AI Case Study

AXA UK saves 18,000 people hours in six months by deploying bots to handle repetitive tasks

AXA UK has successfully deployed bots to handle repetitive tasks. Over the last six months the insurance company has leveraged 13 software bots that assist its employees in three departments, the customer property claims, the commercial property and the liability department. The three bots that were named by employees, Harry, Bert and Lenny, helped the staff in tasks like matching customer correspondence with the relevant claims record. The specific task required the bot 42 seconds, while a human needs about four minutes, thus saving the company 18,000 people hours, which translates to about £140,000 in efficiency and productivity gains.

Industry

Financial Services

Insurance

Project Overview

"The first bot, called Harry, was rolled out to staff in the customer property claims team in June 2018. It was soon joined by Bert in the commercial property team and Lenny in the liability team. All the bots were named by employees of those departments.

Broadly speaking all of these deployments are cases of 'attended' RPA, where the bot helps employees get a task done, rather than taking it completely off their hands. Most of the bots to date focus on 'reading' customer correspondence and matching them with the relevant claims records. Where this would take a human on average of four minutes, it takes a bot 42 seconds, the company claims.

As Clayden explained: "When a customer writes to us or emails us, that piece of correspondence would be scanned and enter a queue and the employee would do something with it and move it from scanning to the claims system. It was essentially dragging from one workflow to the claims system, there is a clear business logic of what needs to be done, which made it a prime candidate [for RPA]."

AXA also embarked on a concerted communications effort to dispel any concerns that these bots would be replacing human workers. "Very quickly we saw positive feedback and operational teams were writing their own blogs and taking ownership and saw the robots taking those repetitive tasks away from them," Clayden said.

Word soon got out of these admin-busting bots, and other departments started asking for "their own 'Harry 2' to arrive," he added.

When stacked up against the cost of implementing the technology and standing up the underlying cloud environment in Microsoft Azure, Clayden said the margin of savings is still significant, while also stressing that any savings "are nothing to do with replacing people, it is a productivity improvement"."

Reported Results

"The UK arm of insurance giant AXA has deployed 13 software bots across its business since last summer, aiming to help employees with mundane, repetitive admin tasks like filing customer correspondence in the claims department, saving 18,000 people hours, which equates to roughly £140,000, in productivity gains since."

Technology

Function

Operations

General Operations

Background

""Back in 2018 we were seeing more and more discussion and demand over improving productivity internally and boosting the consistency across customer facing parts of our business with claims, sales and service," Simon Clayden, chief operating officer (technology) at AXA UK told Computerworld UK.

As a result the company started to look at robotic process automation (RPA), a burgeoning technology area where software 'bots' can be programmed to complete simple, process-driven tasks on a user's computer.

The primary aim of the project was to help free up staff from mundane tasks, it was "never about robotics looking sexy, it was about productivity and improving things for our people," he added.

After a vendor comparison of three specialists - UiPath, Blue Prism and Automation Anywhere - AXA opted for the New York-based UiPath, thanks to its breadth of features and the quality of its support and account management, Clayden said."

Benefits

Cost - Job automation,Cost - Staff efficiency,Operational - Robotic Process Automation

Data