The Army & Air Force Exchange Service

Millions in cost savings through Robotic Process Automation

The organization recognized an ongoing opportunity for “bots” to improve customer and employee experiences enabling employees to work at their peak efficiency.

Exchange Army & Air Force Service

The Challenge

Working smarter not harder

Our client,The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) one of the largest retail organizations in the U.S., employs approximately 35,000 associates and operates nearly 4,000 facilities worldwide. The organization recognized an ongoing opportunity to automate key business processes to generate additional revenue and create cost savings. To seize that opportunity, they chose to implement a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) platform and created an RPA Program to prioritize, build and deploy “bots” to intelligently automate business processes across their entire organization. Allata was engaged, to help the organization create and implement the platform and program from the ground up.  

The Solution

“A” is for automation

Allata began working with the Exchange to train their small but growing RPA team on best practices and customized Agile methodology to fit their RPA needs. Working closely with the program owner, we evaluated, prioritized, and identified candidate processes that would provide the highest ROI for a successful proof of concept. Allata also collaborated with the client’s infrastructure team to create the needed environments and install the UiPath RPA platform.  

With this groundwork in place, Allata worked jointly with the Exchange team to design,develop, deploy, and operate “bots” to automate critical processes. Several outreach opportunities were implemented to launch the internal RPA initiatives, including, a corporate RPA Fair with over 1,800 employees in attendance, hosting on-site RPA classes, and conducting executive and departmental RPA roadshows.  

With the success of the program’s deployment, the Exchange was able to further expand the original RPA pilot program to a Federated Center of Excellence (CoE) model. This model enables individual departments to identify their own RPA process analysts and developers, who design and build bots. Deployment and operation of the bots remain centralized. Allata and the Exchange’s RPA program team helped to identify and train these key individuals in different departments across the organization.

A woman standing at the register in a global store.

The Results

Bots for better business

In just one short year, of establishing the team and obtaining RPA certification, the Exchange identified 115 business processes, automated 29, produced over 34 bots, and saved the company $8.8 million in addition to freeing up an estimated $18 million in capital. The “bots” improved customer and employee experiences enabled employees to work at their peak efficiency, and realigned personnel to concentrate on activities of higher strategic value to the Exchange. Moving forward, the Exchange estimates they will save $40 million in 2021, building on their 2019 success.

Our client now has both the RPA platform and RPA program in place necessary to automate processes on an ongoing basis, work smarter, not harder and perpetuate continued business value.

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