e.kundenservice (E.ON Energy)

Saving costs & increasing license utilization

e.kundenservice Netz GmbH is a subsidiary of E.ON - a market leader in electric utility services. It uses RPA Supervisor to achieve operational excellency in automation across its 5 business units - now orchestrating at least twice as many robots with the same team!

e.kundenservice Netz GmbH is a subsidiary of E.ON - an innovative service company and market leader in electric utility. The subsidiary operates in four locations and handles 300,000 meter changes and new installations for its 7m customers. It has a reported revenue of 248m Euros. As part of automating various parts of the business, 5 of the units in the e.kundenservice department implement different instances of Blue Prism’s RPA system for scheduling multiple processes. Andreas Fick and Lars Niesporek are part of the RPA Systems & Operations team managing the automation.

Business problem

Each of the 5 business units operated independently, and as such had different instances of the RPA software running in each unit. This made it incredibly cumbersome for the operations team to manage operations:

  • Processes being cancelled significantly increased the operational effort involved
  • Low utilization of the machines and licenses meant that operations were sub-optimal (approx. 25-30%; in another case 11%)

Andreas explains that the key issue with the implementation was that the functional processing system was missing: “Blue Prism’s rigid scheduling logic meant that there was no queueing for upcoming processes in waiting loops. So, processes simply broke off – and there was no easy solution for a process to respond to pending items.”

“As a result of this, processes were aborted – e.g. due to process collisions in Blue Prism or when the backend system was temporarily unavailable (where restarting the robot fixed the problem). “The manual effort it took to reschedule these processes and administer ‘first aid measures’ like rebooting, planning etc. was very time consuming and laborious,” he says.

The worst impact was when reboots happened over weekends, precious production time was lost – which in turn had a domino affect on other production once it was realized on a Monday. All these interruptions and manual interventions also meant that the existing Blue Prism robot licenses weren’t actually being used to full capacity – in some cases they were only used as little as 11%.

It was clear that an automation management platform was necessary to fix the problem, and when Andreas and Lars saw what RPA Supervisor could offer, they were quickly convinced of its value.

RPA Supervisor solution

Since being onboarded, RPA Supervisor has delivered operational excellency across the business units. Several functionalities within the solution have allowed for this:

  • Complete orchestration of all RPA bots (approx.150 bots)
  • Automated restart after process interruptions
  • Underperformance board for targeted bug fixing
  • Planned downtime

“The immediate impact from RPA Supervisor’s implementation is its ability to automatically restart processes after interruptions – without any manual intervention,” says Lars.

“I especially love the ability to quickly see at a glance which robots are under-performing so we know where our efforts should be going.

In addition, the planned downtime function enables us to set out certain time slots for maintenance windows without interrupting production time,” he explains.

RPA Supervisor’s Regional Director Ulrich Meyer adds: “RPA Supervisor is the only automation management platform on the market that truly enables operational efficiency thanks to its SLA-based prioritization and flexibility in scheduling. This functionality is a significant advantage for E.ON.”

“Now, every process is technically and professionally assessed to determine whether and how optimization through the RPA Supervisor platform is possible. This has led to process reengineering for the purpose of design optimization (e.g., separation into load & workbots),” says Andreas.

Achieving operational excellence

Commenting on the impact RPA Supervisor has had since implementation, the managers are very pleased with the outcomes: “As a result of implementing RPA Supervisor across the 5 E.ON business units, we avoided additional costs for licenses. And we’re benefiting from operational economies of scale: we can now orchestrate at least twice as many robots with the same team.”

“In addition, the scalability of our botfarms has been a key success: More processes can now be handled with the existing personnel, which led to a noticeable relief for operations. For example, bot cancellations were often recorded on weekends in the past. This meant that many trials had to be made up on a Monday. This is where traditional RPA systems are too rigid. The restart and the rework usually took a whole day – offsetting production in other areas.

“Thanks to the scheduling flexibility from RPA Supervisor, that process-jam can gradually be cleared. The automatic "retry" of the system ensures that we maintain a high quality of adherence to times (e.g. starting at night). Thus, the workload could be doubled with the same number of employees. The SLA recurrence over 30 days is an excellent 99.6% (return). This demonstrates that now, there’s essentially no manual interference needed – it’s all automated!”

Commenting on what it’s been like to work with the RPA Supervisor team, they say: “The success of a software partnership stands and falls with the employees on both sides. The professional competence of the employees of RPA Supervisor ("people who have a clue") ensures short-term response times in addition to close communication in support and form the basis of this very successful implementation.”

"Thanks to RPA Supervisor, we've avoided additional costs for licenses. We’re benefiting from operational economies of scale & can now orchestrate at least twice as many robots with the same team."
Andreas Fick & Lars Niesporek
RPA Systems & Operations
RPA supervisor provided with these benefits and features:
No items found.
See more

Use cases

Ready to optimize? 

Register today!