Boosting satisfaction with RPA in SJ

Being an early adopter of technology with the introduction of online ticket sales in 1997, SJ knows what it takes to stay competitive in the domestic and Nordic travel market.


The Challenge

While the number of destinations and departures kept growing, so did the workload for the employees in customer service and financial control. As the customers of SJ started to enjoy a more digital customer experience SJ also saw the opportunity to improve the digital experience for their employees in their work processes. With that as the objective it was decided that the internal processes of SJ could be modernized through the use of the process automation technique Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and the collaboration with Avo was established.

About SJ

  • SJ AB (Swedish Rail) is a Swedish travel company which offers sustainable journeys by train and connects the Scandinavian capitals by rail.

  • CEO

    Crister Fritzson
  • Headquarters

  • Established

  • Employees


Our Approach

SJ started their collaboration with Avo in 2018, and Traffic Planning department (Trafikplanering) was chosen as the place to start exploring the benefits of RPA. Together we started looking for ways to improve quality and to reduce the number of errors by the human factor. Here, employees witnessed how their old processes struggled to keep up with the increasing number of departures. Together with SJ, Avo mapped their core processes for traffic planning and online sales, and decided that with RPA we could introduce a new ‘digital co-worker’, or robot, who would work alongside the employees in traffic planning. The robot’s work description would include spending several hours per night performing quality checks in the traffic planning department. Each morning, potential flaws in need of correction would subsequently be reported. With the handover to the human co-workers each morning, it shows human-robot collaboration at its most effective.

After the successful introduction of the digital co-worker in Traffic Planning, word quickly spread through SJ, and Avo worked together with SJ’s digitalization department to identify other departments in need of more automated processes.

  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

    A computer program that mimic the exact actions of a person on the computer. Simply put, the robots are digital employees that follow instructions to perform tasks in the same user interface as humans, such as clicking on a button or writing in a text field.

Next up was Customer Service, who had noticed that the steady increase of customers kept the customer service representatives more than busy. Inspired by the robot performing repetitive and simple tasks in traffic planning, the employees at customer service had the perfect process candidate for a digital co-worker of their own. After successfully mapping and developing the process, the robot in Customer Service works day and night handling routine errands for SJ’s customers. RPA allows the human co-workers to focus on the customer service cases where human interaction is needed, and SJ has successfully decreased the waiting time for their customers in the process of claims and compensation.


The Impact

As of today, AVO has delivered 10+ processes to SJ which has proven the business value of RPA and more important Avo has worked with the SJ’s organisation to create an understanding of what the future of work might look like with intelligent automation. The involvement of SJ’s employees was important throughout the process and the focus on the organisational development aspect has been important from the beginning. In parallel with the process automation, Avo has worked together with SJ to define their RPA strategy, where we’ve focused on defining the roles in the RPA organization and how to track the benefit realization.

SJ’s work with intelligent automation is still going strong and the journey continues.

  • 10 automated processes handling on average 4000 cases per week

  • Work equivalent of 4 full-time employee has been freed up

  • During one week, 250 hours of work was handled during summer peak season

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