2 min reading

Bid farewell to repetitive tasks – say hello to Robotic Process Automation

The Accounting Department has teamed up with Digi-tech and launched a project that utilises Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to automate a well-defined list of repetitive manual tasks, operations and procedures in various existing tools. Let’s look back at the origins of this innovative project and find out more from its main stakeholders.

The story began when Accounting and Digi-techmet at an RPA event organised for those in the accounting industry.

Stefan: “Accounting is always looking for new ways to optimise, simplify and digitise our processes. We attended this event primarily to learn how RPA could benefit us, while our Digi-tech colleagues were more interested in how the technology works. Back in the office, we decided to test different prototypes. The results were promising, both in terms of the use of the prototypes and our collaboration with our colleagues.”

Following a series of tests, Digi-tech chose the solution that best met Accounting’s expectations and gave the department a certain degree of autonomy. The solution was then integrated into Elia’s IT ecosystem, workshops on the tool were prepared and organised, and typical tasks were automated.

Kris Laermans and Olivier Danvin are both part of the Digi-tech team:

– Kris: “The analysis of RPA’s strengths and weaknesses, which was based on concrete examples and conducted together with our Accounting colleagues, was a rewarding experience. Given the positive results achieved, we quickly saw the tool’s potential to aid other departments.”

– Olivier continues: “RPA allows users to script and execute repetitive tasks as they wish, like Excel macros but between multiple applications. The result? Less frustration, more time for more important tasks and, above all, lower risk of error. Many departments face such time-consuming tasks. Departments must clearly set out their needs if they want to use this technology wisely and avoid disappointment. Our Business Analyst colleagues are there to help.”

– Kris adds: “To satisfy potential needs, we have already hired a developer and begun training others in creating scripts, continuing our test phase with a wider audience where new scripts are launched every week.”

We want to use this new technology to free up time for more complex and demanding tasks. We have chosen a number of processes that we want to automate.

Eva Schramm, Finance Department at 50Hertz

The future looks rather bright for RPA, even beyond Belgium’s borders. Our colleagues at 50Hertz have also asked us to implement such a solution; we are now working on this with a view to creating synergy between the two entities. Eva Schramm from 50Hertz’s Finance Department is managing this project at her end: “We want to use this new technology to free up time for more complex and demanding tasks. We have chosen a number of processes that we want to automate.”

The testing of the new technology has come to an end and the Digi-tech team has trained four 50Hertz employees as key users of RPA. This is a shining example of collaboration between the two Group entities!

About Digi-tech

Digi-tech is one of three idea explorators helping the Innovation Hub roll out its innovation projects. The team is tasked with understanding and testing new digital technologies in order to subsequently optimise business processes.