The Leader Magazine

DEC 2018

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budgeting, helpdesk order management, travel booking, incident management and periodic performance reporting preparation and dissemination. How WT s is approaching r P a and its impact WTS is approaching RPA and LPM as an ongoing programme of work, continuing to explore the full potential and learning lessons, project by project. Here are some of the changes RPA is driving and the lessons learned so far: • Becoming experts in understanding our end- to-end processes and costs. The team has invested time in documenting and reviewing end-to-end processes captured under three broad categories: 1. Operational site processes (e.g., processes performed on-site, such as repair and maintenance) 2. Global processes managed centrally (e.g., new joiner take on, purchase order management) 3. Data-management processes (e.g., data consolidation and performance reporting) Cross-functional process groups consisting of managers and doers (who, along with suppliers, are part of the process under review) then develop process maps and action plans for automation. This requires a data-driven approach and a forensic level of assessment of process costs and resources to make sure all automation decisions are based on sound data and a return on investment. • Learning new skills and building a greater awareness of automation opportunities through learning. Starting with leadership, there has been a strong drive to develop new skills and awareness through cascades and action-based learning events to educate the team in LPM and RPA and their application to a process. New communication and feedback channels have also been established to share learning and successes across the global team and submit ideas for automation. This has built momentum and understanding. • Applying lean and automation as one programme: To get the maximum benefit from automation, it is important not to automate an inefficient process. The team applies lean skills to first re-engineer processes using lean methodology before targeting automation. A set of priority processes are shortlisted based on how critical they are and the anticipated amount of manual effort involved. • Adopting a "fail fast, learn fast" approach. The initial focus has been shortlisting and piloting rapid implementation of automation use cases focusing on opportunities for financial impact to prove the case for RPA and promote successes to senior leadership. In doing this, the automation team has followed an agile approach that allows for course correction when something does not work. This approach is helping foster a more agile scrum-based approach to our work generally and drive a more innovative mindset. • Accessing and using experts to help implement automation programme, build momentum and deliver at speed. Crucially, WTS has leveraged lean and RPA knowledge and experts within the company to build internal expertise. WTS has worked with procurement and the Unilever Automation Factory to drive the programme. • Governing, measuring and making results visible. As automation is rolled out, it is important to put a governance framework in place to help prioritize the use cases in order of financial impact and to track and report the benefits to ensure that you are realizing the maximum value out of RPA. As an early adopter, WTS has started its journey to become a digital function and realize the full potential of robotics. As the team understands the application of robotics and increases its knowledge, WTS will become more capable of identifying the opportunities across all our service areas and deliver the expectations of the business. the lea D er December 2018 15 Jane Muir-Sands is vice president of Workplace and Travel Services (WTS) for Unilever. Mark Vowles is director of Unilever's WTS Innovation and Operations. Kuldeep Sankhala is general manager of data and analytics for Unilever WTS. Benchmark and Control Data Collection Data Analysis Re-engineer using LEAN & Design Thinking Robotic Process Automation Figure 2: Lean and automation

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