WWT Contracts Team Adds Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Teammate
WWT used Robotic Process Automation to improve team performance and morale while saving a hiring action. Automating a rule-based, repetitive process allows the contracts team to focus on high-value work while reducing response time, a key contract metric.
In this case study
WWT's contracts team had three people sharing the task of managing requests related to an (indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity) IDIQ contract with a public sector agency. Ready to hire someone new to own this task, the contracts team asked if (robotic process automation) RPA could be employed instead. The tasks were menial and repetitive, but contract metrics require rapid response to each request. Part of being a great place to work is that we provide meaningful work for our employees, and RPA helps by offloading tedious tasks to a robot teammate.
Log in and act as a human. That's the most basic function of robotic process automation. The function of this robot assistant is to receive quote requests by email, gather pertinent information and send it to the correct sales teams. The RPA logs in to a website and collects related information and attachments - eliminating steps in the bidding process. Adding a logic challenge to the basic swivel chair operations of this project was identifying the correct sales rep for each task order based on semi-structured data. Requests for quote (RFQs) are filtered to sales teams based on geographic location of the agency releasing the RFQ as well as agency-specific alignment. Finally, the RPA logs the activity - creating an audit trail.
Speed and accuracy of routing was the primary focus of this project. Navigating the website to collect all required data was also critical to maximize time of the sales teams. The automation is able to offload administrative tasks from the human workforce and allow for more time spent on high-value work.
The automation runs on an unattended robot. This means full automation without human supervision or interruption. WWT's RPA team worked with the contracts team to identify the full workflow, develop a solution with intelligent routing features and deliver a turn-key solution. Functioning as a teammate, the robot shares a group email account allowing human teammates to address any emails that the robot is not designed to handle.
Time savings from the first automation is estimated at about one full-time equivalent (FTE), but that is a round-the-clock employee who never takes a sick-day or vacation. Plus, there was no time needed to hire and onboard a new employee. Stepping away from a monotonous task provides an additional benefit in employee experience.
What could you do with a trained, tireless robot employee… or 10?
Perhaps the greatest endorsement of the project came two weeks after it was introduced into production, when the team requested a second automation to handle another similar IDIQ vehicle. The contracts team now includes two robot teammates with plans for adding a third.
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