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Client: The Länsförsäkringar Alliance Region: Europe Industry: Insurance

RPA helps Länsförsäkringar Stockholm towards becoming Stockholm’s ‘most liked local business’

Länsförsäkringar Stockholm makes innovative use of RPA to speed and simplify claims processing, supporting its strategy of excellent customer experience.

To be the most liked business is a lofty ambition for any organization. For an insurance company, that journey is even harder. Pioneering Swedish financial institution, Länsförsäkringar, knew that to get the people of Stockholm to think this way meant truly excellent customer experience. The company implemented Robotic Process Automation (RPA) from UiPath with support from specialist consultancy company, AKOA, to improve its customer-facing processes.

Länsförsäkringar is unique in the Swedish finance industry, it’s corporate form is reciprocal, which means that the owners are the company’s customers and policyholders.

In all there are 23 local insurance companies ensuring that their products and services are tailored to the needs of the people in that area. In addition, every penny of profit is invested back into improving how the business operates and the products it delivers. Länsförsäkringar truly is a company run for the customer and owned by the customer.

Towards becoming ‘the most liked local business’ in Stockholm

Customer experience goes beyond customized products and personalized communications. It’s built on a foundation of understanding your customers and their specific needs – especially within a local area.

Anna Koch, CIO at Länsförsäkringar Stockholm explains: “Being local means being good with our data. There’s a big difference between small towns and big cities. In Stockholm, being local and personal can mean something different than being so in other parts of Sweden. We need to make the most of our data to really understand our market.

When the company began looking at RPA in 2016, it was already convinced that automation could help it achieve its business goals.

“We're a customer-focused insurance company. We’re nothing without data so we need to continually add value to that data and apply it to working smarter with our customers. Automation is a big part of that.”

Anna KochCIO at Länsförsäkringar Stockholm

Susanna Hellström Gefwert, Global CTO at AKOA, describes: ”One of the most important things when getting started with automation is to have clear business goals. Länsförsäkringar not only have clear goals, they also have a strategic mindset and are openminded which makes them both easy and fun to work with.”

Reaping the benefits of RPA

Länsförsäkringar’s RPA journey began with a small proof of concept. The company identified a heavily manual and time-consuming registration process that seemed prime for automation. They very quickly constructed a robot that automated the process, immediately bring back between two and three days into the business.

Anna comments: “The proof of concept showed the value of RPA. It also helped us identify the best processes to automate. RPA is excellent where data is being moved between multiple systems, and we have a lot of that. In that one small process, we demonstrated that we were making customer experience quicker and better.”

Following this, the company created an RPA center of excellence (CoE) with two developers and business analysts. It also worked closely with specialist consultancy, AKOA, to get the developers up to speed on UiPath solutions.

Susanna Hellström Gefwert, Global CTO at AKOA, explains: “We started working with Länsförsäkringar in 2017 and it’s been amazing being part of their automation journey. From development of simple processes, to defining a center of excellence and really moving towards having a holistic mindset around RPA. They are now in the forefront of automation and I believe they are the perfect example of how organizations of the future should work and think.”

The CoE was constructed with both technical and business elements. The technical side made sure that the company had the correct infrastructure, implemented development best practices and methodologies, and included a maintenance organization to ensure its automation would scale successfully.

On the business side, analysts worked with business users to identify the tasks and processes to automate. Anna says.

”We need the business to feel comfortable that these are the best tasks (to automate). Business ownership is very important as a success factor.”

Anna KochCIO at Länsförsäkringar Stockholm

Gaining business buy-in

The company built buy-in at all levels – including the boardroom and IT department – by clearly defining the benefits and showing how RPA will make everyone’s life easier.

“Considering that insurance is quite a conservative business, I think we've done very well. Rather than looking at processes that would give us the best return on investment, we started solving problems. When you solve people's problems that brings a lot of buy-in,” says Anna.

To date, the company has successfully automated 40 processes.

An innovative approach to RPA

The claims process is one area where insurance companies must demonstrate excellent customer experience. People don’t want to wait weeks or months to know if their claim has been approved. Claims processing within Länsförsäkringar could be slow with many manual elements and connection to legacy systems. The company wanted a better way to handle claims and the company saw RPA as part of the solution.

The solution for Länsförsäkringar is to introduce a new Business Process Management (BPM) package that will make it quicker and easier for staff to handle claims. However, the company’s claims engine is hosted and managed on a legacy terminal at the corporate headquarters. Exchanging data between the local BPN and the corporate claims engine manually means entering data into the BPM and then duplicating that in the claims system. The process is slow and opens the potential for error.

Direct integration between systems would have been time and cost intensive. The legacy claims system is aging so there are no APIs available. Instead, the company turned to RPA. Rather than look to back-end integration, it focused on the front-end where a robot can pick up new data as it is entered into the BPN system and automatically update the legacy application. Now in testing, the new automation is speeding the process as well as shielded staff from the complexity of the claims engine.

”I’m not sure this approach to RPA has been taken before. It will free our highly skilled staff to concentrate on large value claims. It’s improving the process so we can deliver a better customer experience.”

Anna KochCIO at Länsförsäkringar Stockholm

It’s not only the experience of customers that has improved. By focusing on the pain points of staff, rather than solely ROI, when selecting the processes and tasks to automate, the company has been able to gain business buy-in through improving the daily experience of its employees.

KEY BENEFITS

  • +40processes successfully automated, with another 140 in the pipeline
  • IncreaseRPA has helped increase the value of its data and let the company work smarter with customers
  • 2-3 days Proof of concept returns between 2-3 days to the business
  • ConnectionInnovative RPA implementation connects internal BPM soluton with corporate claims engine currently in testing
  • 3 daysAutomating claims processing returns 3 days to the business
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”RPA is a great way for getting people to understand IT. Databases, applications, integration? People just stare at you. But when you start talking processes using a robot it becomes more accessible. I really like it when people can latch on to IT.”

Anna KochCIO at Länsförsäkringar Stockholm

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