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Client story

RPA improves Ibaraki Prefecture’s administrative support

Client: Ibaraki Prefectural Office
Region: Japan
Industry: Public Sector

Partnering with Capgemini, the local government office introduces the UiPath RPA tool to automate and simplify the entry and management of key information

Client Challenge: Ibaraki Prefecture had struggled to maintain the sophistication and diversification required to support prefectural citizens and needed a solution that enhanced its productivity

Solution: Partnering with Capgemini, Ibaraki Prefecture implemented UiPath to automate the input of data and information into the existing system while improving the associated processes

-Enhanced productivity and efficiency
-Shortened response times to requests and applications
-Improved employee and citizen experience

Enhancing government productivity

Work in the public sector often proves to be a challenge of providing citizens with high-quality and rapid services while operating within the limitations of a budget determined by federal allotment and politics. In Ibaraki Prefecture, located northeast of Tokyo, approximately 7,000 staff provide services to approximately 2.8 million citizens. When the local government witnessed a spike in the complexity of the support it needed to provide, it found itself struggling to keep up with the demands of its citizens. Following the election of a new governor in 2017, Ibaraki Prefecture launched an innovation initiative to modernize its services in an effort to help its prefectural residents in becoming the happiest people in Japan.

As part of this drive, Ibaraki Prefecture targeted the implementation of robotic process automation (RPA) technology as the key to improving its productivity and transforming its ways of working. Of course, the delicate nature of the project and the substantial impact it could have upon the citizenry of the prefecture dictated that the government utilize a degree of expertise that it could only access by selecting a partner. In 2018, based on a successful proof of concept demonstration and a set of proposals for the future, Ibaraki Prefecture selected Capgemini for this role.

Supporting administrative services with RPA

With a partnership agreement in place, Capgemini sent a team to Ibaraki Prefecture to work directly with government staff. While there, the team spoke with employees and officials about their needs and expectations for any RPA solution. As a result, Ibaraki Prefecture and Capgemini were then able to come to a mutually agreed upon deployment plan for the UiPath RPA tool. Rather than wholly replacing the local government’s architecture, the partners agreed to apply RPA technology within the existing system, which was highly customized and supported a wide variety of business areas.

Ibaraki Prefecture and Capgemini specifically focused on the data and information input process, which had become cumbersome and time-consuming and included the input of information from paper sources. Using character recognition technology, the partners ensured that previously paper-based processes were simplified and completed far more quickly. Overall, Ibaraki Prefecture introduced an RPA solution that enabled government employees to focus their efforts on other essential work that demanded more expertise and provided greater value to the prefecture and its citizens, all while providing faster and more accurate administrative support.

Throughout the project, Ibaraki Prefecture and Capgemini maintained an open and transparent partnership. Together, the partners collaboratively made decisions about target setting for the installation, task selection, development, operation support, maintenance, and development of new governance and ways of working. By the end of the project, Ibaraki Prefecture had a user-friendly UiPath RPA solution to improve the employee experience and improve the services it could offer.

Ibaraki Prefecture prepares for the future

In its constant effort to find efficient ways to provide high-quality support to its citizens, Ibaraki Prefecture utilized automation to improve productivity without needing to simply increase the number of government employees. In addition, the local government worked with Capgemini to introduce transformations to its ways of working to ensure that the solution had the desired impact.

By introducing RPA technology into 20 distinct administration, education, and police operations, the partners reduced the time involved with these processes by 35,000 hours per year. This also lowered the amount of overtime needed to properly respond to citizen requests, all while reducing the time that people needed to wait to receive resolutions. In this way, Ibaraki Prefecture and Capgemini improved the experience for both employees and citizens alike.

Building upon the success of this RPA solution, the partners were also to play a key role in the response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. With the UiPath tool in place, Ibaraki Prefecture could promptly provide support for a fund intended to combat the spread of the virus. When approximately 12,000 business applied for financial support through this program, RPA technology shortened the processing time for each application by 10 minutes, ensuring that the office was able to process the requests quickly.

With rapid action driven by automation, Ibaraki Prefecture allowed employers and employees alike to maintain business operations without having to worry as much about their financial situations or health. Now working in new ways supported by modern automation technology, Ibaraki Prefecture has shown its commitment to providing citizens with the best possible services and set itself up for further innovation in the future.