【Yayoi Co., Ltd.】 Partially automated the customer center operations, achieving 303 work hours reduction per a month
Yayoi Co., Ltd. (Yayoi) offers software application for business users, “Yayoi Accounting”. They also deal with development, sales, and support services for those related products.
They started using “WinActor” in March 2018. Their Customer Service Headquarters installed WinActor at the customer centers in Osaka and Sapporo, achieving favorable outcomes so far.
In this interview, we asked them about why they chose WinActor as their RPA tool and how WinActor is contributing to streamlining their business operations.
The interviewees are;
Mr. Sugiura (concurrently serve as Assistant Manager of Customer Service Division and Manager of Information System Department in Development Division)
Mr. Yamashita (Engineer Leader)
Mr. Tsuchino (Executive Leader)
When faced with too many products to be handled and insufficient human resources, we started examining RPA
One of the reason why Yayoi started looking for RPA implementation is the increase in the number of their products which has been developed as advancement of Information Technology.
Mr. Sugiura: Our company had long been dealing with only desktop applications since we released “Yayoi” series in 1987.
In recent years however, we’ve also enhanced cloud applications in response to the latest trends as well as interconnection between different products.
Consequently, customers’ inquiries are getting complicated and our customer centers require skilled personnel who can appropriately handle such inquiries.
(Mr. Sugiura, Assistant Manager of Customer Service Division and Manager of Information System department, Development Division)
Mr. Tsuchino: “Our customers’ business operations highly depend on our products and services, so it requires lots of efforts to cultivate qualified operators.”
In addition to this challenge, they were facing the recent social background that the lack of operators at call centers is becoming an increasingly serious problem in every industry.
The efficiency of their business operations was extremely urgent for them to handle this situation as their number of employees was also limited.
Mr. Sugiura: “so we started categorizing customer center’s operations into two; the one that needs human interaction and the other, not.
We decided to automate the latter with RPA we’ve been interested in, targeting the go-live in November 2017.
“I thought relationship of mutual trust would be essential to successfully proceed automation”
Their first step for RPA implementation was to identify and visualize the operations to be targeted. At their customer centers, some skilled operators who were proficient in IT applications dealt with various data collection and master management of customer management system in addition to their core operations. For instance, collecting data for performance evaluations including the number of calls from customers, the responder information and how those inquiries were handled, etc. or inquired details per a product, the number of inquiries, updating information of operators, and so on. Most of those tasks were depended on individuals and operated by own rules and methods.
Mr. Sugiura: “Some people find their meaning of existence in the operations that are highly depending on them, so I thought relationship of mutual trust would be essential to conduct a hearing session to successfully proceed automation, otherwise that might give them a wrong impression like “they are trying to steal my job”. So, we decided to handle all the path for RPA implementation and RPA related development within our company instead of outsourcing.
Mr. Yamashita, Engineer Leader of Development Division was the prominent candidate for a developer who has a trustworthy relationship with operators at the site.
At that time, Mr. Yamashita was assigned to Customer Service Division and familiar with the customer center operations as well as IT engineering know-how.
The other candidates were also those who were currently in Development Division but had their background in Customer Service Division or those who were currently working for Customer Service Division but had IT skills.
(Mr. Yamashita, Engineer Leader of Information System Department in Development Division)
The hearing at the customer centers unveiled several unnecessary operations. For instance, they found a task which was no longer necessary but still existed as a process because it had been handed over from owner to owner automatically or a data collection task which was somehow divided into three instead of one step for no reason. Those had been covered for a long time as its original purpose or method was highly depended on individuals. When the development team identified and re-organized those operations, they also created a new operational flow so that anyone would be able to handle it.
WinActor’s simple UI would enable anyone to handle easily and intuitively.
The reasons why they selected WinActor among the other RPA tools were “no programming skills required”, “Cost-effectiveness”, and “Support services”.
Especially, ease of use for operators at the customer centers and the reasonable license fee compared to the others became the deciding factor for them.
