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22 BACK OFFICE


SHOP DIRECT AUTOMATES BACK OFFICE PROCESS


ser vice” process automation capability to achieve significant improvements in key back office processes.


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Shop Direct wanted to create an in- house centre of excellence supported by appropriate technologies and methodologies to empower business operations to perform the vast majority of the tasks associated with automating back office processes. As with many organisations, their IT department’s resources are finite and focused on major transformation programs. Using Blue Prism’s robotic automation technology, it now has an in-house ability to create a “virtual workforce” that can quickly be configured and deployed to


K home shopping giant Shop Direct Group has introduced Blue Prism software “self-


automate manual and repetitive back office processes. “To maintain our competitive advantage we need to be able to respond rapidly to changes in the market, support our marketing efforts and minimise operational cost whilst ensuring that we maximise customer satisfaction. We have an ongoing objective of automating processes wherever we can,” observed Marie Marsden, Shop Direct Group head of credit and insurance operations. “We have been able to successfully


target Blue Prism at a wide range of complex but critical processes which have previously been manual in nature,” said Lindsay Harrison, Shop Direct Group financial services process improvement manager.


Trained Shop Direct staff can use the


self-service technology to implement their own automation work rapidly, so helping to create an organisation that is agile while increasing efficiency and ensuring compliance with IT governance and operational support models. “By deploying Blue Prism, Shop


Direct have reduced the number of FTEs [full-time equivalents] and enhanced customer satisfaction. We can see many more opportunities to utilise Blue Prism functionality across our organisation. We are delighted with the capabilities Blue Prism has been able to deliver us which are directly impacting, both our ability to compete in the marketplace, while contributing improvements to our bottom line,” concluded Marsden.


E-DISCLOSURE READINESS RAISE RETAIL CONCERNS


A new report has found that 62% of retail companies in Europe and the US are lacking sufficient e-disclosure capabilities. Retail respondents said that most companies within their


sector would not be able to rapidly and accurately access key information and documents likely to be required by a regulatory authority in the course of an investigation. The report by legal managed IT services provider Epiq,


entitled When the Regulator Calls, was based on a survey of more than 2,000 corporations across a number of industry sectors including retail, banking and manufacturing in the US, UK, France and Germany. Of the 17 sectors surveyed, retail was one of those expressing the least confidence in its ability to access key information promptly. Among the sectors where more respondents said that companies in their sector would struggle to access key information and documents when required were media and publishing (74%), high-tech and IT (69%) and aerospace (68%). At the other end of the scale, those in the food and drink (51%), extraction industries (52%) and chemical


RETAIL TECHNOLOGY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012


and pharmaceuticals (54%) industries expressed the most confidence in their ability to access important information and data.


“As a highly regulated industry, companies operating in the retail sector must establish a clear map of which information management systems and communication tools are being used within the business and by whom. They need to understand the means by which they can organise that information to enable efficient search and review,” said Greg Wildisen, Epiq Systems international managing director. “When it comes to responding to an investigative


request, the more prepared a company is, the more efficient the e-Disclosure process will be and the easier it will be to manage costs.” MindMetre Research carried out the survey, on behalf of


Epiq Systems, among senior managers (functional heads or deputy heads) with responsibility for compliance, corporate risk, or both in more than 2,000 corporations in the UK, France, Germany and the US between September and November 2011.


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