Data Capture Solutions, a Neopost company has announced the deployment of its Robotic Process Automation software at Brightside Group, a leading UK insurance broker. The partnership introduces robotics to the South West broker’s back office for the first time.

“We have implemented digital marketing and sales at the front-end, but now we are using robotics to enhance back office activities such as documentation, printing and despatch,” said Holloway. “We are already discovering that robotics has reduced both cost and error rates, and by taking out the human variable we have significantly improved our response time. Using robotics for non-value added activities will also make Brightside more scalable as an organisation.”

While robotics is not new to financial services, many businesses have largely failed to make it work for them and their customers. With the assistance of Neopost, which made the original introduction between Brightside and DCS, DCS identified the most suitable parts of the operation for RPA. It is being used for compiling document packs where the insurance documents are coming from third parties portals, reconciling invoices and posting credits received from debt cases. There are plans to extend robotics to two more processes; management of debt write-offs and the automation of cancellations due to missed payments.

“Automating debt write-offs is, frankly, not sexy stuff, and most digital investment focuses on new business and digital sales,” Holloway added. “However, transforming Brightside into a fully digital player means investment in the back-end is just as important as the front-end. It will deliver cost savings and efficiency improvements that will be passed onto the customer.

“Our underlying principle is to use robotics where the task is repeatable and the agent is adding little value, leaving humans to work on the more unusual or difficult scenarios where they can add value. Brightside is not going to be manned solely by robots any time soon though, but we fully expect to report a better customer experience.”

“We have worked with the Brightside team in a very agile fashion and focused first on automating chunks of activity which are low risk,” said Nick Scarff, managing director, DCS. “The key to a successful RPA project is to understand the process ‘as-is’ first and then apply automation. The approach has paid dividends already. Brightside has a return on its investment less than six months into the project.”

Insurance brokers have been criticised in the past for under-investing in technology, and shying away from digitisation. Yet, Brightside is convinced that, in personal lines broking, embracing digital will be the difference between surviving and thriving, or extinction.