We are designing each new automation with IADA in mind. Instead of asking ourselves 'why automate’ we’re asking, ‘why not?’ and ‘how can automation make things better for our team members?’”Rebecca Williams RPA Manager
It doesn’t take long to spot a Pilot or Flying J travel center while on a road trip in the U.S. Seven hundred and fifty bustling travel centers serve 1.3 million motorists and truckers every day. A large crew of suppliers is on hand to stock each center with fuel, snacks and more. However, store managers were forced to take critical time away from guests and enter invoice data to pay suppliers. To keep team members on the store floor and pay suppliers on time, the company deployed intelligent automation.
Pilot Company’s travel center network is committed to “connecting people and places with comfort, care and a smile at every stop.” Store managers aimed to deliver on this promise and provide excellent service to guests but often were pulled away from the store floor to process back-office paperwork instead. Supplier invoice payment was a manual, unsatisfying and time-consuming process that required additional spend analysis. Additionally, team members often had to work extra hours to meet demand and often had difficulty meeting deadlines. They needed additional support and better processes to be able to capture important data and work through the backlog.
A team of SS&C Blue Prism digital workers were brought in to assist team members with supplier payments. Invoices are now fed into a central system and processed by digital workers armed with optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities.
Here’s how it works — a digital worker scans the supplier invoice line-by-line using an OCR engine to identify individual items. Next, the digital worker adds the details to Pilot Company’s database. The digital worker pulls the relevant data and formats and submits it to SAP Concur for payment. The automation not only freed up team members to serve guests instead of requiring their time to process invoices, but it also improved reporting by leveraging its capability to submit invoices with detailed spend breakdowns.
The initial invoicing project was such a success that the Pilot Company team has continued to scale automation across the organization. They identified similar opportunities to implement automation to increase team member satisfaction and gain efficiencies, and now have processes live in retail, HR, legal, finance, sales, pricing, and foundational operations. Utilizing SS&C | Blue Prism® Cloud has enabled them to rapidly scale their automations, resulting in increased reliability, lower redundancies, and overall cost avoidance.
Next up, the team plans to seek out investment automations with help from targeted process mining.
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