During this current pandemic, one way to help alleviate the pressure and optimise operations within citizen engagement services is via the deployment of digital employees: creating a digital workforce.
Challenges faced by local authorities
Local authorities we’ve spoken to foresee an enormous peak in demand for their services during this pandemic and are exploring ways to undertake the work required against limited staff capacity.
As members of the community seek information from their local authority, this will put undue stress and pressure on the existing workforce.
What is a digital workforce?
A digital workforce is a set of software robots aka Robotic Process Automation (RPA). RPA is already used in many organisations to execute monotonous and repetitive activities – for example within administrative processes. A software robot executes these activities instead of your employees.
Thankfully, putting a software robot in production doesn’t require large and impactful changes to your IT-environment. This development can be done in a relatively short period of time (often in weeks). And once in place, the big advantage is that a software robot can be productive 24 hours per day and 7 days a week without errors – giving your communities access to their services without disruption. Furthermore, RPA can work on top of existing legacy applications, thereby saving you costs on any new system upgrades or implementation projects.
How can the digital workforce help?
The digital workforce can perform many of your core activities including, but not limited to, the following.
- Revenue collection,
- Processing permit applications,
- Managing incident reporting,
- Process case management,
- Contract administration.
As well as performing core activities, it can also be used to carry out support activities, for example:
- HR functions – payroll, benefits management, education and training records management, recruitment and new joiner processes.
- IT functions – infrastructure/application monitoring, folder and file management, user/directory and release management, network monitoring and desktop support.
- Finance functions – Reconciliations, claims processing, expense payments, returns management and inventory processing.
The digital workforce uses RPA ability to collate data from many systems to deliver a single view of the citizen to aid service delivery and improve their experience. The use of intelligent chat bots in the digital workforce will also free up existing human resources to focus on core activities.
What are the costs involved?
Deploying a software robot has the following costs:
- One time development cost
- Annual licensing cost for robots
- Annual maintenance cost
We can also help prepare a cost-benefit assessment and offer payment arrangements that meet your needs and situation.
How can Mazars help?
Mazars has extensive experience in the public sector and works with over 150 local authorities across the UK. We can leverage our RPA capabilities and robot libraries to develop and deploy your digital workforce.
We can deliver the engagement remotely, using our remote working arrangements such as MS Teams, Huddle, and remote RPA development and deployment using our development centres in Slovakia and India.
The use of robot libraries and remote development shortens the development time considerably and also reduces the overall cost of development. Our maintenance services can support you whenever necessary, even after deployment of robots in your environment.
We have partnerships with all of the leading RPA software providers but remain independent, so you know that we are working with the best software for your particular needs. Please use the form below if you would like to discuss this solution further.