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Power to the Citizen: Intelligent Business Automation

By Tech Mahindra

Problem

Tech Mahindra is supporting an American automotive manufacturer in its digital maturity journey by streamlining finance and accounting operations with advanced cognitive capabilities. The project is focused on empowering internal finance and accounting stakeholders to program key process automation requirements, leveraging robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI) and optical character recognition (OCR) as a productivity tool. 

Prior to enablement, the manufacturer was experiencing challenges such as:

  • Over-exertion on manual business efforts resulting in decreased production capacity
  • Declining lean-to-impact performance ratio
  • Limited IT capability in provisioning business automation requirements
  • Adopting a citizen developer organizational-wide culture
  • Minimizing the risks associated with shadow IT efforts
  • Manual procure to pay cycles
  • Data entry errors
  • Delays resulting in supply chain disturbance
  • Increasing operational expenditures due to manual constraints

Solution

Tech Mahindra provided a holistic transformation solution, applicable across multiple business functions, by combining cognitive abilities of RPA, AI and OCR to the manufacturer. The solution helped interpret, analyze and automate semi-structured data, along with supporting multiple finance and accounting teams in identifying a common three-pronged goal to:

  • Reduce manual efforts, time and cost for process automation
  • Reduce shadow IT’s efforts, errors and production delays
  • Increase visibility into the finance and accounting process flow for better business insight and accurate forecasting

The two-pronged approach in attaining the goal was:

  • Setup and gain momentum: Rapidly generate momentum in the process automation of the spotlight areas using RPA, AI and OCR
  • Build Scale: Enable the business users to gain self-reliance in identifying ongoing automation opportunities as they develop bots for their productivity improvement, supported and governed by IT

Implementation

As the primary step, Tech Mahindra established and gained momentum on the automated process flow for the manufacturer by:

  • Determining the automation potential of multiple processes flows across the spotlight areas
  • Analyzing the return on efforts per each individual process-flow, using time, expenditure, among other commodities, as a measurement
  • Highlighting the most value-generating processes by determining the short-term and long-term return on investment
  • Developing and deploying the use cases in an agile manner to accelerate the automation cycle

To enable continuous pipeline and scaling, the citizen developer model was deployed. This is a new age approach to easily build technology by empowering the organization to build its own simple and digitally transformed process. With this new model, IT becomes a facilitator and collaborative partner to the business, removing traditional operational constraints and conflicts.

Outcomes

Tech Mahindra suggests a 70-80% process automation as a feasible goal, providing the most efficacy upon deployment within key defined organizational departments and functions. The recommendation to enterprises who wish to successfully adopt intelligent automation are:

  • Select the right application: Be conscious of the differences between a tactical and a strategic approach
  • Transcend the process flow: Create a sustainable and scalable operating model, rhythm and algorithm
  • Business and IT go hand-in-hand: Intelligent automation is a combined approach
  • Nurture the digital ecosystem: To maximize deployment efficacy, RPA, AI, OCR and virtual assistants should work together, cohesively training with algorithm models and cognitive use-case

 

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