Hackney Council

Pilot of Robotics Process Automation

Incomplete applications

9
Incomplete applications
7 SME, 2 large

Completed applications

8
Completed applications
5 SME, 3 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Monday 29 May 2017
Deadline for asking questions Monday 5 June 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Monday 12 June 2017 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work A short pilot of Robotics Process Automation to build a business case; understand the skills required; identify additional business processes that could benefit (achieved through internal comms) and provide assurance around technical, data and security risks.
Latest start date Friday 30 June 2017
Expected contract length 6 weeks
Location No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for Hackney Council
Budget range Up to £10,000 for the pilot.

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done The Council would like to understand the potential for Robotics Process Automation to support the delivery of end-to-end digitisation. A short pilot and internal communications will help the council build a business case and identify a range of processes which could benefit from RPA; understand the skills it needs to maximise the potential of RPA; and provide assurance around technical, security and governance questions.
Problem to be solved The Council has automated key parts of high volume business processes. However, due to challenges in the design of back office systems and the limitations of some older software there remains significant amounts of manual intervention.

Based on soft market testing, the Council believes that Robotics Process Automation can deliver significant efficiencies and error reduction in business processing. Piloting RPA can give the Council better data to understand the costs and benefits of the solution, and develop its knowledge for the range of services to which it can be applied.
Who the users are and what they need to do As a Head of Service I need to see RPA in action on a business process so that I can have confidence in the business case
As an ICT professional I need to see RPA training so that I can understand what skills are required to support its expansion
As an ICT professional I need to see RPA in action so that I can provide assurances around security and data governance
As the Head of another council service I need to see RPA in action so that I can understand where it might benefit my service
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done The Council has seen demonstrations of RPA and spoken to three suppliers to understand the variety of solutions. Subsequently it has explored a number of business processes in revenues and benefits that could benefit from RPA, and produced detailed process maps of three processes on which it would like to pilot RPA.

The preferred processes to be subject to the pilot are available here:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B8VjySyh3glpRlo1YVNhWFFBTzg?usp=sharing
Existing team The team involves the project sponsor (the Director of Customer Services), the ICT lead for revenues and benefits, the Heads of Service and team managers for each of the processes, the Head of Digital and a project manager.
Current phase Not applicable

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place The supplier can work remotely but is expected to be onsite at key stages of the pilot to support some internal communications events to show the benefits of the solution and help build the business case.
Working arrangements The work can be conducted remotely, with 2-4 meetings and/or workshops expected to be delivered on the Hackney campus, in Mare Street.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Have experience of introducing RPA in a local authority
  • Have engaging ways of promoting RPA to other services within a local authority
  • Support knowledge transfer so that the Council can understand what skills it requires in-house and from agencies
  • Be able to measure the benefits of the trial
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate experience of working on a pilot
  • Demonstrate examples of promoting RPA to other potential service areas
  • Have experience of supporting revenues and benefits processes

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 3
Proposal criteria
  • Value for money
  • How the proposed approach meets user needs
  • Creativity in the design of the pilot
  • Technical solution
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work collaboratively with colleagues in revenues and benefits and ICT
  • Share knowledge and experience
  • Have a 'can do' approach to ensure the pilot is a success
  • Work openly - for example, sharing findings from the pilot with other councils
Payment approach Fixed price
Assessment methods Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

33%

Cultural fit

17%

Price

50%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Can the authority please confirm whether the requirement includes the undertaking of an RPA pilot in a live environment or the pre-work (business case, security, dealing with suppliers, testing) up to the stage of a pilot? Our initial preference is to operate in a live environment to provide greatest certainty over the benefits, but we are happy to take advice on the strengths and weaknesses of this approach.
2. Does the Council have a preferred technology solution in mind for this Pilot? No. Our understanding is that most vendors use Blue Prism as the underlying solution, but we are open to options. Our preference beyond the pilot is for bots that could be trained to serve a number of different processes.
3. Please advise if an official project plan is available with indicative timescales for delivery? No, but depending on the preference of the supplier this could be developed either prior to project commencement or in collaboration at an initiaition workshop.
4. As part of this process, will we be allowed to meet stakeholders to understand what key decision makers see as a successful outcome for this engagement and how to best approach the project – both technically and commercially? Yes. Part of our thinking about the 3 processes which were selected, was that each is led by a manager who is engaged in the pilot idea.
5. Has the process, resources (internal and external) and timescales been agreed with stakeholders at this stage? Yes, subject to these also being satisfactory and manageable for the supplier.
6. Does the Council have any funding allocated for subsequent implementation phases post-Pilot? We do not currently have funding allocated. Our expectation is that the pilot will inform the necessary funding bid and a budget for the remainder of the financial year (and beyond if appropriate).
7. Does the Council have an approach to understanding and quantifying the business case for Robotics projects? One of the team is a business analyst who would be expected to produce a business case to the requisite standard to justify any onward investment.
8. Does the Council have a clear mandate for Software-as-a-Service or on-premise solutions? We currently use a range of software as a service solutions (eg are piloting G Suite and Office 365 currently) and whilst we have some on-premise hosted applications have a preference for cloud first.
9. Is the Cabinet Office open to several/all Robotic Process Automation vendors collaborating in a single joint bid to spread the capital investment, effectively forming an exclusive preferred supplier agreement to the Cabinet Office? We can only speak for the London Borough of Hackney, but would be open to a range of options, provided the user, technical, user and financial aspects of the arrangement were right - and remained so for the length of the arrangement.
10. In your experience, what makes one external partner more successful than another? How can we add value when working with the Council above and beyond delivering technical skills? e.g. drivers for innovation, shared-risk model, knowledge transfer as organisation moves to self-sufficiency, leveraging investment as a new revenue stream etc. We tend to work best with partners that are clear about what they're hoping to achieve, can modify their approach around local circumstances and provides clarity about what they can and cannot deliver. For this project, we think a successful partner will align their approach to the spirit of the pilot and vary their ways of working to reflect the different perspectives that colleagues will bring to the work.
11. Has any work been done to improve the current process? For example, has the Council implemented or have plans to implement process improvement techniques such as Lean Six Sigma? The selected processes have all had some process improvements applied in the past. Whilst we know it's an important component for making sure RPA is applied in the right way, for the purposes of the pilot we want to make it as manageable as possible. We do not have significant numbers Six Sigma practitioners in-house.
12. Are cost of licences expected to be included in the £10,000 budget? Yes
13. Will the authority provide the necessary infrastructure for the pilot? We assume so, based on our current understanding of what's required.
14. How long does the authority wish to pilot the RPA technology for? Ideally, for one month.
15. What are the authority's view on the success criteria for the pilot? A successful pilot will provide:
- assurance on the technical, legal and security elements of RPA
- a decision as to whether to progress RPA further and if so,
- a business case for the expansion of RPA
- understanding of the skills necessary to configure and support RPA and where these should be in-house or through a partner
- additional business processes where RPA could add value