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Third Largest Retailer Worldwide Builds Automation Over Time to Launch Cost Savings, Surge ROI

Written By Crystal Mistretta
May 28, 2024

A leading retailer based in the U.K., in early 2021, was in search of help to solve a few problems its business was facing, and so they decided to implement automation—starting with the resolution of service desk tickets.  

There were too many tasks and processes that the company’s IT team was completing manually. They needed to automate such repetitive work, with the potential to build onto other automations already in place. Its IT team needed more power, which would enable them to ultimately capitalize on the benefits automation offers.  

A member of the company’s leadership team dug deep to discover how automation would help align with the most pressing needs. 

The British multinational groceries and general merchandise giant prioritized flexibility and getting value across many different areas of the business. They started with the teams most weighed down by manual processes and that wanted to spend their time on high-impact work to improve their customer service.  

There’s No ‘I’ in Teams: Centralized IT Environment for the Win 

IT teams of this retailer were quite siloed, with each team working at different stages and on different, fragmented systems. Many difficult issues arose, and so they wanted a more centralized IT environment. 

A large part of this retailer’s IT was outsourced, with some automation based in India. They were working with scripts and other in-house tools, but these crafted tools were difficult to use. Some tools were only used by certain teams that didn’t “talk” to the others, and the IT department lacked a holistic approach toward automation.  

The company wanted to take a small start with automation, equating to eight deployed use cases within the first year. While comfortable, the automation baby step provided too little value to satisfy the company’s target of 300 hours saved per week as it only saved about 80 hours.  

For its incident management process, the retailer sets its eyes on key automation opportunities regarding new management systems and working in an end-to-end flow-building on what they already had in place. Along with its Center of Excellence (CoE), the retailer wanted to maximize value in its processes with a better incident response plan and a higher standard. They’d even tap their developers who already knew how to run some automations and have them progress into growing new automation capabilities.  

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Ultimately, the retailer would channel the areas where new automation would drive the most value. 

The Automation Journey Paves a Promising Path Forward  

Once they were ready for the next automation step, the retailer began automating incident management for log enablement as they were unable to produce a backlog and faced system stability issues. This meant that instead of getting all the logs for everything, all at one time, they could access the logs they needed from the appropriate systems.  

A task store managers had to complete every day, like reconciliation, took about five minutes. While not too difficult or complex, it was a job well-suited for automation as five minutes saved for each of the 7,000 stores added up quickly to a total of 35,000. 

The company soon started noticing cost savings rising because of automation, and its leaders were better positioned to look forward to a greater, uphill return on investment (ROI) as their automation journey continued.  

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Three Reasons They Chose Resolve  

This organization—the third largest retailer in the world by revenue—had a long list of criteria that its team wanted from an automation platform, but a few key benefits stood out among the rest.  

  • The retailer’s many separate technologies were being used within silos. Resolve works across multiple systems, tech stacks, and domains to scale the automation. 
  • Resolve’s automation is simple to use. It could be picked up by developers relatively easily, allowing them to start automating tasks with little effort.    
  • Resolve offered reusable components and the ability to maximize the value of the automation.  

Aware that it takes time to get up and running with automation, the retailer didn’t rush things. They thought about key aspects of automation and what they wanted to achieve before the actual implementation, such as what to automate, where to start, what impact it will have on the business, and more. 

Automation Benefits Upon Automation Benefits 

Now equipped with Resolve’s automation after a successful, strategic implementation, the retailer has 20 use cases in production. Among the use cases are distribution lists, space monitoring, and other infrastructure-based automations.  

They’ve more than tripled their goal of saving 300 hours per week—reaching 1,410 per week.

The automation team in India began judging hackathons and similar events to get even more automations going. 

The IT team has grown a backlog of more than 30 use cases that they’ve constantly iterated and developed. 

Increasing Reliability: The Main Focus Going Forward  

Along the way, Resolve brought the company’s stakeholders to the table to determine which problematic tasks and processes should be addressed first. Data analysis within the Resolve tool helped bring them into view and then decide the best automation route to success: the greatest possible added value. 

The retailer put reliability front and center of its priorities for the future—and what automation would help them accomplish—by minimizing issues and the time it took to resolve them.  

For instance, when it came to the retailer’s service requests, automation enabled a better understanding of the request’s context, and the team could then take the infrastructure concerns and start to apply a structure. Automation knew what was being asked by the service request and turned it into a scalable action right away.    

Within the retailer’s business units, Resolve’s automation solution has stepped up to break down the silos by “sharing” success with one another and as whole, pushed ROI even higher. This success has drawn more attention to the business units and their potential to develop with additional automation, as well as increased visibility of automation’s positive impact. 

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The partnership between the retail organization and Resolve drilled down into the company’s environment’s unique challenges and led to a path to success that worked for them specifically. They’ve also embraced a growth mindset to continuously identify new areas for automation, which unlocks efficiency and productivity, and new heights in ROI.  

Where do you stand in your automation journey? Resolve can help you enhance your automation strategy at any given point—grab a demo to learn more!

About the author, Crystal Mistretta:

About the author, Crystal Mistretta:

Sr. Marketing Operations Manager at Resolve Systems

As a lifelong puzzle enthusiast, Crystal is always searching for the next marketing ops challenge to tackle. With a diverse background in sales support, web programming, and graphic design, and a passion for lifetime learning, Crystal strives for continued individual growth to contribute to marketing strategy and optimization of tactics to help drive revenue.