About the company
Newell Brands is an American worldwide manufacturer, marketer and distributor of consumer and commercial products with a portfolio of 100+ brands. With a $9.4B revenue, the company employs around 31,000 people and is headquartered in Atlanta, GA.
Newell's automation program was delivering some value, however upon closer examination their RPA Development Manager, Mark Robinson, together with Zdenek Kabatak of partner, NEOOPS, discovered that although servers were reaching saturation - licenses weren't being fully utilized.
To address this lack of efficiency, Zdenek recommended the C TWO automation management platform. “Whilst Blue Prism’s Control Room and scheduler provide basic scheduling functionality, there isn’t enough flexibility to comply with business-defined SLAs, or to meet business expectations for when processes should be triggered – or when work appears.”
Automated orchestration eliminates scheduling bottlenecks
Organizations face all sorts of issues when trying to scale RPA. Some struggle to fill their pipeline with viable processes, or target the wrong opportunities entirely. But Mark had properly qualified processes that easily passed quality assurance checks. In this case the main hinderance was a bottleneck in scheduling that was holding Newell back from scaling.
“In Blue Prism, processes are more or less single-threaded, which means if you have something in the scheduler, then something else can’t run,” said Mark. “So even if both processes are fairly light from a resource standpoint, we don’t have the window to fit another process in.”
“We were getting to the point where, as we wanted to add more processes into our environment, it was becoming increasingly difficult for us to fit them in because of how many processes we had running on our three servers. This meant that it sometimes took us longer to implement processes or get something deployed. Ultimately, we didn’t have the flexibility demanded by the business in how we could schedule jobs to run."
In April 2021, Mark – together with NEOOPS – implemented C TWO to manage the digital workforce for Newell’s global business system. “Currently, our biggest [internal] customer is finance. C TWO orchestrates and schedules processes for business units globally,” explains Mark. In just a short time, C TWO has delivered value in three major ways:
Increased capacity through dynamic scheduling
Newell more than doubled their original capacity – now operating eight bot servers – by implementing the dynamic orchestration tool and configuring servers uniformly across the environment.
"Now we have completely automated bots. For most of our processes, we’ve been able to pull all our bots together into one resource pool.” This ensures that every new process added to production is prioritized and orchestrated to achieve operational excellence with a significant reduction in the need for manual intervention.
Peace of mind to refocus attention
Implementing C TWO gave Mark both relief and confidence - which affords him more time and energy to continue developing and harmonizing his digital workforce.
"We’re not concerned with which server the process is run on, so that gives us greater flexibility and supports our dynamic approach. It makes it easier to schedule processes when we know that we’ve got enough capacity for every process to find a home to run. That right there has been a game-changer for us!”
“We’re a relatively small team, but C TWO has given us the behind-the-scenes support needed to increase our confidence in successfully deploying larger projects,” Mark says.
Visibility + confidence across the organization
The results have spurred interest from other parts of the business as well, with more departments looking at how C TWO could add value to their particular teams and areas. “That awareness is out there now – people are starting to understand what's possible. And we’re gaining more business trust,” comments Mark.
Now that Newell’s operational challenges have been addressed, Mark and his team can plan on getting more meaningful metrics for the wider business. He’s already scaling the success of this project towards other departments within the business, including supply chain, transportation and even internal audit teams.