Founded in 1902, Dai-ichi Life Insurance was one of Japan’s oldest mutual insurance companies until it demutualized in 2010. With more than 55,000 employees, the company’s mission is to always put the customer first. Currently, the organization is working to expand its overseas operations.
Personal insurance operations, which consisted of 1,600 employees from three departments, had to manage the purchase of insurance, contract management, and payments. This involved numerous inefficient, manual and clerical tasks. RPA caught the company’s attention as a solution to optimize work processes.
— Kei Maedomari, Life Insurance Manager, Business Process Planning Department, Dai-ichi Life Insurance
After conducting a proof of concept on several RPA products to compare and determine feasibility, Dai-ichi Life decided to implement Automation Anywhere RPA in 2017. To meet the company’s future large-scale deployment needs, it was essential for the product to be the server type, rather than the client type, to eliminate the risk of creating unmanageable bots. Automation Anywhere was selected because of functionality and ease of use that allowed users to create bots without prior programming knowledge.
After setting up rules and conducting testing, RPA was fully implemented for 460 tasks in 36 departments in 2018. Dai-ichi Life Insurance set up a carefully managed run-up period before fully deploying automation. The proof of value stage was mainly intended to give the company the opportunity to get a real feel for RPA, rather than to purse its full ROI.
Automation Anywhere RPA accounts for nearly 80 percent of the tasks automated, one of which is processing sales data from the core system into Excel, then submitting a finished report. Prior to RPA, this had to be completed by employees who came to the office before business hours in order to complete the work. Now the task is automatically completed by the bot. This enhanced operational efficiency reduced time needed to complete tasks and allowed personnel to focus on other growing areas of the company. Automation has saved Dai-ichi Life Insurance 132,000 annual hours since it was first deployed.
Dai-ichi Life Insurance plans to automate 3,000 more tasks, setting a goal to reduce 450,000 hours by the end of FY2020. The company intends to further increase efficiency using RPA in collaboration with other solutions such as AI-based optical character recognition (OCR), which automatically reads handwritten paper documents to facilitate current manual entry tasks, as well as rule engines for tasks with many variables and exceptions.