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The Hackett Group Announces 2021 Digital Award Winners

Alcon, Bosch, Citibank, Mondelēz, Reckitt, Vodafone, and Wipro Recognized as Companies on the Cutting Edge of Digital Transformation

The Hackett Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: HCKT) today announced the winners of its 2021 Digital Awards, which spotlight companies that are on the cutting edge of using digital transformation solutions, including automation, advanced analytics, and AI to hyper-automate end-to-end business operations. This year’s winners are: Alcon for Plan-to-Results (Data Analytics); Bosch for Purchase-to-Pay; Citibank for Account-to-Report; Mondelēz International for Order-to-Cash; Reckitt for IT Opportunity-to-Deployment; Vodafone Procurement Company for Source-to-Purchase; and Wipro Limited for Hire-to-Retire.

Four other companies were recognized as finalists in the 2021 competition: Johnson & Johnson; Philips; Takeda Pharmaceuticals; and Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc

“It’s exceptionally interesting to see how companies are maturing in their use of digital technologies,” said Paul Morrison, Principal and Global Lead of Smart Automation at The Hackett Group. “This year’s winners and finalists are much more ambitious than what we’ve seen previously. Many are taking a hyper-automation approach to end-to-end operational processes, with a strong emphasis on process optimization and driving quantifiable improvements for customers and other stakeholders. These companies are looking to do more than simply reengineer. They’re reimagining and systematically transforming how they work in finance, procurement, HR and IT.”

“From a technology perspective, we’re also seeing companies being more ambitious this year about the building blocks they use. They are getting better at integrating a wider range of technologies to drive greater levels of benefits,” said Morrison. “This is the first year a majority of the winners integrated automation, analytics, and machine learning, and the first year we’ve seen a winner using Blockchain.”

According to Vin Kumar, Managing Partner and Digital Operations Advisory Practice Leader at The Hackett Group, “Overall, three strong themes this year have been comprehensive automation of end-to-end processes, acceleration of digital transformation, and a greater focus on business enablement. The global pandemic has pushed companies to move much more quickly in terms of digital transformation, and it has underscored the value of becoming leaner, smarter, and more agile. There’s a much sharper focus on the requirements of the function being transformed. It’s not just speculative ‘build it, and they will come’ development.”

Alcon – Winner, Plan-to-Results (Data Analytics) – ForeSight

To support its journey in becoming an independent, standalone publicly traded company, Alcon, the global leader in eye care dedicated to helping people see brilliantly, built and implemented ForeSight, a world-class, leading edge enterprise data, analytics, data science and machine learning platform.

The primary project goals were to create a scalable and secure enterprise data lake, analytics tools, embedded master data management and data cataloging, visualization and reporting tools, as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The project faced significant challenges. Alcon’s separation from its former parent company provided a fixed deadline and a rapid implementation schedule. At the outset, Alcon did not have its own IT organization or data platform. The project required a shift from on-premise systems to a 100% cloud platform while reducing operational cost and, at the same time, enabling greater capabilities and scalability.

The ForeSight implementation was enterprise-wide, encompassing commercial sales force effectiveness, financial transformation, machine learning-based financial forecasting, advanced human resource analytics, manufacturing production line analysis and manufacturing line operational reporting.

The project was exceptionally successful, moving Alcon from a follower in data analytics technology and ability to that of a leader. The separation of the analytics capability was completed ahead of schedule, with the enterprise solution deployed in two months − and at a significantly lower cost than comparable data lake platform

Bosch – Winner, Purchase-to-Pay – Procure-to-Order Automation Including Guided Procurement

The Bosch Group, a leading global supplier of technology and services, standardized and digitized its end-to-end procure-to-pay services to offer a seamless, highly-automated procurement experience for indirect material and services with world-class usability. One of the key features is user guidance integrated into the central user platform which imperceptibly navigates the user to the right buying channel. The system integrates more than 50 ERP systems and standardizes processes for more than 300 company codes. The core system in Bosch’s Global Business Services unit includes seamless integration of advanced automation, including machine learning, chatbot, AI, RPA, and more.

On its path to becoming a leading provider of IoT and mobility solutions, Bosch is further expanding its digital supply chains. An important building block of the company is the implementation of seamless and digitized end-to-end processes. The former procure-to-pay system was difficult for end-users to navigate due to many different IT and process solutions. High levels of manual work were required for activities such as PO creation, master data management, and support.

