- Case study
Fueling business transformation through automation
How Element automated its operations to deliver fleet management and financing solutions at speed and scale
Element, the largest pure-play automotive fleet manager in the world and the world's only publicly traded fleet management company. Element has over 1 million vehicles under management across five geographies and generates annual revenues of over USD $800 million.
Maximize client satisfaction; increase productivity and profit
Enterprises that rely on large numbers of vehicles to meet stakeholder needs often outsource to fleet management companies. It is a difficult, complex job. The physical logistics are demanding – think vehicle acquisition, maintenance, and fuel management. But there is also a ton of back-end administration that is just as critical – such as vehicle financing and scheduling and on-road compliance.
Element was juggling all of that – managing more than 1 million vehicles over the entire vehicle lifecycle for a range of clients across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand.
Maximize client satisfaction
The company had also acquired and integrated several fleet management providers over the past seven years, resulting in inconsistent systems and processes. As a result, Element relied on its employees to perform repetitive, high-volume, manual work, resulting in inefficiencies. The impact was felt in several ways, not least on the client experience.
Deliver profit improvements
Under the leadership of its new CEO, Element undertook a business transformation strategy that promised to deliver a consistent, superior client experience and USD $144 million of run-rate profit improvement within two and a half years.
To help achieve its goals, Element needed to unlock better ways of working. It examined its operations to see what was working well and uncover opportunities for automation.
Drive automation at speed and scale
Element already had some experience with robotic process automation. A single employee had implemented around two dozen bots on the Automation Anywhere platform. These bots were automating individual processes for billing and solution delivery across Element's full vehicle lifecycle. Because the underlying technology was advancing so rapidly, the company needed to migrate these bots to a newer, better version of the same software platform before the old version became obsolete.
Element engaged Genpact to run the migration project. We quickly determined that the challenge was broader than just a 'lift and shift' of the existing bots to the latest technology platform. First and foremost, Element needed to elevate its automation efforts from grassroots-led to management-supported.
"Automation presented a tremendous opportunity to contribute to the company's overall business transformation goal, but not with the current setup, which limited speed and scale," says Pam Passman, vice president, business applications for Element. "We needed to move these bots from the desktop to the data center."
It was clear that Element needed guidance on orchestration and governance; standardized, centralized processes for enterprise-level automation; and a scalable operating model that would allow it to identify and roll out best practices across all its geographies.
A center of excellence for automation
Immediately, we began migrating the 28 existing bots – both from the old version of Automation Anywhere to the latest version, and from the stand-alone desktops on which they had been running to a control room with separate environments for development, testing, and production, and scheduled backups to enable recovery.
Update and enhance existing bots
Within just two and a half months, we had completed the job – two weeks ahead of schedule. We then set about running these bots, enhancing each one with new features and supporting them to maintain 100% uptime.
Element quickly recognized that Genpact had the industry, process, and digital expertise to deliver automation across the company.
Increase the speed and scale of automation
Genpact assisted Element with internal roadshows to showcase the benefits of automation and get the company's creative juices flowing. Multiple service lines came forward to ask for automation in areas where manual processes were creating bottlenecks for their departments.
Element then asked Genpact to develop new bots too – at a rate of five times the original effort – to automate individual processes across collections, core operations, telematics, and human resources. For example, one of the new bots would schedule the delivery of preventative maintenance notices to Element's clients and their drivers so fewer vehicles would end up breaking down. Another would ensure that important vehicle information, such as copies of vehicle registrations, was saved and stored in critical systems.
Develop an enterprise model
The increased number of bots only underscored the need for centralized control – with one team, one process, and one methodology that could operate in a cost-effective, reliable, and scalable way.
So, Genpact partnered with Element to set up an automation center of excellence (CoE). The CoE would deliver automation at speed and scale. It would also drive enterprise-wide adoption, educating the organization and developing a culture of continuous improvement.
Business transformation, delivered through automation
Genpact helped Element develop a hybrid workforce in which machines and people work together to improve experiences for employees and clients.
In the first nine months alone, the bots successfully processed over 1.3 million transactions, sparing Element employees over 44,000 work hours and allowing them to focus on more value-added work.
Some of these bots delivered net new revenue to the business. For example, Element launched a program to help its clients manage toll payments and process tickets. To activate the service, Element first had to load each contract into its system – a time-consuming process. We built a bot that automated the process, speeding up service delivery by approximately two months and enabling Element to better support its clients and earn critical revenue sooner.
The bots' uptime of 100% ensures uninterrupted service to clients and more time for value-add work for Element employees, which boosts employee morale.
Most importantly, Element's CoE has delivered a step change in operations, driving the company's efficiency and effectiveness – two key metrics on its balanced scorecard – and helping it to exceed its transformation goal USD $144 million of run-rate profit improvement within two years.
"Genpact has been an outstanding partner to us," says Dan Schardt, vice president, operational excellence and remarketing for Element. "The team has partnered with us every step of the way on our automation journey. They understand our challenges, they respect the pace at which we are maturing, they are aligned to our clear vision of where we can go, and the solutions they present to us reflect that."
Jim Halliday, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Element, agrees. "Genpact's combination of industry and digital expertise helped us create an automation roadmap that fit our strategic objectives. The transformation has helped us develop new, better, and more cost-effective ways of working that translate into better experiences for clients and employees."
Today, Element is ready to take things to the next level: automating whole, end-to-end processes rather than just individual transactions, adding dynamic workflows to ensure employees and bots can work together in harmony on those processes and exploring the possibilities of intelligent automation, with conversational AI to talk to clients and machine learning to unlock intelligent recommendations.
Automation delivers better ways of working, seamless experiences, happier clients, and revenue growth – and now Element is enjoying it all.