Why utilities should use robotic process automation to improve efficiency and the customer experience

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The COVID pandemic has set new expectations for instant information delivery. The utilities industry is at the forefront of these new changes having to deal with increased expectations that include repairs and defects. The constraints of different systems, data, and manual processes can result in a lower perception of performance. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can help by using a robot or “bot” to emulate and integrate the actions of a human interacting within digital systems to execute a business process. 

Utility companies often have difficulty streamlining communication between technicians and customers. E.g., when customers are not home technicians often leave the site without completing a service ticket and then the customers must wait until the next appointment is available. By utilizing an automated dispatch system, the utility company could have notified the customer when the technician was on route without any manual input. This would encourage customers to be present when the technician arrives and eliminate avoidable “turndowns.” Thus, improving customer relationships while reducing operation and maintenance costs. 

With the automation capabilities provided by RPA, utility companies can optimize their operational outputs in the back-office support functions through data analysis, billing automation, improving their accounting processes and streamlining their joint ventures.  

Benefits of using RPA in the energy and utilities industry include: saving operational cost by performing activities of several full-time employees, creating additional capacity for critical employees by automating some of their mundane tasks, improving cash-flow through reduced DSO, minimizing errors and improving the turnaround time in resolving customer issues, helping in scaling up quickly during disasters/crisis, and adapting quickly to constant policy changes in the industry. 

Old school system integration approaches can be invasive and labor intensive. RPA can be deployed quickly and proficiently to modernize processes. Even within complex system process integrations, RPA can be used successfully in fluid environments where outdated integration approaches are not feasible. 

Cloudworks has implemented successful RPA Bots at Hydro utility companies across Canada, using UiPath as the RPA platform. Please contact aro.tripathy@cloudworks.co if you would like to explore how RPA can help you improve outcomes and increase value for your business. 

For more information check: www.cloudworks.co/rpa  

Lindsay Eekhoudt
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