’s largest building societies, they offer a range of financial services including savings, mortgages and insurance.
Daryl Foster, Lead for Process Improvement, Support and Automation at Skipton Building Society, led the operational analysis. He was looking for areas where he could increase efficiency and relieve up to 2,000 staff members to focus more on customers and higher value tasks, which would help the organization expand.
In his case study describing Skipton Building Society’s journey toward automation (titled “Alfred Housing Bot”), GigaOm analyst Mark Chillingworth describes how Foster and his organization came to robotic process automation (RPA) as the answer. to Skipton’s quest for greater efficiency. Chillingworth portrays how Skipton used RPA to maintain the same staffing levels while relieving team members of repetitive procedural work. RPA also greatly improved internal communications.
Foster and his team at Skipton examined various methods to improve operational efficiency, including RPA. He understood that the first RPA implementation would not generate 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,” Foster says, as he tried to figure out 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 an organization with a human touch, so our colleagues can focus on that,” says Foster. He and his team at Skipton Building Society turned to Kofax RPA to automate and speed up home appraisal, one of many repetitive financial tasks in the organization.
The statistics and benefits are impressive when you look at the numbers after Skipton’s RPA implementation:
- 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 accuracy in data processing
- Faster customer response times
- Shorter mortgage terms
- Existing subject matter experts (SMEs) can now support more complex work and augment their own skills.