Mental shift towards robotics
In 2017, SD Worx took its first solid steps into robotic process automation (RPA). We developed a digital assistant that helps SD Worx payroll consultants perform routine tasks and automates post-payroll reporting processes, for example. It was a very promising start, so it was an obvious choice for us to enthusiastically follow a similar path in 2018. We also worked in a much more structured way.
Gunther Buelens, Process Coach at SD Worx: "Even though the enormous gains in time and efficiency were quickly apparent, RPA still requires a cautious approach. After all, automation also brings uncertainty. That is why we focussed our efforts in 2018 on providing clarity and using examples to illustrate what RPA can do. This resulted in new processes, giving our payroll consultants more time and energy to focus on tasks that deliver real added value. Our approach enabled us to successfully overcome a mental barrier among our colleagues.
"In 2017, we were still using the waterfall method in all development phases, from analysis, development and testing to integration, management and maintenance. Our approach changed in 2018 to an agile way of working. Now we operate in sprints, and at every delivery, we gauge the value of the result and optimise the process. With the agile method, we have noticed that people are motivated to act because potential outcomes are clear from the outset.”
“With the agile method, we have noticed that people are motivated to act because potential outcomes are clear from the outset.”
– Gunther Buelens, Process Coach at SD Worx
Are robots the answer to everything?
"No, we very much depend on the data at the core of RPA. We also need to be able to plan the whole process, and it has to be a straightforward journey. Using optical character recognition (OCR), we will be able to incorporate paper input into our robotics processes and we’re looking for a partner to support us. Meanwhile, we have also expanded our team of robotics engineers, making us even better equipped for the sequel that will undoubtedly follow.”