From researching the possibilities of RPA, to a robot that performs 5,000 actions on a weekly basis. Rexel has taken a big step towards automation in the past year. Get inspired by the potential of RPA!

With over 350,000 products, Rexel is the electrical wholesaler of the Netherlands. Many of the products are available directly from stock from its own distribution centers and branches. For this, it is of great importance to have an accurate administration that can respond quickly to changes. In an originally rather traditional sector, this makes Rexel stand out as an innovative player. And we like that! Throughout the organization, improvements and new ideas are constantly being worked on.

From IT, curiosity arose about the potential of Robotic Process Automation (RPA). With this mindset, Damian - Manager IT & Test Release at Rexel - created a model to estimate the potential of RPA. The estimate? There are several interesting automation opportunities! On the one hand, to work more efficiently and, on the other, to make employees' work more enjoyable. Win-win!

Within the Servicedesk Logistics and Stock Management department, employees still had to perform many manual actions. Some actions occurred daily at a specific time. In other words: a perfect opportunity for automation.

In a short time, considerable steps have already been taken:
  • Eight robotic processes

  • A robot performing 5,000 - 8,000 tasks every week

  • Time savings for employees in the service and purchasing departments

  • Better quality of work

  • An automation mindset among employees

In addition to a successful automation round, Damian also launched an internal marketing campaign. The goal? To show everyone what the robot does and could do.

Together with Stan, Incentro's RPA developer, we made a video where you can see the robot at work. I shared this video internally with everyone. As a result, we are now seeing a lot of requests coming in.

Damian Manager at Rexel

Making colleagues aware of a solution like RPA is very important for wider rollout of this valuable addition.

Employees know the systems and processes best. So they are the people to spot a suitable RPA case. The only problem is that they often don't know how to do so. And then you quickly lapse into the familiar solutions. And that is exactly what you should not want.

Explain to employees how to automate with RPA. By making them part of the process, they will see more opportunities and will also suggest them. This will give them an 'automation mindset'.

RPA makes automation very tangible. Especially for people who are not yet so familiar with technical solutions. Where before people were tempted to create their own work-around, now they share the ideas with us! This way, we discover the flaws of a system much faster.

Damian Manager at Rexel
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The project team during a visit to Rexel's distribution centre in Zoetermeer. From left to right: Stan Kruize, Damian Verbrugge, Merijn Ingelse, Florian Dijkstra and Floris Weegink.