Automation at NGA
HR processes require complete accuracy, compliance, and reliability. In the past, like any other company, NGA maintained process integrity through manual, 24-hour oversight: there was no other option. Growth and acquisitions have made our everyday activities even more challenging. With automation, NGA has started to consistently control processes throughout its global enterprise. We have expanded automation to thousands of inbound and outbound interfaces and tasks, including those for payroll and tax provisioning.
The current NGA Production Control and HRO Environment is comprised of dispersed teams around the globe using multiple tools and procedures depending on the legislative environment in which they operate. Historically, our work was often manual but over time we have been able to automate an increasing number of processes. Nowadays, the NGA Production Control and HRO Environment is comprised of Job Scheduling Coordination and Automation across all regions. This means we use dedicated centralized scheduling and monitoring by Production Control Professionals providing 24/7 supports for end-to-end processing. This minimizes manual tasks and reduces human error through automation. Real-time, event-driven scheduling enabling immediate response including automated alerting if any issues are encountered, has contributed to increased operational efficiency. Automation of our processes enforces separation of duties and result in greater security and compliance.
There are many benefits to Automation, including:
- Timeliness and Accuracy – Improving customer satisfaction and SLA’s
- Increased operational efficiency
- Streamlined operations – Teams of qualified experienced professionals providing automation, support, and continued production support
- Reduced operational cost
- Increased productivity through a standard, repeatable approach. This means we can use the same process across NGA for all clients
- Decrease in downtime – Real time error alerting using automation so our operators can act swiftly when they encounter a problem, even outside of office hours.
- Greater integration and centralization of management
- Standard interface file handling - Creation, movement, and storage across all clients
- Global visibility of operation
- Redundancy in scheduling and monitoring
- Round the clock operation and continuity which increases predictability and ensures that our productive environment is used effectively – we don’t have to run all processes at once
- Stabilization of Interface processing
Of course, embarking on an automation journey has some challenges as well:
- The process that you would like to automate does not have adequate documentation available which makes it difficult to understand how to break it down or to schedule it
- An initial resistance to automation (what is going to happen to my job?), also because of the initial cost of an implementation project
- Determining a set schedule for processes (Interfaces, Payroll, etc.). If you think it’s difficult for one process, then consider the complexity if you need to schedule multiple processes for multiple global customer
- Not having enough data to determine which processes to automate, which is something you can only solve with time
- Competition with other business priorities: year-end activities, new system rollouts and updates, and bringing in new clients
- Determining which processes have the biggest impact on the business and prioritizing them accordingly
- Non-standard input data from clients
I hope this gives you a bit of information on what it means to start an automation project. In the next installments of this series, I will explain more about the tools NGA uses and what kind of processes we run on them.