With RPA, utility company saves 25,000 hours annually
With nearly a century of expertise in the utilities industry, this company of scientists, engineers, and technicians helps customers manage project timelines, budgets, and safety to minimize risks.
In an effort to make systems across various projects and different departments work more efficiently, the utilities company looked to implement Robotic Process Automation (RPA) with the idea automation would help with some of the trickier pieces of work, rather than just using software engineering alone.
Hours saved annually
Bots in production
Compliance across projects nationwide
"RPA development takes time, especially if you’re not in control of every component that’s being built. Use RPA as a stop-gap until a full-functioning component is incorporated."
Project Software Engineer
The company began by first automating small tasks to get a handle on how RPA worked, then started working on use cases with Automation Anywhere. This ramp-up period took about three months as setting up the first few bots also served as the team’s training.
Delivering data to customers
Maintaining driver license records
integrity across different software platforms
Prepping and creating data
/ file packages
latitude / longitude coordinates from field engineer cameras
Creating geographic information system (GIS) tiles for in house or field use
THE WHOLE STORY
The first RPA use case was used for data delivery tools (DDTs), which gives customers the results and information collected in the field from each work site. The proof of concept (POC) was a simplified version of the full program needed to be implemented to help employees save time. Prior to RPA, not every customer allowed the company to simply give them a bulk data update, or some sort of direct feed into their system, so employees had to manually enter information. Now, the process is fully automated.
Another RPA benefit maintains foreman alignment out in the field by ensuring his or her driver’s license information is always up to date.If there is any reason the information needed to be changed, a bot automatically sends a notification. This ensures 100% compliance across all 50 states for the company’s thousands of drivers, as each one has specific rules and guidelines that must be met.
With RPA, the company has been able to shift resources, so those who were previously performing manual tasks are now doing much more meaningful work, resulting in far better employee retention.
Three-quarters of the company’s RPA projects have been in one of three engineering departments. While there is interest in implementing automation in other areas, it is first targeting opportunities where big wins can be accomplished, and those are within engineering. There are also plans to look into upgrading to the Automation Anywhere Enterprise A2019 platform, as the company is excited to try its new, enhanced components.
"Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to using RPA. You can even build a bot to help you build other bots. You need to understand how RPA thinks."
— Project Software Engineer
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