Intelligent automation reboot

KPMG helped a retail giant scale their automated solution within the context of their culture.

A global hypermarket chain
Consumer and retail
Scalable intelligent automation-powered model
  • Client challenge
  • Benefits to client
  • Approach
  • KPMG insights

Client challenge

Retailers worldwide face lower margins and stiff online competition. This giant retailer’s executives had to look beyond optimizing processes and offshore support to lower operating costs and maintain its low-price promise to customers.

They started adding digital disruptors to turn things around. A vendor developed a few pilot robotic process automation applications. But the effort stalled when the retailer’s executives realized a small pilot of bots in a controlled environment was dramatically different than 500 bots running in centers around the world.

To effectively move from pilot to a scalable model that included governance, they needed assistance to help reboot and drive their digital transformation.

Benefits to client

This retailer’s executives knew they needed help identifying risks and how to protect the enterprise as well as what technology to use. They called on KPMG to do the job.

Our team’s thorough understanding of the retailer’s organization and challenges enabled us to guide them through the possibilities of intelligent automation—within the context of their culture. Based on early results, the retailer now has:

  • clearer automation program vision
  • faster results
  • effective method to identify and prioritize highestvalue automation opportunities
  • a governance model for projects throughout the lifecycle, from idea through support
  • bots being used in Finance & Accounting and Human Resources to automate functions including automating pay slip requests process and separation letters
  • cost savings 15 times the engagement investment.


This retailer already worked with KPMG in other areas when its global shared services group engaged us for this project. We worked side by side with them to think through the company’s intelligent automation strategy and implementation roadmap and to move the company from pilot to a scalable model.

Phase one included a series of workshops with senior leaders to assess the company’s current automation program and define an intelligent automation roadmap to reboot the digital transformation. Phase two was to execute the intelligent automation roadmap—developing a Center of Excellence, governance model and controls framework along with prioritizing opportunities and developing bots for finance and accounting and human resources functions using robotic process automation.

KPMG insights

Managing 5 bots is easier than 500

When the company successfully piloted invoice management and validation and other process automation, its leaders wanted more. But they learned a scalable model was critical for the retailer to automate the right processes and get the best results—in a secure, risk-mitigated fashion.

Outsource or develop in-house

Company leaders must carefully consider whether an outside vendor will develop and manage these powerful technologies or if they want to maintain control inside the company. While it takes upfront staff and technology investment to build in-house capabilities, the outcome has more flexibility to transfer data and move bots from one platform to another than on open technology platforms.

Lowest cost solutions aren’t always best

This retailer learned a lower-cost provider was inexperienced and didn’t have a holistic view of how to fulfill the company’s needs. As a result, development took longer, security controls were inadequate and there was no governance model for the company to expand automation companywide. Carefully selecting providers experienced in implementing large intelligent automation programs can be the difference in failure or success.

In early results, savings created by the project reached 15 times the cost to engage with KPMG.