More stable robotic workforce drives scalability

Medscheme, South Africa’s largest health risk management services provider, is successfully leveraging automation to help provide faster, higher quality service to the three million people they serve each year.

Medscheme, South Africa’s largest health risk management services provider, is successfully leveraging automation to help provide faster, higher quality service to the three million people they serve each year. To meet growing business demands, their Center of Excellence (CoE) led by RPA Manager, Wayne Pole, was directed to build a digital workforce that could scale five-fold within the next five years — without sacrificing stability or increasing costs.

Business problem

As Wayne and his team assessed their requirements and began searching for complimentary services and solutions, they found that the RPA Supervisor platform alone could solve their most pressing challenges.

Wayne quickly found that automating the management of his digital workforce resolved the most persistent and time consuming operational issues. One of the first processes onboarded to RPA Supervisor was automating renal claims for 28 digital workers. This included a total of 47 automated processes and delivered value in three major ways.


"We needed to reduce overhead by ensuring more digital workers did the work effectively — without hiring more people to monitor them. When we had session failures or freezes, there was little visibility of what the digital workers were doing,” he explains. Instantly, RPA Supervisor enabled the team to pinpoint exactly where robotic resources were being wasted or underutilized.

RPA Supervisor solution

“RPA supervisor creates alerts to tell our IT guys when something’s gone wrong — for example, transaction times are slowing down, or there’s poor database performance, or the network’s gone down without any humans around,” he explains. “This dramatically improves the speed of resolution. The ability to automatically communicate certain predetermined aspects of the process — either to the control room team, IT or business — helps resolve issues faster.”

“If one of our machines loses connectivity, the handling process is cumbersome. First, you must log the instance, then hope that someone in IT responds quickly, and finally someone needs to fix or reboot the machine as soon as possible. But in that time, we’re losing valuable production. In contrast, RPA Supervisor knows exactly what the error is, what task it’s related to and whom to send an alert.”

By implementing RPA supervisor, Wayne and his team were able to prove the business case that orchestrating the automation of processes meant they could use fewer humans for constant monitoring, while safeguarding operations.

Before RPA Supervisor, Medscheme's CoE was experiencing unplanned downtime. "We had instances when around 11pm on a Friday, the database went down — without any alert. So, by Monday morning, we’d already experienced 48 hours of downtime resulting in significant loss of production time.”

The most noticeable impact of implementing RPA Supervisor was increased automation throughput. “We saw instant FTE gains. We went from 700 claims to 2,000 being processed right after implementation,” comments Wayne.

“We found that robots actually did the work of 6.75 humans. This showed that we were producing even more capacity than initially targeted.”

“Moreover, within the credit control area, we saw that the robots did the work of 27 humans. This enabled us to scale the digital worker pool without adding more people to manage it."

With this level of operational stability, Wayne is confident in Medscheme’s ability to scale its digital workforce further. “Over the next 5 years, we plan to scale up the number of automated processes to 3-5x as much, and our digital workforce to 150 robots,” he says.

Wayne’s team was often bogged down with manual production of weekly reports for their team as well as business units across the organization to show digital worker output. RPA Supervisor's completely configurable dashboards enable real-time reporting and increased visibility.

“When I presented my RPA Supervisor reports to the COO, he found it so relevant that he shared them with the Board. The availability of real-time automated reporting facilitates Business Development Operations, providing us with an early alert system into infrastructure and business challenges. Reports also give visibility to backup teams on exactly what’s happened, so they can assess remedial action. And automated digital monitoring builds trust with the team and business that process execution will occur, and notifications will take place to remedy if risk of SLA breach is apparent,” says Wayne. This type of risk is eliminated with the platforms always-on monitoring and notification system.

At 6.75 heads per month we were saving $132K -- with projected annual savings at $1.39m!
Wayne Pole
RPA Manager & CoE Leader, Medscheme
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