HOW RPA CAN SUPPORT YOUR CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) CONTINGENCY PLANS

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WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER RPA IN YOUR CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) CONTINGENCY PLANS?

T-Impact is working to provide innovative solutions to support you through the Covid-19 challenges and to support the most vulnerable in our communities. We want to increase the options for Chief executives & Directors.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a better solution to Covid-19 business process management challenges because:

• Solutions can be delivered quickly, often faster than deploying new staff.

• The investment is sustainable and scalable for the future.

• RPA is a catalyst for change – embedding the efficiencies and new ways of working enforced by Covid-19.

Your options:

 

Covid-19 Optional Responses

PUBLIC AND THIRD SECTOR COVID-19 OFFER

Our offer of a free solution design assessment is now listed in Crown Commercial Service’s Covid-19: Catalogue of supplier offers.

Provide a copy of your process and we will advise what technology will deliver the best benefits and ROI to your organisation.

The offer is available to all public and third sector organisations.

Login to the Covid-19 supplier catalogue here and type T1579 in the search bar to view full details.

WHY USE RPA INSTEAD OF HIRING MORE STAFF?

• An RPA Virtual Workforce can automate crucial processes –  freeing your experienced staff to tackle evolving Covid-19 challenges.

• Data quality will be improved by zero data entry errors, and everything is tracked for audit purposes.

• Peak demand will be supported without the need to hire more staff, eliminating additional labour costs.

• Robots automatically audit all work – they ensure consistency & can automate compliance reporting.

• Robots are able to work 10 to 20 times faster than humans and are infinitely scalable.

• Robots typically work 20+ hours a day. They will not fall ill or require sick pay or annual leave. This increases efficiency and reduces immense pressures on other resources.

Our Robotic solutions are already delivering for local councils, central government, accountancy and healthcare to name but a few. Software robots will deliver value-adding solutions during the short and long term.

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Robots can be deployed faster than you can hire staff – implemented in weeks, not months.

Timeline - deploy or hire

HOW CAN RPA SOLVE Covid-19 CHALLENGES?

The following examples show how RPA can be and is being used to solve many Covid-19 challenges. These are only examples, we can deploy Robots to support most tasks where you are considering hiring or redeploying staff.  

Enable your staff to work effectively while self-isolating.

Automate work rather than hiring temp labour.

Social distancing support.

CHALLENGE #1 – Empower staff working in self-isolating

Many problems can arise for staff who are working remotely, such as frontline staff and IT departments struggling with support demands, connectivity issues and access to files.

Large numbers working remotely

Digital classrooms and online grading

Inefficient Remote Working Operating Model

Issue: IT departments struggle to ensure all staff have access to the tools and data they need to support critical functions. Many workers will be using tools that are new and unfamiliar to them and relying on data which they may find difficult to access remotely. This impacts productivity and the efficiency of staff.

Solution: Software robots are able to adopt and accelerate the set up of existing remote working tools such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Webex. They can automate the creation and configuration of user accounts and channels/teams to facilitate communication. They’re able to respond to common incidents reported by remote workers and guide them through their set-up or take control of their desktop to apply required settings.

Use software robots to ensure data files are available for remote workers by moving essential data files, reports, spreadsheets and scanned documents onto a secure Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure, which your staff can access directly.

 

Issue: As teachers shift the classroom to an electronic platform, it’s becoming apparent that many do not have sufficient experience with the technology to carry out online classes. Each class has to be set-up as a separate “channel” on a video conferencing tool, attendance monitored, student participation to be controlled and student comprehension checked.

Solution: Accelerate the set-up and adoption of your existing digital classroom tools by allowing robots to automatically set-up the correct channels in your digital classroom/video-conferencing tool, ensuring all students from the class are added to the channel.

Software robots can address most common set-up issues and manage changes to student’s contact details, such as phone and email contacts.

They’re able to monitor attendance and send auto-reminders to students who have not joined prior to the class start time, and utilise existing video conferencing capabilities to ensure students aren’t performing other activities on their computer while lessons are underway.

A software robot will automatically set-up the correct channels in survey tools used for online quizzes and exams, utilising existing survey capabilities to score results and distribute scores to students. League tables can be sent to teachers automatically to highlight students that are doing particularly well or poorly.

