“They are not electromechanical robots but software robots,” said Engineer Jeffrey Lingatong, Davao Light’s RPA expert. “Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will perform any established steps, instructions, logic, or error handling using your computer.”
Davao Light currently employs seven robot experts. Together, they created the initial 16 robots, which were responsible for saving 700 hours of manual manpower.
“Doing menial things repetitively will consume so much of an employee’s working hours. It is really stressful, time-consuming, and prone to human error,” Lingatong explained. “With RPA, different business processes can now be automated and the employee can do more value-adding tasks, be more creative, and come up with new ideas for the company while the robot performs in the background.”
“As a result, automation will increase the productivity and efficiency of an employee and further improve the quality of our services,” he added.
Called collaborative robots or “cobots,” they help the employees efficiently analyze data to make better and more accurate decisions in less time.
For example, a recently deployed robot in Davao Light processes 25,000 eBillTxt accounts per batch on a monthly basis. eBillTxt is the new billing service of Davao Light, wherein customers can receive their electricity bill through text. With manual processing, it takes more than one month for 25,000 customers to be enrolled in the system. Instead of an employee spending the whole working day to process such accounts, a “cobot” can automate the process for up to eight hours per day, resulting in 25,000 customers registered in less than a month and just in time for the next billing cycle.
“The ultimate measure of success is the satisfaction of our customers, and we hope to continue to improve the efficiency and quality of our services through the automation of our processes at Davao Light,” Davao Light President and Chief Operating Officer Rodger Velasco said.
Davao Light sought to replicate the success of its RPA developers in automating and improving its business process through an RPA boot camp — a short yet intensive and rigorous course of training in developing software robots. Forty team members from various departments joined the boot camp, resulting in the creation of 34 additional robots. Davao Light team members are now equipped with new tools and skill sets to come up with innovative and efficient solutions to improve the distribution utility’s processes.
The program is in line with AboitizPower Distribution Utilities’ massive transformative purpose of “Empowering the Evolution of our Cities” and the continuation of product innovations in distributing power that will help the cities it serves to reach greater heights.