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US Grocer Delivers More Value to Bargain-Hungry Food Shoppers


The Challenge

Of all the major segments in retail, the grocery business is one of the most competitive. With margins of only about 1 percent, a supermarket chain cannot reduce prices in its stores unless it can cut costs elsewhere in its operation.

A major U.S. grocery retailer faced this challenge when it asked Cognizant to assess and redesign the inefficient accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) operations at its 3,400 stores. Management was concerned about resources being spent on manual AP/AR processes, which generated no value for store customers.


Our Approach

Our client recognized the need for automation, but its IT systems didn’t allow for it because data originated from analog sources, including images and PDF files. To automate and optimize the stores’ manual processes, we implemented Cognizant’s robotics solution, Intelligent Process Automation (IPA), along with an offshore sourcing arrangement. IPA automatically pulls information from multiple source systems and digitizes it. The solution reduced the number of people previously needed for manual work, improved accuracy and efficiency, and cut overall costs.

Helping the Business Meet Its Productivity Goals

To hold down food cost increases to consumers, management committed to several productivity goals, including reducing headcount by about 5% every year. Without IPA, the business likely would not have met these expectations.

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100%

increase in the accuracy rate of data to be input into systems

20%

reduction in average handling time per invoice

5%

reduction in headcount in the first year the solution deployed

0%

rate of inputting errors


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