Are you up to speed on RPA?

Article · 2018-09-28

Robot Process Automation (RPA) involves automating and streamlining repetitive and administrative tasks. Monotonous tasks bore the staff, they take time to perform and human error can sneak in. Automation Region’s September breakfast meetings went under the slogan: Employ a robot and free up time for value-creating tasks!

On 6 September, the breakfast meeting in Västerås was conducted with a total of 110 participants – apparently, RPA is on a lot of people’s minds right now.

Robots do not make mistakes

Ketti Dahlström, Practice Lead at Automation Region’s affiliated company Acando, began by saying that 40 per cent of all large Nordic companies have begun implementing RPA. The robots take care of repetitive tasks and one of several advantages is that automation minimises errors.

“A robot does not makes mistakes unless we have instructed it to do so,” explained Ketti Dahlström. The first step is to identify which processes can be robotised. This may include, for example, bookkeeping, invoicing and quotation development.

The morning’s second speaker was Stina Gustavsson, Channel and Alliance Director Nordics of the company UiPath. She showed examples of how RPA can provide both financial and qualitative values in an organisation.

“Consider the robot as a digital co-worker, although it may not be as fun to talk to,” said Stina Gustavsson. It can take over parts of a process or facilitate your work in other ways.

She also emphasised that machine learning is an area that is evolving rapidly. While today’s robots essentially only follow instructions, the future’s digital helpers will learn from their own mistakes.

Samia Talbiq from the startup company Spetsmatematik also participated in the breakfast meeting. With the help of mathematics, she works to improve innovation culture in companies.

Challenges were converted into a RPA opportunity

One organisation that has come a long way is Riksbyggen. Maud Henriksson, head of Riksbyggen’s service centre for RPA and Masterdata, and Joakim Wiljebrand, head of Riksbyggen’s service centre for Housing Administration, presented the company’s “RPA journey”, which began in 2017.

“We faced many challenges within our service centres, including high loads and a large number of manual processes,” said Maud Henriksson. There was a desire to relieve our employees, while eliminating errors in case management.

Riksbyggen initially deployed two RPA processes. The tests were successful – today there are twelve working processes and more are on the way.

“It is also important not to overlook the human perspective,” concluded Joakim Wiljebrand. “There may be fears that jobs will disappear when robots are introduced into the business. Work transparently and include the staff in this process of change, as this will provide the best end result!”

Riksbyggen’s best tips for organisations that wish to begin the RPA journey:

  • Define your purpose with RPA
  • Get external help
  • Consider the composition of the development group – include the staff
  • Begin with simple, stable processes
  • Plan your management

What are your thoughts? Automation Region is planning an in-depth follow-up on RPA and we are grateful for requests with regard to what we should look more closely at in this area. Please do not hesitate to contact us!