Welsh council aims to cut back-office processing costs by 95% through automation

A council in South Wales is expecting to reduce the cost of human resources business processes by up to 95% through robotic process automation

Neath Port Talbot Council is aiming to reduce the cost of some of its back-office processing by 95% through robotic process automation (RPA).

The South Wales local authority is working with outsourcing services provider Arvato on the transformation.

Human resources (HR) processes will be automated through Arvato’s ProcessAutomate software.

The council is expected to reduce the cost per transaction by up to 95% by using RPA. It is also being rolled out to improve the accuracy of its operations and save time on updating employee information.

It also wants to relieve staff from processing Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) requests and returns, of which it currently manually handles in excess of 7,000 a year.

The project is part of the council’s digital strategy, known as Smart & Connected.

An initial implementation of Arvato’s technology to process DBS requests has reduced costs from £1.50 to 10p per request, and from £1.11 to 5p for DBS returns. The cost of updating an employee file has been reduced from £1.11 to 15p.

Arvato will also provide consultancy and train council employees to manage the technology and become RPA developers.

“We are keen to explore the efficiencies and improvements we can deliver through RPA”
Anthony Taylor, Neath Port Talbot Council

Councillor Anthony Taylor, deputy leader at the council, said: “Smart & Connected has been developed to help us maximise the benefits of digital technology. We are keen to explore the efficiencies and improvements we can deliver through RPA, which will free up more time to help us deliver outcomes for residents and create a better working environment for our employees.

“The technology represents real progress in transforming how we structure and deliver human resources. We’re looking forward to seeing the full range of benefits RPA can offer and to working with Arvato, who have proven themselves to be at the forefront of providing RPA solutions to the public sector, to drive these changes.”

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