IA anytime, anywhere

KPMG helped a FORTUNE 100 retailer develop an integrated intelligent automation function to streamline shared services and transform its back office.

FORTUNE 100 retailer
Intelligent automation
  • Client challenge
  • Benefits to client
  • Approach
  • KPMG insights

Client challenge

Always striving to provide the best value and customer experience, both online and in store, this Fortune 100 retailer saw intelligent automation (IA) as the key to continuing its mission and adapting to shifting customer demands. As a global company with employees across the world, it wanted to become more nimble, quickly reacting to market changes through innovative technology and creating true value for its business and its shoppers.

Benefits to client

Utilizing automation, we helped our client increase their capacity by identifying 118 processes that impacted 445 headcount resulting in a possible $14M in annual savings. With an integrated IA function designed for the future, the retailer now has:

  • a pipeline of automation opportunities
  • an automation process from ideation to implementation, including implementing IA bots for various functions 
  • a streamlined shared services function with a reduced reliance on manual processes
  • global IA oversight, including a cross-functional stakeholder engagement structure
  • a metrics, reporting, and analytics function to monitor service change results and impacts, and drive value.


Aiming for tech leadership in the crowded retail space, our Fortune 100 client looked to go beyond a couple of robotic process automation (RPA) bots to a full IA program. Though the company initially focused on RPA, selecting the right platforms and opportunities to automate would make a difference in the long term, allowing it to become nimbler and more able to quickly react to the market.

An innovator in the industry, it had already piloted an RPA program and was now ready to fully transform through IA. Coming together to work closely with the client, KPMG was engaged to relaunch the program. Teams from across the firm, including Shared Services and Outsourcing Advisory, Digital Enablement, and Risk Consulting, joined forces to identify opportunities in finance, HR, and shared services. They then established a Center of Excellence around RPA and configured bots to automate the identified opportunities. As the project progressed, the client looked to an entire suite of IA tools to transform the back office. Thinking past efficiencies to develop a strategy and platform for development, balancing automation with risk value, and considering the needs of employees helped drive the program forward.

Throughout the project, our client not only thought ahead to technology implementation but also to the governance and program management needed to keep everything on track and future ready. With new convenience in the back office, the company can pass this ease on to its customers the world over. 

KPMG insights

Automation is no silver bullet

IA projects aren’t just about technology. Automation needs to be thought about holistically. Teams that understand governance, processes, and program management can help organizations identify scalable platforms, understand process differences, and create an integrated strategy for success—not just a quick fix.

Solutions greater than the sum of their parts

Multidisciplinary teams can mean the difference between a stalled pilot and a robust program. When you can look at automation beyond simply cost savings and efficiencies to program development, risk management and more, you can work smarter to develop the right solution at the right time.

5 steps to an intelligent automation program

  1. Start with a vision and develop a strategy. The IA vision is where technology leaders and process owners connect on goals, objectives, and a road map for moving forward.
  2. Clarify oversight roles and responsibilities. In addition to IT leaders and process owners, work with IT security and internal audit to manage risk and HR, and communications to manage employee change.
  3. Design a robust oversight model. Cover the full IA life cycle for maximum impact: business and use case evaluation, risk and security reviews, project selection and prioritization, solution design and build, business change integration and service monitoring, and value realization.
  4. Build a structure enabling scalability. Use previously approved designs to ensure the automation solution build is logical, efficient, risk-averse, and compliant.
  5. Incorporate IA tools into the IT architecture. Bring business and technology leaders together to ensure respective processes, policies, and architectures work for everyone and support the automation strategy.
As innovator in its industry, this company had already piloted an RPA program and was ready to fully transform through IA.