Meliá Hotels International is beginning to reap the first fruits of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) together with UiPath and becoming a pioneer in the deployment of RPA technology in the hotel industry. The company has carried out a profound digital transformation of its sales and marketing channels ever since 2016 (with an investment of 140 million euros) and introduced RPA in 2019 as part of a strategy to digitalise its most important processes.
RPA is a technology that allows the creation of software robots able to automate a wide range of repetitive and rule-based business processes previously performed manually, allowing employees to focus on more valuable and strategic duties.
The implementation of the UiPath RPA platform at Meliá is designed to improve customer service and the working day of employees and driven by the "Robotics 360" programme, one of the cornerstones of the Digital Hub created by the company as part of its "Be Digital 360" global digital transformation programme.
The programme leverages the UiPath platform to separate transactional processes from decision-making processes and make transactional processes easier, especially in the back office. The deployment of RPA leaves the transactional processes in the hands of specialist teams and allows management teams to focus on making decisions that add value to the business.
This year the company is gradually implementing RPA in different areas such as Credit and Insurance, Hotels, Administration or HR, with positive results, an example being the use of RPA in the delivery of credit agreements, shortening a process that used to take months to just a few weeks.
The use of the UiPath RPA platform currently focuses on corporate processes, although some pilot projects have also been implemented to automate processes in hotels. The programme started with an initial focus on Spain and America, although the company roadmap foresees its extension to all geographical areas in the medium term.
"We believe in the digital transformation of the hotel industry and are convinced that Robotic Process Automation will improve company results and the daily work of our team," according to Carlos Gonzalez, VP Strategic Planning at Meliá. "To achieve this, we will democratise automation within the organisation by inviting employees to proactively propose processes they believe can be automated. In the medium term, many of our employees will be able to have the support of a software robot in their daily duties. The combination of RPA solutions with artificial intelligence will allow us to achieve even greater automation capacity."