Staff have been able to dedicate significantly more time to negotiation support and other value-added tasks to support the operational business units. The new procure-to-pay system paid for itself in a few years. Benchmarks performed by The Hackett Group show that Bosch now has world-class or better results across many key procurement metrics, including order lines per FTE, no touch order lines, and e-catalogue usage.

Citibank – Winner, Account-to-Report – Finance and Risk Shared Services Digital Transformation Journey

To continue to improve the financial reporting processes, Citibank’s Finance and Risk Shared Services (FRSS) applied automation to 100+ operational processes in Finance to reduce manual processes which support financial reporting.

FRSS introduced a plan to identify the sources of manual work and ensure that processes were re-engineered before being automated. They also identified appropriate digital tools to address process pain points and remediate manual workarounds. Over 100 Use Cases were selected and mapped to a variety of automation categories, including data extraction, transformation and generation, process mining, workflows and visualization.

Citi’s digitalization took place on many levels. For example, FRSS applied robotic process automation (RPA) techniques to automate data extraction and consolidation. A chatbot was deployed across Finance and FRSS – a virtual assistant named LuCi – that could immediately answer user queries from well-developed FAQs. Use of optical character recognition (OCR) was deployed in processing of client tax forms, which accelerated the process by 80%. The use of a deep process mining system also uncovered delays or unnecessary hand-offs, and improved the straight through processing (STP) rate to over 95% for a key report.

In the end, delivery cycles and quality for many processes improved materially. Overall, FRSS’s digital efforts are now also yielding considerable cost reduction for Citi.

Mondelēz International – Winner, Order-to-Cash (Predictive Cash Management) – OTC

Mondelēz International, a global snack food giant, is leading the future of snacking for consumers world-wide by offering the right snack at the right moment made the right way. As part of the company’s consumer-centric strategy and focus on operational excellence a spotlight to improve aspects of its receivables operations was necessary. In 2020, the company still handled many of its cash collection frameworks manually, with limited standardization, and room for improvement was recognized.

Global and regional views were pulled together manually, and key aspects of the cash collections process were unsupported by rich insights or reporting. Non-standard data and distributed data sources made it hard for collection agents to access the right information at the right time.

To improve this situation, the Mondelēz International team developed an analytics product called Predictive Collections, which uses AI (artificial intelligence) to predict late customer payments. Analyzing three years of multi-market data, the system learned to accurately predict payment performance 85-93% of the time.

Today, Predictive Collections is giving teams clearer segmentation of data and helping prioritize which customers to contact. With the system’s guidance, teams can now move away from dunning the highest-value customer first to contacting customers who are most likely to make timely payment.

This investment in digital is yielding material returns, with an improvement in overdue cash collection and a reduction in effort by the collections teams.

Reckitt – Winner, IT Opportunity-to-Deployment – NextGen IT Ops Living Labs

Reckitt, the health, hygiene, and nutrition giant behind some of the world’s most recognized and trusted consumer brands like Dettol, Lysol, Durex, Air Wick, Finish and many more, is also passionate about keeping the consumers and people first. With a vision of "the most delightful service experience with always-on, always-available IT services,” Reckitt has embarked on transforming IT Operations to NextGen IT Ops #NIO. Partnering with Infosys, a global leader in next-generation digital services and consulting, Reckitt conceptualized the Living Labs to drive automation at scale and transform it into an Experience First, Cognitive Enterprise.

By effectively leveraging AI, machine learning, RPA and digital workflows, Reckitt and Infosys teams relentlessly pursued personalized IT services for Reckitt employees. These cover Iris: a multilingual, persona-based, omnichannel chatbot; Assist NOW Mobile: a consumer-grade mobile app; Automation Factory: producing an army of bots to takeover most IT operations tasks with self-healing capabilities; and Digital Brain: predicting future IT events, detecting anomalies, and generating recommendations to improve services constantly, thus making Reckitt more data-driven.

The Living Labs has delivered spectacular results. Employee happiness (independently measured as net promotor score) has risen from +68 in 2020 to +81 today, leading the industry benchmark. This program has already saved 20% IT cost and more than 10,000 hours every month by reducing IT resolution wait time. 200,000+ interactions were handled in 14 different languages by Iris in the last 12 months, while 15% of tickets are resolved with no human interventions. The system paid for itself in seven months, and every British pound invested is estimated to return a pound in ongoing savings. The Living Labs continues to deliver more features, thereby providing the most delightful and futuristic experiences for Reckitt employees and bringing more savings month on month.

