Russian Railways will develop 130 softbots

Russian Railways (RZD) is running a pilot project for introducing Robotic Process Automation (RPA). It is being tested by the company’s main computer centre. In 2020 RZD plans to implement 130 software robots (softbots) in order to automatise the routine processes.

The pilot project has already shown the first results. According to Evgeny Charkin, Information Technology Director at Russian Railways, workforce productivity increased by 20 per cent. It is expected that RZD’s computer centre will introduce 130 software robots to improve its automatisation and efficiency. Eventually, the railway company intends to implement similar software robots at other divisions and subsidiaries.

Digital platforms

For 2020, Russian Railways plans to continue the development of IT infrastructure including the introduction of a digital platform for multimodal passenger transportation, the digitalisation of services for shippers, the introduction of smart contracts on the blockchain platform within the development of a platform for transport and logistics hubs and so on.

These moves are in line with the company’s Digital Transformation Strategy. The latter provides the implementation of eight digital platforms. Among them are the platforms for multimodal passenger and freight transportation, transport and logistics hubs, digital infrastructure manager and logistics e-commerce operator as well as the platforms for transportation management, haulage services and for other processes not related to transportation.

Digital solutions

The implementation of softbots is a part of the Digital Transformation Strategy until 2025 approved by Russian Railways in 2019. Within the development of digital services for its customers, RZD has already expanded the use of electronic documents in 2019. Currently, digital interaction is carried out with 9,500 counterparts.

Inter alia, the electronic documents were introduced for freight operations between the Far Eastern Railway, the RZD’s regional branch, and the seaports of Vladivostok and Nakhodka. This allowed the company to reduce the time for paperwork by 60 per cent. Moreover, Russian Railways is developing digital solutions for its employees. 14 new services have been implemented in six areas of personnel management, including electronic HR document management and personal digital services for employees.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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