A software robot will automatically set-up the correct channels in survey tools used for online quizzes and exams, utilising existing survey capabilities to score results and distribute scores to students. League tables can be sent to teachers automatically to highlight students that are
doing particularly well or poorly.

 

Issue: Remote working without preparation is leading to significant disruption. Staff are not only having to adapt to a new remote way of working, but are doing so supported by an operating model that isn’t fit for purpose.

Many staff members are specialists in their specific tasks, but may not have an appreciation for the end to end process or understand how the roles of other colleagues support this. Peak volumes of work will place further strain on the teams and potentially lead to significant mistakes, increasing work further down the line.

But these challenges are also opportunities to:

1. Clarify the end to end process.

2. Clarify and agree standard business rules to be applied.

3. Identify high-volume work that can be automated, freeing staff to deal with special conditions and exceptions.

Solution: Automating high-volume work would allow staff to ensure service continuity and identify bottlenecks and failures before they impact citizens. Process mining tools can monitor staff work, producing an initial process flow which can be evaluated by supervisors for confirmation. Process mapping and analysis tools empower your staff to capture and communicate processes across their teams, understanding where their processes interact with and impact other departments.

 

CHALLENGE #2 – Automate work rather than hiring temp labour

When workloads surpass the capabilities of current staff levels, many businesses look to hire temporary staff to address the sudden peak in activity. This can be problematic for many reasons, and can prove to be an ineffectual and expensive temporary solution.

Triage & Prioritisation

Workload Increase in Local Government

Management of Temp Hires/Volunteers

High Demand for Benefits Clarification & Allocation

Care for Vulnerable People

Discharging Patients Released from Hospital into Council Care (Section 2 & 5)

Issue: At this time it is vitally important for organisations to be able to triage and prioritise resources. They need to act quickly for those most in need or at risk, whilst informing others of what they can expect.

Solution: Automating triage, prioritisation and communication is a working solution that can be reconfigured to accept the appropriate structured inputs, implement your business rules and automate communications. Our Robots can even get the correct information into the correlating systems or queues for you.

 

Issue: Activity surrounding emergency housing legislation, evictions and mortgage/rent holidays has increased exponentially for Local Government. Councils need to identify normal eviction proceedings and delay any actions while emergency legislation is enforced. They will further receive a significant number of enquiries which will need to be processed quickly and efficiently – any delays in response could lead to repeat correspondence, wasting precious time of already overworked frontline staff.

While hiring temp labour might seem like a solution to this workload increase, it requires a lot of time, money and resources to train a team of people before they can even begin making any difference to the pressures on council and their staff.

Solution: Many of these processes can be automated by software robots, even as new legislation emerges. A robot is able to identify tenants subject to eviction and change settings in the system to prevent further action.

In light of the mortgage holiday legislation, the conditions of which are always under review, the processing of rental/mortgage holiday requests can also be automated to ensure enquiries are followed up instantly in line with the latest government guidelines. A software robot can process mortgage/rent holiday enquiries and update council IT systems to ensure that mortgage/rent demands are suppressed during this period, then prepare payment plans reflecting when payment will be due.

 

Issue: There may be some instances where a business or organisation must utilise temporary staff, such as care providers and hospitals. This doesn’t mean however that the process is any less laborious and time consuming, especially when the need for extra staff is urgent.

Solution: Robots are able to review the details of new temporary staff candidates and volunteers and carry out routine checks prior to their hiring, such as completing DBS checks. They’re then able to send an automatic notification of the results to the employer without any delay, as software robots are able to work at full capacity all of the time.

Automating these normally time consuming checks ensures that the process is efficient and without errors, and results in the hire of urgently needed staff as quickly as possible.

We currently have a solution in place that can be reconfigured to your exact needs.

 

Issue: An unfortunate fallout of COVID-19 is the significant numbers of people losing their jobs, particularly those working in hospitality. For example, in Ireland, more than 100,000 people lost their jobs within one week and are now seeking benefits allowance from councils.

During this difficult time, councils will receive a significant number of benefit enquiries. They will need to be processed quickly, as delays in response will lead to repeat correspondence and increase demand on already overworked front line staff.