Vodafone Procurement Company – Winner, Source-to-Purchase – Vodafone Blockchain Price Manager

Vodafone Procurement Company, the procurement arm for the global telecommunications company, oversees the vast majority of Vodafone’s 25bn€ yearly expenditure. With more than 540,000 products and services being procured from more than 10,000 suppliers, managing and executing pricing conditions and discounts was challenging and time consuming. Many of the commercial conditions were documented in contracts as embedded documents (in the form of PDF and Excel files), making the review and update of pricing conditions labor intensive and error prone.

To address this problem, Vodafone developed a ground-breaking Blockchain-based distributed ledger system. This provides assurance and data on each pricing agreement in real time, eliminating a variety of manual processes and ensuring that changes to pricing conditions are applied in real-time to all new and in-flight orders to suppliers. Thus, securing that the supplier is paid the exact amount owed as per the latest agreed commercial terms, and securing there is no value leakage for Vodafone.

The team experimented with a minimum viable version of the Price Manager program for six months, after which it rolled out the system to the entire company.

Price Manager improved efficiency of the pricing creation process by 80%, even as it sped up logging of price updates from a lag time of several days to instantaneous recognition. More accurate data is now beginning to help commercial managers to benefit faster from better prices and discounts with its suppliers. Executives predict that once the majority of their suppliers have adopted the system, any leakage from price changes will be completely eliminated.

Wipro Limited – Winner, Hire-to-Retire – AI Led HR Transformation for Employee Onboarding and Engagement

Wipro Limited is a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company. To accelerate performance and increase the impact of its Human Resources Shared Services (HRSS), Wipro, through its Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions group, implemented intelligent interventions across HR processes, to enable a comprehensive AI led digital transformation.

Wipro’s HRSS serves the mission of onboarding new employees and keeping the firm’s current employees engaged. The company needed a solution to speed up processes across Hire-to-Retire lifecycle and deliver more business value. But the project faced the significant challenge of serving over 200,000 employees serving clients across six continents, and that population continued to grow rapidly. Processes also varied dramatically between countries and needed manual inputs. Wipro leveraged its Enterprise Intelligence Quotient (EIQ) framework to reimagine user journeys and streamline processes.

Wipro AI solutions group built a combination of smart data capture, AI, intelligent process automation, and chatbots, along with state-of-the-art AI and deep learning algorithms. Wipro Holmes AI platform, neural networks, and advanced pattern recognition systems were leveraged to transform data and operational processes. The project team made extensive use of conversational AI, designed to give new employees an enhanced experience as they make their way through onboarding paperwork. This automation reduced costs and processing times dramatically. Cognitive bots verify new employees’ background documents in 1.5 minutes on average, ten times faster than before. An Intelligent Process Automation solution also sped up the digital assessment process, reducing evaluation time from two minutes to 15 seconds. Total onboarding time fell from 7-8 days to 3-4 days. For other tasks, the use of bots improved productivity by as much as 200%. Overall, the project saved the center $25 million a year and transformed Wipro HRSS to an intelligent enterprise.

Philips – Finalist – BPM Automation and Digital Command Center

Three years ago, Philips began an enterprise-level Robotic Process Automation project supported by Infosys BPM and saved 1 Million Hours in labor for the finance function, using RPA solutions and lean practices.

After simplifying and standardizing the industrial conglomerate’s financial processes, Infosys BPM worked with Philips to set up a digital command center to manage the company’s growing numbers of microbots. The greater transparency the digital center created allowed Philips to prioritize service tickets based on their relative importance.

The digital command center reduced the manual effort required to monitor digital workers by 30% and decreased turnaround time to resolve issues by 50%. Today, the initiative has met its one million hour savings target and slightly exceeded its headcount reduction goals. At the same time, it has delivered business benefits worth $24.5 million, improved productivity by 35% in three key domains, and when COVID hit, enabled all digital workers to work from home within 10 days.

