By Xina Seaton VP, Customer Experience, Blue Prism
Read Time: 2:51
For Curt Burghardt, vice president of HR shared services and systems
for Walgreens, RPA (robotics process automation) started out as a way to
remove some transactional tasks from his team, so they could better
support the company’s 230,000+ U.S.-based employees. And since
implementing Blue Prism’s enterprise RPA digital workforce, efficiency
in the HR shared services group has jumped 73%.
But, as he
explained to this month’s Café audience members, the initial proof of
concept made it clear that RPA would be much more than an efficiency
play for the 117-year-old retail drug store chain’s HR shared services
group, it would underpin the transformation of the overall HR function.
For example, approximately 2,000 Walgreens employees are on leave of absence on any given day. Blue Prism automatically loads the necessary data, including whether it’s a paid or unpaid leave, into all the required systems. In the workman’s compensation process, digital workers instantaneously feed data back and forth between Walgreens and its claims management service provider.
But the company is also exploring how enterprise RPA can bring a
consumer-type experience – aka Alexa and Google Home – to its employees
and team members. For example, whether it’s done by voice or text, a
Blue Prism RPA solution could manage a chatbot-driven process. That
would give the team much more time to serve employees and make
everything move more quickly and easily.
In Curt’s view, whatever
the process, and whatever combination of cloud-based and home-grown
on-premises HR systems need to be tapped to perform the process,
shared services often plays the connector, and Blue Prism enterprise RPA becomes the glue that ties the different pieces together.
A Different Approach to the Business Case
But since the concept of digital workers can be so difficult to grasp, he shared an idea that can help those who do need to secure business case funding from the finance team.
“Finance deals with macros quite a bit, given this if you explain that RPA can be considered a macro on steroids, they’ll be able to understand more what you’re actually talking about.”
Partnering for Success
Even though Walgreens’ HR shared services funded the digital
workforce transformation, various groups are contributing to its
success. IBM is the systems integrator for the new, cloud-based core HR
and payroll systems Walgreens is implementing. Because it’s also a Blue
Prism partner, IBM has been able to help with the digital workforce
modeling questions and has direct access to Blue Prism engineers if it
runs into something it’s not certain about. All of the modelers come
from Curt’s team, and they all went through Blue Prism’s extensive
training program. But because of its extensive Blue Prism knowledge, IBM
has also delivered some additional training and provided the Walgreen’s
team mentoring while shadowing their early deployments.
internal IT department has also been deeply involved in the entire
robotic initiative. It not only helped in the initial selection of Blue
Prism because of its robust modeling and system reconnection
capabilities, but also conducted exhaustive reviews to ensure Blue Prism
would adhere to data privacy laws, wouldn’t cause any network security
issues, and that the solution would be able to scale across other
portions of the company, beyond HR.
Walgreens’ RPA Success Story
Click here to view the webinar, and hear all the details Curt shared about his company’s RPA journey.