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Record to Report Transformation, Digitalization and RPA Strategy

Could you please elaborate on the implementation of RPA?

Robotics process automation is already delivering value for most organisations, with early adopters achieving significant benefits as they swiftly move from experiment to scale. Yet the large core of organizations is, at best, slow to benefit from RPA and only a small minority reached so far, any level of scale.

In order to rip the full potential of automation, the implementation of RPA requires an engaged and expert IT organisation, buy-in across all levels of the organisation and be part of a broader business transformation through a large-scale change programme. Building scale and speed in automation can be achieved with the support of a dedicated third-party partner, to provide expertise and skills lacking in their own organizations from turn-key solutions to up-skill in-house teams in RPA-delivery capability.

The end game of implementing RPA, is not only a lower cost base, more efficient and higher-quality workforce for rules-based back-office tasks, but the opportunity for a fundamental cultural shift, setting organisations for success in the digital age.

What are challenges and what companies need to avoid?

RPA delivers benefits that allow companies to optimize their business operations and deliver improved customer experience. Some of the difficulties in integrating a new technology into a company’s current architecture, and that could slow down the successful use of RPA, are employee resistance, selecting the right processes and setting realistic stakeholder expectations.

RPA can be seen by employees as a threat as they might face dislocation in their responsibilities. Positively messaging the benefits of automation, e.g. scaling up operations due to growing business, shifting workforce skills to higher value roles, meeting new compliance requirements, is key to overcoming employee resistance. Company leaders that earnestly inform employees about what is in it for them and nurture a culture of innovation, are essential to the successful adoption and accelerated embracing of RPA.

Automation capabilities of RPA are best suited for repetitive, rules-based and high-volume tasks which do not require human judgement and especially difficult to implement with non-standardized processes that require frequent human intervention. As well, one key strategic decision to make, is whether you will automate the current processes with minor changes or consider simplifying and standardising them as part of the automation.

Furthermore, setting realistic stakeholder expectations is one of the biggest hurdles when implementing any new technology. Instead of seeing RPA as the single solution for all operational challenges and ineffective processes, organizations need to recognize its limits. The technology needs to be tailored on a company-specific basis, as its functionality, implementation timeline, and operational outcomes will vary between companies and industries.

With all the obstacles to overcome, the competitive advantages that RPA offers in leveraging lean operational principles and double-digit percentage payback, far outweighs the potential pains of implementation.

Could you please share some ideas on how to align your digital transformation roadmap with your strategic objectives?

If you don’t know why you are deploying RPA you will struggle to get and maintain momentum, and your initiatives will be pulled in all directions. According to Deloitte’s 3rdAnnual Global RPA Survey Report, from more than four hundred executives responsible for running transactional operations such as global business services, shared services, finance, procurement, HR, marketing, and operations, mentioned focus on continuous improvement, increase level of automation and develop analytics capabilities as their top strategic priorities.

The evidence yielded by the survey underlines that top line and productivity benefits can outweigh reduction in the cost base: expectations of productivity improvement from automation were met or exceeded, while the same is true of cost reduction. Other benefits that met or exceeded expectations and ranked higher than cost reduction include increased compliance, elimination of waste and rework and continuous processing enablement. These benefits can be best achieved by laying the right foundation to enable a top-ranking digital workforce to support their digital transformation strategy.

What is your perspective on how to overcome challenges with your IT support model?

Another obstacle to overcome when implementing a digital transformation strategy, is the lack of internal expertise andintegrating the IT organisation in the automation process. The traditional IT organisation set to support business as usual operations, has typically little inclination to try out disruptive and potentially unmastered technologies and never developed the capability needed to lead the digital transformation that organisations strive for.

Furthermore, tools deployed without governance and strategy are, at best, ineffective and more than likely costly or even harmful. If RPA is part of a long-term strategy, it is important to consider how automation and its governance fits in the organizational, digital, and IT roadmap. For this reason, executive sponsorship and a dedicated internal team of agile, digital-minded technical experts is critical to succeed. Typically, this team of RPA champions consists of an executive sponsor, an IT representative, and key employees from the business, and is ultimately responsible for leading the automation programme and establishing an Automation Center of Excellence.

The CoE serves as the automation governing body, providing organization-specific expertise and is responsible for the overarching RPA strategy, governance structure, and deployment approach. Because of the broad-reaching implications for RPA, organizations that set up a solid governance structure and engage their IT organisation from the beginning will be better positioned to reap the benefits of automation. 

What would you like to achieve by attending the 4th Edition R2R, Automation and Robotic Process Automation Strategy Conference?

What’s most important for me in participating is to get insights on success stories of RPA implementation in the context of global business services and shared services organisations. I am also very keen in hearing about disruptive technologies as blockchain and predictive automation impact in society and how Finance and Digital leaders see their organisations’ corporate social responsibility towards the communities of which they are a part. Keeping up to date with latest digital trends and technological innovations and how they impact the work environment is paramount for me in keeping relevant in evermore competitive markets.

An interview with:

João Marques Gomes
Global Service Delivery Manager Record to Report at TNT

This marcus evans event is about using automation, RPA, AL and best practices to make the R2R process less costly and more efficient.
Maturing technology with RPA, AL, ML, Automation and nice visualization tools enables SSC leads, F&A Leaders, and R2R Process Owners to transform the way finance function is managed, a re-invent a lot of processes, and roles with new robotic or automated processes, thus cutting costs and reducing headcount, as improving a quality and decision-making.

To view the Conference Agenda, click HERE! 

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About the conference

The implementation of RPA

We would be delighted to provide you with more information on the conference agenda.  Please fill in your details below and we will be in touch.

Global Service Delivery Manager with strong academic and commercial background in US, Belgian and Dutch multinational quoted companies with 20 years plus experience in FMCG, Technology, Financial Services and Logistics industries. As Head of Accounting and Controls outsourced services, Joao specialized in Finance and Accounting operations, Procure to Pay, Record to Report, P&L management, shared services and outsourcing. Joao has built, transformed and managed international Finance functions for US, Belgian and Dutch quoted multinational companies like TNT/FedEx, Mars/Wrigley, Euroclear, Google and Yahoo!. Partnered with stakeholders across business functions to drive operational excellence and led his teams to be at the forefront of Finance transformation. Holds a Business Degree from ISCTE Lisbon University and a Chartered Accountant qualification by OCC Portugal.

To view the Conference Agenda, click HERE! 

For all enquiries regarding speaking, sponsoring and attending this conference contact:

Yiota Andreou
Telephone: +357 22849 404
Fax: +357 22 849 394

4th Edition

13-15 May 2019 

Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre, Netherlands