Solution: Robots can process benefit enquiries and apply the logic which staff use for the most common cases. Those that fall out of the common cases are referred to staff to be reviewed. The robots can then update council IT systems to progress the benefits request.

Robots can also communicate directly with recipients to notify them of council decisions, and send a secure instant notification rather than relying on the letters generated from the system. In turn this will reduce the volume of follow-up calls, letters and emails, and negate the need for the hiring of extra temporary staff to carry out this work.

 

Issue: Self-isolation increases the support required by the most vulnerable people in our communities. To address this, social and care workers are sending a significantly higher number of requests for support which need to be evaluated and acted upon quickly.

Solution: The processing of vulnerable support requests from social workers can be automated, with department specific rules applied for who should receive care and how this should be funded.

We already have a working solution in place that could be configured quickly to your current needs.

 

Issue: Discharge of frail older patients from hospital care, referred to as 2s and 5s, is a process around hospital discharges to Councils.

The Community Care (Delayed Discharges) Act 2003 places duties upon the NHS and councils in England to communicate about the discharge of inpatients. This applies, by statute, to acute care only, but also is considered good practice for community hospital inpatients as well.

The NHS is required to notify councils of any patient’s “likely need for community care services” and of their proposed discharge date. This is done through “Section 2” and “Section 5” notifications respectively (named after the sections in the Act).

The information contained in an assessment notification is intended to be minimal, both to reflect patient confidentiality requirements and to minimise bureaucracy, and is a trigger for assessment and care planning. The Act sets out the requirement for social services care management to assess within 3 days.

In addition, as good practice, hospital staff may give social services an early indication of when discharge is likely to help with planning, but a formal discharge notification must be issued to give confirmation of the intended date.

As is evident, this is a highly intensive process leaving no room for human error.

Solution: Managing hospital discharge notifications is a process that can be automated, freeing valuable care workers to direct their efforts to the immediate needs of patients and other functions supporting care delivery.

In this case we already have a working solution which is ready to be configured to suit your requirements.

 

CHALLENGE #3 – SOCIAL DISTANCING

Where remote working cannot be deployed, social distancing guidelines must apply. The logistical difficulties of social distancing in a place of work are numerous, from workstation proximities to shared use of facilities and appliances, from staff sickness to supporting worried families. Whatever the reason might be that you’re unable to support remote working, we’re able to support you with solutions to assist your daily operational activities.

Enforcing isolation limits

Communication of Vulnerable People with Care Providers

Issue: As the government implements self-isolation and social distancing measures, even essential service providers are required to limit the number of people who can enter buildings. This can be difficult to monitor and report on, short of manually checking CCTV or monitoring the entrances. While this might be difficult, it’s essential to ensure the safety of all.

Solution: Using existing IP cameras, video analytics robots can count people entering and leaving the building, enabling your team to remotely monitor and report on the total number of people inside. This data can be used to populate a real-time dashboard and advise citizens or staff of the safest and quietest times to attend.

 

Issue: Quarantine and social distancing guidelines have a serious impact on the health and wellbeing of those who are vulnerable, living alone and may not have the means to communicate via traditional internet communication tools. Not only is this contact essential to have with their family and loved ones, but it’s important that they and their families can also be reached by care providers in case of any emergencies. All involved require a fast-track, multi-platform approach to get the care and support they need as we continue to social distance and remain in quarantine.

Solution: With the help of RPA and software robots, we’re able to create a central hub that can be accessed by phone or app to monitor vulnerable family members, improving communication regarding a person’s general health and in emergency situations. Families and carers would have access to an online dashboard with an overview of their vulnerable family member’s status.

 

We Want to Help

We’ve worked across multiple sectors with many different organisations and businesses to implement RPA solutions that transform the way our clients work. We will provide an accelerated standard approach that flexes to the needs of your organisation. We will minimise risks to on-going operations while ensuring results are delivered in the quickest way possible.

We also have a number of pre-built robots which we can be configured for even faster deployment.

More than ever we feel that now is the time to evaluate the efficiency of your internal business processes and consider how T-Impact could support you through not only these challenging times, but all those we may encounter in the future.

 

 

Speak to Our Experts

If you would like more information on how Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can help your organisation in this unprecedented pandemic, please enter your details and one of our experts will be in touch shortly to discuss your requirements and set up a demonstration.