Flinders University - Robotic Process Automation Case Study
I just wanted to share a recent case study by Zarine from Flinders University that was delivered in partnership with RPA Solutions.
High achieving students at Flinders University receive the Commendation letters in recognition of their hard work and high grades. The process runs thrice every year to identify eligible students, prepare and send the recognition letters, and update the Student Management system.
The Business Improvement (BI) team @ Flinders University leads process improvement of critical services for better staff & student experiences and was tasked to review & improve the process.The BI team estimated that huge person-hours were consumed annually to evaluate ~24,000 students for eligibility. Over 45 manual steps were involved in identifying eligibility alone, using an estimated 20,000+ pages of academic transcripts & 17,000 transactions to update student records.
Three crucial data entry processes in the Student Management System were identified for Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Specifically, adding a comment to each student’s transcript, generating the letter to the recipients, flagging each topic used to calculate the GPA for recipients so that they cannot be used in future eligibility processes.
Adding to the complexity, the legacy system was amidst a cloud migration project. UiPath was identified as the most appropriate RPA platform. One of the deciding factors was the strong image recognition capabilities of UiPath, a must have feature for use with legacy systems that have been migrated to the cloud.
The BI team collaborated with RPA Solutions and other Flinders stakeholders to develop:
A proof of concept automation to test the process feasibility
An automated testing framework to test automation within the UiPath tool.
A library of foundational activities that can be reused across multiple automations.
Automating the three key processes integrated with the Student Management System
Each automation was extensively tested to ensure that it undertook data entry processes in a reliable, consistent and accurate way. To make it easier to manage automated processes, we used virtual machines to host the automations, thereby avoiding the challenges of using a fleet of dedicated laptops like keeping track of hardware, application and operating system patching, and access control.
As a result, the staff now have more time to devote to value adding activities. Starting with a proof of concept in September 2018 to production environments in December 2018, a strong leadership support helped the BI team meet the hard deadline of December graduations.
RPA is now a proven tool that can be implemented for future business improvement projects.