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Client: Trelleborg Municipality Region: EUROPE Industry: Public Sector

RPA in the Public Sector: UiPath Helps Swedish Citizens Regain Self-Sufficiency

Trelleborg Municipality’s Department of Welfare used the UiPath Enterprise RPA Platform to automate critical welfare support decision processes.

This decision significantly reduced the department's response times, but more importantly, enabled employees to provide exceptional service and help Swedish citizens regain control over their lives.

Within the Trelleborg Municipality, the Trelleborg Department of Welfare includes a public service department that focuses on welfare support. This department prides itself on doing all it can to guide Swedish citizens through the welfare process and provide exceptional service at every step. The department’s mission is to ensure openness, respect, and responsibility to help Swedish citizens regain self-sufficiency.

Past processes did not always support this mission, or at least as much as the department would have liked. For example, in the past, it used to take an average of eight days for the department to make welfare-payment decisions, though this number could be as high as 20 days for new welfare applications.

During this waiting time, Swedish citizens continued to contact the department, either to inquire about their status either to ask for additional help to complete the process. Worse, this waiting time meant citizens spent too much time worrying about their future decision instead of actively working to find a new job.

Eleonore Schlyter, Unit Manager, Department of Welfare in Trelleborg Municipality, remembered that in 2014, this scenario led them to look internally. “We began to ask ourselves if we were providing the best service possible to our citizens,” she said. “For example, what response time frame is acceptable before people start to worry about putting food on the table? Could we do anything to improve our processes and reduce the eight-day decision time? In other words, could we do more to provide even better service to our citizens?”

RPA in the public sector

The decision to implement a Digital Agenda was taken in August 2018. Trelleborg’s Department of Social Services had been working closely with Valcon Consultants, a leading European operations consulting company, to help with the digital transformation.

The UiPath Robot does the same thing an employee would do but does it so much faster.

Eleonore SchlyterUnit Manager, Department of Welfare, Trelleborg Municipality

“Valcon Consultants had experienced great success using the UiPath Enterprise Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Platform to automate many administrative processes in a Copenhagen Municipality,” said Schlyter. “After hearing about their experience, we became interested in using RPA technology in our welfare support department.”

With more than 300 applications coming in every month, employees working in the Welfare department spent a lot of time trying to make the system work as effectively as possible. Schlyter knew that some of the processes in her department could be automated, improving both the employee experience as well as that of the applicants. Together with Valcon, they built the business case based on the process proposals coming from Schlyter.

An ideal process for automation

“We already had an online process for people to submit applications,” Schlyter said. “This process was used by 75% of citizens who were looking for welfare support. We realized this was an ideal starting place, and that this process could be significantly improved with RPA technology.”

As part of the initial pilot program, the Valcon team continued to help. They performed a business case assessment of the process, where the joint team would look through everything to make sure each step of the automation was correct. Trelleborg employees showed how they would make a decision, especially a favorable ruling that resulted in a welfare payment. From there, the RPA team developed a UiPath Robot that successfully automated this critical step.

Employees love the UiPath Enterprise RPA Platform

Valcon Consultants used a staff developer to deploy the RPA technology, although Schlyter reported that Trelleborg is in the process of creating an internal Center of Excellence to transfer knowledge, training, and additional resources to other departments within all Trelleborg Municipality departments.

Trelleborg Municipality image 1

Employee morale has improved to the point where Schlyter believes that some employees may not still be there without the UiPath Robots. “Our employees tell us that it makes their workday more structured and so much better,” she said. “With UiPath, every morning as soon as they come in, they get a report that shows up-to-the-minute status updates and what they still have to do.”

Our employees tell us that RPA makes their workday more structured and so much better. Employees don’t even give it a second thought.

Eleonore SchlyterUnit Manager, Department of Welfare, Trelleborg Municipality

It is a significant improvement over past efforts where employees had to manually go into the system and seek every online application that had been submitted. “Employees don’t even give it a second thought,” explained Schlyter. “The UiPath Robot compiles important information and creates a report that shows which citizens received payments, which ones didn’t, and all of the supporting information. Employees are freed from the tedious part of the process but can still be involved if they need to manage exceptions or over-rule various decisions.”

UiPath in action

Now a UiPath Robot runs once a day, during the early morning before employees are even in the office. It collects all the online applications that were submitted in the last 24 hours, performs various calculations required to make a decision, and if the decision is favorable, generates a check. The UiPath Robot also uncovers additional information, such as whether the welfare applicant is active as a job seeker, and thus, fulfilling their obligations for welfare support. “The UiPath Robot does the same thing an employee would do, but it does it so much faster,” said Schlyter.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • 2The Trelleborg Department of Welfare Support was able to free two employees and allocate them to more important processes requiring human decision making



  • 24The Department of Welfare was able to give welfare-support applicants a decision within 24 hours since 2014 —a significant improvement over the 8-20 days it used to take. Because of the UiPath Robot, they could allocate those initial resources to other processes.
  • 22%Thanks to the RPA technology, the department was able to help 22% more people than in the year before, getting them jobs and fully self-sufficient
  • 94%Where some applications once took up to 17 minutes, UiPath Robot completes them in less than a minute—a 94% improvement in time-saving

With UiPath, Schlyter’s department has been able to significantly reduce the amount of time it takes employees to process an application. “Before we automated the process, it took three to five minutes to complete those applications that were approved and resulted in payments,” she said. “Yet it took up to 17 minutes to complete applications that were denied. Now the UiPath Robot completes any process in one minute or less, which has led to dramatic time savings.”

These time savings paid off in more ways than one. “For us, it was never about reducing staff’s involvement,” explained Schlyter. “The best news is that we freed so much of their time that we’ve been able to reallocate them to other processes and empower them to contribute to additional processes where they can make the most difference for Swedish citizens.”

Future goals: Better ways to deliver optimum citizen service

They have one Robot in place today but are in the process of rolling out a new one to help with job seekers. In this case, the UiPath Robot will gather a job seeker’s plan and put it on their site, a step that saves time for department employees while still giving welfare participants the full support they need to be successful. It will also offer a significant improvement over the current program where they can only see their calculation and their decision.

With RPA technology, our citizens are satisfied that they get good response and service within 24 hours. It makes us feel good too, knowing that we’re going more to help Swedish people regain control of their lives.

Eleonore SchlyterUnit Manager, Department of Welfare, Trelleborg Municipality

The department is also looking at another process for future automation: the process of overruled decisions. “Today, we still use a manual process to examine overruled decisions and provide a resolution to those applications," said Schlyter. “We are moving to an online process for this task, too, and we are confident that RPA can help with this process. We will be able to use RPA to collect all overruled decisions and automatically put them in a report, which will make the process much faster. Today, it takes three to seven days, and with RPA, we expect it to be reduced to just one or two days.”

The UiPath Enterprise RPA Platform has helped Trelleborg Municipality. It’s saved time, contributed to increased employee morale, but most important, has now positioned the department to continue to provide exceptional service for its citizens. “With RPA technology, our citizens are satisfied that they get good response and service in just 24 hours,” said Schlyter. “It makes us feel good too, knowing that we’re doing more to help Swedish people regain control of their lives.”

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