Automation is creeping into almost every industry. But the energy sector, in particular, is witnessing exciting results.
The energy industry has historically required huge teams of people to perform time-consuming, mundane work to micromanage and cross-check data. But now, we’re beginning to see the emergence of automated solutions in such processes.
RPA is revolutionising the way in which energy companies are operating in the modern day – reducing costs, maximising output and creating greater opportunities for gains in market share. It’s no coincidence that those businesses embracing RPA are the ones who are pulling away from the pack.
Robots and energy go hand in hand. But what makes automation technology such a fitting addition to this sector?
Why energy businesses are dabbling in RPA
Data processing isn’t just a long, drawn-out affair for humans. It’s also pretty unfulfilling. The very nature of the energy industry, however, means that number-crunching is part and parcel of everyday operations. There needs to be a team of people gathering, inputting and analysing data to keep things ticking over.
But imagine an alternative – where all this data was processed automatically by robots at twice the speed in a cheaper way. It might sound aspirational and unachievable, but that is essentially what RPA brings to the table.
Today, energy businesses can reassign the dull data processing work to bots and instead put their people into more meaningful areas that require human input. There’s also no need to hire more processors when the workload increases (saving huge amounts on staff costs), and the capability of these bots mean companies can generate more data to ensure superior operational efficiency.
The huge number of transactions and data elements – including product specifications, volume, price, times and locations – can all be stored, handled and delivered without the need for an entire team.
What’s more, human error – the main culprit in poor economic performance for energy companies – is almost entirely eliminated.
Automation is changing everything.
How does automation work in the energy industry?
The overarching benefits of embracing RPA in energy are clear. But what businesses truly want to know is the specific ways in which automation can support their operations.
Most companies in this sector are tasked with processing data across separate areas, including financial settlement, scheduling, analytics and risk management. And robots can handle almost any data-related duty from all of the above.
They can bill buyers, generate invoices and perform the necessary calculations for accurate accounts. They can coordinate energy delivery schedules and ensure everything gets to where it needs to be in a timely manner. They can deduce the net position of parties and provide subsequent insight into trading risks. And, they can even analyse current operations to help owners determine more efficient routes and solutions.
But it doesn’t stop there. Roles such as customer service – in which the energy sector has a historically poor reputation – can be enhanced through the implementation of automation technology.
This doesn’t involve sticking a robot on the end of the line (which can only serve to exacerbate frustrated customers) but rather using software to speed up waiting times and offering customer advisors more information to provide a better service.
For example, chatbots can handle basic inquiries and put customers in touch with the relevant advisor – who will have all the necessary information to hand and a high-speed system in which to log, find and extract the details that the customer desires.
The future for the energy sector
In time, RPA will completely transform the energy industry – from the way organisations conduct business to the specific roles within it.
And the change is already happening as we speak.
As many as 40% of energy executives cited an improvement in operational quality after embracing RPA.
Around a third also claimed their workforce agility had increased. The same number also confirmed they’d seen a rise in staff productivity as a result of bringing in bots. This debunks the theory that the influx of RPA technology alienates workers.
The only thing that’s stopping all energy businesses from eagerly leaping at the chance to bring in robots is a sense of wariness. RPA is still a relatively new concept, and many leaders feel they know very little about how it works. Some, on the other hand, have tried before and failed.
That’s where Robiquity come in…
Find RPA solutions with Robiquity
Robiquity have an excellent track record helping energy organisations implement RPA at scale. The perfect case in point: Opus.
This business energy provider is part of the Drax Group family, and they turned to our team of award-winning Blue Prism developers for an automation solution in 2018.
With Robiquity’s support, Opus have completely embraced RPA as part of their working process. They’ve added 19 bots in 12 months – with plans to continue scaling in the future. They are also looking to implement additional ancillary technologies which are available as part of the Robiquity solution.
You can read our Opus case study to learn more about how we helped bring this energy provider’s processes into the digital age. But, for more information on how we can guide your business in automation, why not speak to a member of our expert team? We’re available on 0161 974 3244. You can also reach us via email:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regardless of whether you’re new to RPA or have already started implementation and come to a crossroads, we can help. Any automation questions you might have, Robiquity can answer them