Smart Machines & Factories
Harnessing the power of robotic process automation
Published:  22 June, 2021
BCA drives innovation through use of Robotic Process Automation

BCA reports it is harnessing the power of robotic process automation (RPA) to streamline back office activity, drive quality and improve customer service.

BCA sells over one million vehicles annually to professional automotive buyers in the UK by digital auction, e-auction and fixed price platforms, requiring process handling at a huge scale. There are two customers for every transaction – the vendor and the buyer – and a raft of supporting automotive services including vehicle inspection, refurbishment, preparation, collection, document management and delivery.

Over the past two years, BCA has introduced over 30 Group-wide process automations, which have delivered a staggering 126,000 hours of time back to BCA’s people to focus on customers.

Tanny Chiragh, BCA director of business efficiency commented “We began our RPA journey in April 2019. The introduction of RPA has removed the need to re-work some processes entirely, sped up activity, assured data quality and offers 100 percent compliance.”

Chiragh continued “We’ve created a solid operating model and the success has been achieved thanks to collaboration across the business, the landing of the right technology platform and working closely with our people to address any concerns that robotic automation may generate along the journey.”

The robots are handling a range of critical tasks. Chiragh added “They manage transport collection, set reserve prices for vehicles before auction using BCA’s unique Valuation service, handle allocation of vehicles to online auctions, undertake VAT checks and manage electronic cash receipts, among other things.”

“We started our journey with about 1,200 transactions being handled each month by robots. Since March 2021, nearly 1.1 million transactions are managed every single month with RPA.”

Chiragh added “With the introduction of automation into our processes, we’ve handed back 126,457 hours to our people to do tasks that are more important - to focus on customers. That’s the equivalent of having an additional 81 full-time employees to help. We’ve exceeded our goals on every front.”

The BCA Business Efficiency team continues to search out processes suitable for automation. There are regular scouting workshops where BCA people put forward ideas, with the most promising given a benefit assessment to ensure these will bring tangible results before approval and added to a development pipeline.