Mr. Yamashita: “I participated in NTT Data’s training program for the beginner recommended by our RPA consultant partner, Systena Corporation and I found WinActor very user-friendly.
Mr. Tsuchino: “Customer Service Division also participated in the training as the end-user and found that the simple UI of WinActor would enable the on-site operators to use easily and intuitively.
(Mr. Tsuchino, Executive Leader of Customer Service Division)
The opportunity to observe WinActor actually running boosted users’ expectations
10 operations were selected for test installation. The followings were automated with WinActor.
- Sent out a questionnaire attached to an email to customer who experienced our support services over the phone. Collect the results on a web server and output as a report (Excel, etc.)
- Download the number of users who visited the FAQ site (via Google Analytics), output it to an Excel sheet and share the results.
- Register pre-purchase inquiry in the customer management system.
Mr. Yamashita: “when the staff at the customer center actually saw WinActor running scenarios, they were so excited and surprised because those operations that they had to take a long time to complete were automated and completed so quickly. After showing them the trial run, they actively started proposing operations to be targeted for automation. The expectations for RPA were rising even further at the site.
Achieved 303-hour working hour reduction in less than 1 year, enabling us to enhance the customer support services and product quality improvement
The 2-month trial installation including scenario creation phase recorded 133 working hours reduction per a month.
This achievement led the full operation of WinActor at Customer Service Division started in March 2018.
They succeeded in automating the extra operations (ready-to-operate confirmation by supervisor) needed to be done before business hours or during the lunch break. Furthermore, they are currently testing the way in which inappropriate phrases and words (alert word) are automatically identified in the text log generated by conversation between operator and customer for improving their support services.
Mr. Yamashita: “Scenario creation is conducted by the customer centers both in Osaka and Sapporo, but the operation itself is mainly led by the team in Osaka.
We connected those two centers in Osaka and Sapporo with Windows RDS so that they can remotely execute scenarios from Osaka to Sapporo and vice versa.
Since WinActor has been installed, they have no need to manually operate something for collecting data as most scenarios are automatically started based on the schedule designated by Windows task scheduler.
WinActor is a tool to promote BPR (Business Process Re-engineering)
Their initiatives for automation are highly evaluated by the corporate management meeting and the quarterly conference.
In 2019, they aim to automate 50 operations and achieve another 400 working hours reduction per a month.
Mr. Sugiura: Among a lot of benefits that WinActor brought to us such as working hours reduction, the great benefit we found was that we could review our daily operations.
Even if you had a great automation system, you would not be able to use it right without the core mission that visualizes all the operations and bring it back to the way it should be.
We pay a careful attention to the quality of operations (to be automated) especially in the upstream processes while reviewing operations for automation, so we are sure that we are maximizing full utilization of WinActor and achieving optimal results.
The number of companies who are engaging in BPR (Business Process Re-engineering) has been increasing. We can expect WinActor would not only contribute to streamlining the business, but also play an important role to accelerate reviewing and improving our daily operations.
|Company Name (trade name)||Yayoi Co., Ltd.|
|Head Office||Akihabara UDX 21F, 4-14-1, Sotokanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan|
|About the company||A leading packaged accounting software company in Japan. They also offer “business concierge” services to respond to clients’ various needs for small business launches.|
|Company Name||Systena Corporation|
|Address||Shiodome Building 14F, 1-2-30, Kaigan, Minato, Tokyo|
Yahoo Japan's future work style with WinActor
Yahoo is a leading global internet businesses. Their key business is online advertisement. In this interview, we talked with Ms. Matsuba...
Rakuten card introduced WinActor. Did they get a future t...
Rakuten group which performs various business mainly on Rakuten market of net shopping mall. Rakuten cards are the core of financial serv...
One word from the top made the workstyle innovation happe...
RYUTSU INFORMATION NETWORK (RINNET) in Hakata-ku, Fukuoka is a system development company which specializes in distribution, retailing, a...