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RBS saves more than 69,000 FTE hours with RPA from Automation Anywhere

 

ABOUT

Retail Business Services (RBS) is the branch of Ahold Delhaize USA that provides services to six East Coast grocery brands, including Food Lion, Giant Food, Giant/Martin’s, Hannaford, and Stop & Shop, as well as the country’s largest online retailer, Peapod.

THE CHALLENGE

Automation technology and “thinking lean” aren’t new concepts for RBS, which has been deploying different types of automation for more than 15 years. But the company ran into challenges when automating processes that involved interacting with a vendor’s website or application, often resulting in denied requests and unreasonably high-cost estimates.

69,000+

full-time equivalent (FTE) hours saved

75% ‍

Finance-eligible processes automated

65+

bots in production

Linda Banks

“With RPA, we can now automate processes without requiring changes from our vendors. It’s opened a new world of opportunity.”

-Linda Banks. RPA Manager quote

THE SOLUTION

Robotic process automation (RPA) from Automation Anywhere has saved the company thousands of manual hours, mostly in its finance department, by automating accounts payable, accounts receivable, and inventory processes. The company is benefiting from fewer errors and less rework needed. And some of the bots are even performing very complex and time-consuming processes. The best part is RBS no longer needs changes from its application vendors.

Processes Automated

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Accounts payable/receivable

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Inventory processing

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Global tax processing

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HR and pricing processing

 

THE WHOLE STORY

Automation has been an important part of RBS’s business for more than 15 years, driven largely by cost containment. A constant goal of any shared service center is to reduce internal costs and pass those cost savings onto customers. Automating processes helps accomplish this.

Toward that goal, RBS had its first RPA training session in December 2016 and its first bots running by the first quarter of 2017. The company automated its first tasks shortly thereafter. That went so well that the company soon expanded automation to other shared services, as well as branded units.

By design, the company’s RPA journey began small, with an application in its finance functions. Although a lot of excitement surrounded automation and the company was eager to apply it to other areas, the small RPA team wanted to make sure it knew how to scale processes first and is working with other business units and IT to ensure success.

With Automation Anywhere RPA, RBS has created tasks that allow bots to handle password changes and management, freeing workers to focus on customer satisfaction instead of manual processes.

LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE

RBS is in the process of expanding RPA throughout its business. With 65 software bots currently in production, the company is excited about more complex automation opportunities using artificial intelligence.

“A goal of any shared service center is to cut costs and pass savings onto consumers. RPA helps us do that.”

-Linda Banks, RPA Manager quote

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