Johnson & Johnson – Finalist – COVID Global Site Capacity Monitoring

To support the health and safety of its global workforce, Johnson & Johnson’s Facilities Management team needed accurate, real-time data that tracked individual site capacity and utilization at every Johnson & Johnson facility. When it was determined that the current solution would not provide the level of reporting needed, the team built a new data ecosystem and tool in 12 weeks.

The new tool compiles 15 million records daily and offers a statistical regression model to provide missing information and to detect spikes or dips in site utilization. Dynamic filtering capabilities allows leaders to compare facilities by a variety of different metrics.

Today, the tool has improved data consolidation and reporting data, making it possible to deliver reports that are 90% accurate and 95% on time. Most importantly, its real-time cumulative insights have given leaders confidence they can meet larger COVID-19 challenges, most important among them keeping employees safe and well. The improvement of the data bank has also given Johnson & Johnson the opportunity to strengthen its ability to identify new patterns and trends in workplace demand and usage to fuel innovation in workplace design and the employee workplace experience.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals – Finalist – CFOinUrpocket

Global acquisitions had left Takeda Pharmaceuticals with an overly complex finance ecosystem that operated across a variety of different acquisitions and databases. The pharma giant’s growing technology debt, combined with a decentralized management structure, was making gathering financial information increasingly difficult and complicated.

To solve this problem, the finance team decided to build CFOinUrPocket, a global finance dashboard based on an AI-fueled business intelligence platform that would increase efficiency, enhance the user experience, and deliver better outcomes.

Since its launch in 2016, the system has increased company efficiency in large and small ways. While CFOinUrPocket has improved system-wide transparency, it has done so without making the whole system overly centralized. In fact, local units now have the ability to prepare product portfolios that match their local sales priorities. On a more macro scale, forecast accuracy in Europe and Canada has improved 15%, and the financial planning & analysis team has more time to focus on delivering increased value. Finance team members are now equipped to advise, support, and challenge their respective business partners with data and trend analysis.

Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc – Finalist – AI and RPA-Driven AP Revenue Leakage Detection

At most large companies, about 1% of accounts payable are typically lost to recurrent leakage, and 35% regularly report procurement non-compliance despite the best processes & ERP systems. Morrisons, the United Kingdom’s fourth-largest supermarket, wanted to plug such leaks.

Wipro Limited, technology partner to Morrisons, proposed rolling out the firm’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) based anomaly detection solution based on Wipro Holmes. When it got the go-ahead, the AI models were set to look for procurement anomalies and compliance violations. Wipro engineers also built Robotic Process Automation bots on identifying anomalies in payment and controls.

Leveraging Wipro’s AI solution, Morrisons was able to make a transition from random sampling of invoices to an exhaustive AI-led audit. In fact, the new system can scan over £8 billion of transactional data and run 15 predefined AI models in just a few hours. Morrisons has emerged with more than peace of mind from the upgrade: Wipro Holmes now saves the company £2 million a year in avoided revenue leakage.

About The Hackett Group

The Hackett Group® (NASDAQ: HCKT) is an intellectual property-based strategic consultancy and leading enterprise benchmarking firm to global companies, offering digital transformation including implementation of leading enterprise cloud applications, workflow automation and analytics that enable digital world class performance.

Drawing from our unparalleled IP from nearly 20,000 benchmark studies with the world’s leading businesses – including 93% of the Dow Jones Industrials, 91% of the Fortune 100, 80% of the DAX 30 and 55% of the FTSE 100 – captured through our leading benchmarking platform, Quantum Leap®, and our Digital Transformation Platform (DTP), we accelerate best practices implementations.

More information on The Hackett Group is available at:,, or by calling (770) 225-3600.

Cautionary Statement Regarding “Forward Looking” Statements

This release contains “forward looking” statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Statements including without limitation, words such as “expects”, “anticipates”, “intends”, “plans”, “believes”, seeks”, “estimates” or other similar phrases or variations of such words or similar expressions indicating, present or future anticipated or expected occurrences or outcomes are intended to identify such forward looking statements. Forward looking statements are not statements of historical fact and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the Company’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from the results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward looking statements. Factors that may impact such forward looking statements include without limitation, the ability of Hackett to effectively market its digital transformation and other consulting services, competition from other consulting and technology companies who may have or develop in the future, similar offerings, the commercial viability of Hackett and its services as well as other risk detailed in Hackett’s reports filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Hackett does not undertake any duty to update this release or any forward looking statements contained herein.


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