When considering how to represent the RPA data in Workware, Mercer and ActiveOps needed to understand:
- How much capacity is available each day for each resource?
- What tasks will they complete?
- What is the standard time to complete these tasks?
- What other activities will consume their time?
This initial set-up provides a comprehensive view of where resources are being used and how much of their time is spent on value-added activity.
An immediate benefit for Mercer was seeing the performance of all resource types – human, robot, and third-party – using a common operational language and set of metrics. When the RPA data was included in Workware, it was possible to measure the robots’ actual processing time versus expected time (productivity) and crucially, the proportion of time spent on processing during the day (utilization). Mercer could drill down to analyze the factors affecting each robot’s performance. Further, since Workware contains the work produced by humans and robots alike, Mercer could analyze interactions between the two such as “digitizing work” or resolving “exceptions,” and focus on areas where they needed to improve the process or workflow for the robots. “We’re living in an exciting era of digitization and automation,” says Autumn Harris, Global Continuous Improvement Leader at Mercer.
LESSONS LEARNED AND THE ROAD AHEAD
ActiveOps continues to work with Mercer as the firm expands its RPA capabilities. Workware’s ability to aggregate data and report this in a meaningful way across departments and geographies enables Mercer to better:
- Identify opportunities to deploy RPA further
- Understand the cross-organizational RPA and human dynamics
- Share RPA resources and make the best use of capacity during the 24-hour operating window
- Manage disruption as digital operations grow and mature
About Mercer & ActiveOps
Mercer, a global leader in helping organizations meet the health, wealth, and career needs of a changing workforce, enjoys a long-standing relationship with ActiveOps, a leading provider of digital operations management solutions. In 2012, Mercer implemented Workware – a cloud-based application from ActiveOps, which consolidates all operational data into a single intuitive interface – in Australia.
The Workware software and enabling the ActiveOps method proved successful and led to Mercer expanding the rollout across its UK, India, Ireland, and US operations. Mercer and ActiveOps started the Workware journey with the objective of providing a single, consolidated view of work, resources, and performancerelated data to support capacity planning and decision-making.
Soon after, Mercer decided to leverage Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and wanted to include the operational data from their expanding digital workforce in Workware’s consolidated view.