Seattle is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. According to U.S. Census data released in 2019, the Seattle metropolitan area’s population stands at 3.98 million, making it the 15th-largest in the United States.
Since 2019, Luke Keenan worked for the city as an Automation Program Lead. He sought to build a sound foundation to optimize how the city provides services using his considerable experience in RPA deployment. Under Luke’s leadership, Seattle IT tested different RPA solutions for cutting-edge technology and ease of implementation. After an Automation Anywhere demonstration, the team decided that Enterprise A2019 met all its desired functionality.
While the City of Seattle has had many successes since its RPA deployment, the team is especially proud of 3 specific challenges automation helped them overcome.
- The Utility Discount Program (UDP) which helps low-income residents with utility bills was impacted during COVID-19. The application process shifted from call center support to a self-service online form that consolidated the data into disconnected Excel files, resulting in an instant backlog of 6,200 applicants. Unattended bots worked through the front end of the process to eliminate the backlog and manual data entry, plus research and reduce wait times for application review and approval. The bots eliminated the backlog, and utility credits were extended to nearly 2,900.
- When employees were forced to work from home due to the virus, they could not connect to the city’s network and missed critical password-change notifications. This caused lockouts and increased help desk calls. A bot was developed to automate password data tracking and reset schedules so that employees received timely, personalized expiration on their mobile devices without requiring network access. To this day, the bot sends out approximately 700 emails daily.
- Each of the city’s 48 departments was responsible for its own payroll and used to send manual emails to every employee or manager who forgot to submit or approve a timesheet on time. The team built a bot that downloaded reports for each department and sent unique emails to each employee with a missing or un-approved timesheet within minutes, saving 30+ hours per month.
“As local governments continue to face resource constraints due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the City of Seattle is finding innovative ways to improve its government services through automation. Seattle IT has seen immediate results from its bot automation service – from everyday work to more efficient government services for the City of Seattle residents.”Dan Lewis, Digital Transformation Strategist, Seattle IT