Robotic Process Automation Roadshow comes to the 448 SCMW

  • Published
  • By Corey Robertson
  • Air Force Sustainment Center Public Affairs

Imagine coming into work knowing that most of your tasks were already accomplished before you arrived. Sounds too good to be true, right? The U.S. Air Force recently adopted the use of Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, that allows employees at every level to program a bot to execute low value, repetitive tasks for them. This innovative technology speeds business process delivery for the workforce and combats bureaucracy through the hands of the everyday user.

The Air Force RPA Center of Excellence, in partnership with the Secretary of the Air Force Financial Management Office, are traveling from base to base instructing personnel on finding ways to adopt this process in their day-to-day tasks. Some examples of automation are things like logging into applications, moving files or folders and opening emails and attachments. Recently, members of the 448th Supply Chain Management Wing took part in a four-day hands-on RPA Workshop that introduced them to the tool and allowed them to find ways to put it to practical use.

Col. Rebecca Schultz, Individual Mobilization Augmentee to the Director, 448th SCMW, was instrumental in setting up this training and was excited for the prospect of her fellow Airmen to find ways to put RPA to use. “I hope that our pioneer team of RPA enthusiasts in the 448th SCMW start by learning how best to employ this technology today and then work together as a cohesive team going forward to enhance and streamline our wing's mission and find resiliencies and reduce risks in the Air Force Supply Chain. This initial training cohort at Tinker, plus the one scheduled in July at Robins, are the communities that will ‘accelerate change’ and jump-start our RPA program.”

It is important to note that RPA does not eliminate the need for personnel, but does the opposite by freeing up time for high value business opportunities. Stephen Gray, Director of the 448th SCMW said, “The view from the wing is that RPA enables our employees to make on-the-spot advances by providing visibility and system access and reduces manual input. RPA is great because it does not lock us into a system change, the users can just adjust and approve as needed.”

As the Air Force moves closer to complete digital transformation, RPA will allow Airmen to meet the needs of the warfighter and remain flexible.

“Building a citizen developer program now will allow our Air Force Supply Chain to focus on mission delivery and improve our services to our customers and stakeholders,” said Schultz.

The Air Force Sustainment Center will host a Bot Rodeo on Sept. 7. This event will allow developers to put their training to use and compete with the best across AFSC. For more information about the upcoming Bot Rodeo, contact Kailee Orr or Anne Hanson

If you are interested in learning more about RPA, please contact the Air Force RPA Center of Excellence at SAF.AFRPA.COE@US.AF.MIL.