When it comes to automation technology, it’s natural to think of factory floor processes or repetitive finance operations that can benefit from eliminating potential human error.
But a more expansive view has been espoused:
- Automation can deliver significant human resources (HR) benefits. For a company that’s expanding beyond its ability to hire staff, automation can make that business more scalable, Acceleration Economy analyst and manufacturing CIO Kenny Mullican said in a recent automation roundtable.
- Automation and bot software vendor UiPath is embedding automation robots into talent cloud software from iCIMS to increase the level of automation available in HR processes.
- Startup impress.ai is using bots to ensure that a company that gets a submission from a job candidate is being responsive and responding quickly.
That context makes a new customer use case with UiPath software, specifically at Lenovo, especially insightful.
Automation of Tax, Payroll, Other Manual Processes
As Lenovo, the provider of PCs and intelligent devices to a global user base, expands its business, the global information technology (IT) team implemented digital transformation — including automation — for multiple departments including HR, as well as finance and internal audit.
The Lenovo team identified opportunities to streamline workflows, improve accuracy, and allow HR employees to focus on more value-added tasks; in so doing, that maximizes the value and capacity of its HR resources.
Typical of a large, global HR team, Lenovo HR pros have to manage tedious and repetitive functions including personal income tax declaration, expense reimbursements, and payroll calculations — all functions that were deemed ripe for automation through software robots.
Lenovo built a Tax Declaration Robot that automatically downloads data, generates individual income tax files, performs income tax declarations and data verification, and automatically reruns data and processes when an exception occurs. Robots are also being used to enable visual, digitized payroll calculation processes, which facilitate the tracking of employee attendance in an efficient way.
Additional areas for automation: Robots identify invoices through optical character recognition (OCR) software, automatically generating, uploading, and submitting files in reimbursement processes; this, too, has yielded significant productivity gains. As a result, Lenovo reports time savings of more than 90%, a nearly 99% increase in recognition accuracy, and substantially improved verification quality and timeliness.
Automation has helped the HR team save at least 6,000 hours per year; to get a sense of how your company could benefit, just multiply that 6,000 number by your company’s average HR hourly salary, and you’ll see the impact. And that’s only in one department for a handful of processes.
“Even better, our employees report an enhanced work experience, as now they can put their energy toward more engaging, higher-order activities. Our next step is looking at how we can bring this type of automation even further to other areas of Lenovo, as we continue our digital transformation journey,” said Arthur Hu, SVP and Global CIO at Lenovo.
It’s that more expansive view of other processes, functions, and departments that should truly unlock the potential of automation.
In a recent interview, UiPath CMO Bobby Patrick echoed the benefits in terms of employee experience, saying: “Once an employee learns that something they hate doing can be done by a software robot, it’s not only addictive, it’s inspiring.”
Lenovo is feeling that inspiration.
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