Swiss Re was an early adopter of RPA technology and has recently hit the 100 automations milestone.
Partnering with UiPath helps Swiss Re increase internal efficiencies, streamline critical operations, and free employees to focus on what’s important: growing the business.
The Swiss Re Group is one of the world's leading providers of reinsurance, insurance, and other forms of insurance-based risk transfer. The aim of the Swiss Re Group is to enable society to thrive and progress, by creating new opportunities and solutions for its clients.
To achieve these goals, Swiss Re determined that it needed new ways to free employee capacity for more value adding tasks. José Ordinas-Lewis, Head of Swiss Re’s Robotic Automation Center, explained their rationale:
“We needed to empower employees to make sure they were aligned and completely focused on generating new business and operating more efficiently. One way to achieve this was to eliminate repetitive, low-value tasks.”
Swiss Re carefully evaluated various automation vendors. “The UiPath Enterprise RPA Platform was a good fit for our needs, especially in terms of scalability and integration capabilities,” recalled Ordinas-Lewis. “The UiPath team also had a vision for the future of RPA, so we were convinced we were selecting the right partner.”
Once the decision was made, Swiss Re targeted a bank account reconciliation process as its proof of value (POV) with UiPath. This initial pilot was an immediate success: It reduced reconciliation times from 15 business days to just three—an 80% improvement.
In this example, a single UiPath Robot downloaded bank statements as well as corresponding ledger accounts and matched the balance of the bank account using Microsoft Excel. The Robot copied the relevant evidence and uploaded all this information into a central repository for detailed record-keeping and future audits.
Ordinas-Lewis offered his view of the full benefits of this first UiPath automation. “It was effective, both because it streamlined our existing process and saved time, but also because we were able to develop safeguards to make sure everything went smoothly. For example, the UiPath Robot produced a summary report that was sent to accounting. This report was based on four specific business rules, and if any part of the matching process fell outside of any one of these parameters, the report was immediately handed off to a human employee for further analysis.”
José Ordinas Lewis Head Robotic Automation Center
Our RPA pilot program was one small step for RPA, but one giant leap for Swiss Re.
This pilot was such a success that Swiss Re dubbed this first Robot, “Neil,” in honor of Neil Armstrong. “This project was one small step for RPA, but one giant leap for Swiss Re,” said Ordinas-Lewis, explaining the nod to the famous astronaut.
Generating employee support
"As Swiss Re automated more processes, naming each Robot became a fun way to engage employees and make them think of each one as a valuable new team member. Departments which have repetitive tasks have embraced technology by automating them and fully supporting our existing business processes.”, said Ordinas-Lewis.
José Ordinas Lewis Head Robotic Automation Center
The UiPath Enterprise RPA Platform was much more robust than the other tools out there, especially in terms of scalability and integration capabilities. The UiPath team also had a more complete vision for the future of RPA and its own technology, so we were convinced we were selecting the right partner.
Ordinas-Lewis attributed some of their support to establishing a governance model up-front and developing an effective Center of Excellence (CoE). “In the early stages, many didn’t know what RPA was or what to expect,” he remembered. “Our team invested a lot of time developing an effective communication plan and governance framework. Such a comprehensive plan and framework was critical in getting employees’ buy-in and support as early in the process as possible.”
Hitting a Milestone: 100 automated processes
Forrester Research once noted that “without RPA, more than half of the automation opportunities go unsupported.”
Ordinas-Lewis agreed with this point. “On one end of the automation spectrum, we have larger IT-driven projects and on the other, we have end-user examples, such as macros in Microsoft Excel,” he explained. “Yet the middle ground represents a significant gap—and a significant opportunity—for companies to use emerging technologies such as RPA to automate these middle ground processes and solve urgent business challenges.”
BY THE NUMBERS
- 100Swiss Re successfully automated 100 processes with UiPath RPA technology
- 65UiPath RPA technology now performs the work of approximately 65 full-time employees (FTEs) each year
- 80%Swiss Re’s initial pilot program reduced its existing bank account reconciliation process from 15 business days to just three—an 80% reduction
The Center of Excellence has successfully automated 100 processes thus far and is currently looking at new ways to tackle those middle ground opportunities. Additionally, the team is evaluating machine learning, document ingestion, and other emerging technologies to complement the UiPath Enterprise RPA platform and power new automations.
“My team is in the business of enabling our business to become more efficient and RPA is a helpful tool we leverage for this,” said Ordinas-Lewis. “UiPath helps us to succeed in achieving this goal for Swiss Re.”