Intelligent Automation @ Hovis

“We can interrogate data, query it, use it, transform it, make decisions on it… this is not conventional RPA, it’s end-to-end Intelligent Automation”

These are the words of Dominic Howson – Supply Chain Planning and IS Director at Hovis. For the last three years, he has been leading Hovis on a journey to Robotic Process Automation and, more recently, to Intelligent Automation. And, just a few weeks ago, he shared this wealth of fresh thinking with senior executive guests around our packed Breakfast Briefing table. 

Here is a taster of what he revealed…

At 11 am every day, Hovis receives the national bread order for just one (of many) major supermarket groups. Hovis then has to source the flour, bake the fresh bread and make dawn deliveries to retail locations right across the UK. 

To meet this unyielding deadline, Hovis has to anticipate demand… and, because this can fluctuate dramatically, it has led to very costly and unsustainable over-production. This was Dominic’s priority challenge.

His solution was to deploy a radical intelligent automation system that could analyse and make sense of disparate data sets from multiple systems. The results were dramatic and immediate.

Issuing notifications 90 minutes faster than traditional ERP tools, this Intelligent Automation platform reduced food waste by 50% in only 8 days! And it didn’t stop there…

The new platform now…

  • Uses event-based triggers to automate links between systems 
  • Continuously interrogates order systems to provide real time visibility
  • Takes rapid, autonomous action to optimise opportunities and resolve issues
  • Obtains and analyses virtually any data type, from any system, to give Hovis infinite scope for future applications.

 “This is a quantum leap forward. Very few platforms have the ability to go end-to-end… to access the raw data… to provide the eventing… to do the AI and the analytics on top… and then to drive the next action. This is a truly comprehensive real time capability”. 


To read the full report of those insights and the animated discussion they inspired please click the button below.

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