Transforming an arduous business process through data automation
DATE: 11 February, 2021 // BACK TO ARCHIVE »
A collaborative project resulted in the creation of an innovative ‘Auto Quote’ system, providing a revolutionary step forwards for retail development and a first for the convenience channel in its country of operation.
In 2020 we worked with a long-term client to give focus to an area of their business which would not usually incorporate the use of data and insights, but which was operating under a time-consuming and arduous manual process to achieve results. As a world leader in the development of convenience retail outlets and innovation they had a team of experienced retail development managers, a state-of-the-art drawing office with skilled design and CAD technicians, and a trusted and established network of contractors, sub-contractors and suppliers who all worked together. However, historically the retail development process, its planning, costing, and execution, had always been handled manually and had therefore been both labour intensive and time-consuming and at times open to misinterpretation.
We set up a cross-business team which brought together the retail development experts from within our client and the advanced software, AI and systems capabilities of Talysis. Together we created and launched a bespoke ‘Auto Quote’ solution, designed not only to streamline processes but also to create a valuable insight tool from which our client and its suppliers could benefit.
By streamlining and automating as many of the processes as possible, and by using data analytics to remove subjective decision-making where practical, the result would be to identify the best fit supplier for each job and the most competitive price package, ultimately generating greater efficiencies and cost savings for the retailers.
Using a set template ensures that each supplier receives the same brief, in the same format, at the same time, enabling them to fine tune their quotes. There is also an automated start point and closing point, and reminder sent to any contractors who have not retuned their quote 24 hours prior to the closing date. As such, the manual system has been completely automated, adding greater clarity and transparency, streamlined communications, and resulting in time and costs savings.
What’s more, once the quotes are received from suppliers, they are now automatically analysed and rated based on key factors such as cost, availability, timings, responsiveness etc. An insights dashboard enables the client to understand exactly the points of difference between quotes and has a total, yet detailed, budget for each part of the store investment.
- Consistency and transparency of what is being asked for and what is being priced.
- Significant time savings with manual processes now automated.
- Potential cost savings through (insight driven) selection of the most cost-effective, reliable supplier.
- Complete control of the process, as all the information is available to hand in the system and can be accessed and reviewed quickly and easily.
- Transparency and equality for both suppliers and our client as everyone is getting the same information at the same time.
- Reduced confusion / errors. With all communication recorded in the system, it reduces the room for error / negotiation or misinterpretation.
- Automated reminders ensure more quotes and therefore competition for the development projects.
- Cost comparison and feedback solution. Our client can now to easily provide feedback to suppliers on unsuccessful quotes, enhancing their opportunity to win future business.