Automating 200k Manual Hours with Reddy Mallidi

By Cydney McCollum Posted June 21, 2022 In Business Process Management

Automating 200k Manual Hours with Reddy Mallidi

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Episode 6: Automating 200k Manual Hours with Reddy Mallidi

On this episode of Bots & Thoughts: The Hyperautomation Podcast, our host, Jimmy Hewitt, sits down with guest, Reddy Mallidi, VP of Global Operations at Autodesk Inc., to discuss the transformative effect that hyperautomation can have on a company. During this conversation, Reddy speaks about implementing hyperautomation throughout Autodesk, from his visionary period to implementation and everything in between. Reddy gets into topics such as how to get your team behind hyperautomation the right way, how to overcome apprehension and staff off disappointment, his virtuous cycle of hyperautomation that combines professional development with operational excellence, and so much more. Reddy imparts his knowledge and passion for hyperautomation in this episode and you don’t want to miss it!

Follow along with the episode now!

  • Guest Background: Reddy Mallidi

    • Role: VP, Global Operations at Autodesk Inc.
      • One of the most experienced and accomplished hyperautomation leaders in the world
      • Led Autodesk’s $4 billion global automation operations
      • Has run global operations for last 3+ years
      • Team: 550 people
    • Beginning of role at Autodesk:
      • Lots of processes and the complexity has evolved overtime
      • As systems become old, people have to deal with tedious, mundane, manual tasks (I.e., copy and paste, importing and exporting, etc.)
      • CFO was his boss
        • Supported his hyperautomation vision
      • Began to invest in hyperautomation
        • Started with a small team

    Automation at Autodesk:

    • The automation journey began in 2019
    • Automated to improve the quality of the employee experience
    • Automated over 200,000 manual hours
    • Reddy’s philosophy: How to implement hyperautomation into a company
      • New technologies are messy and complex and different narratives happen, so you need to be careful
      • Always go slow
      • Understand that disappointments will happen
      • You need to have a c-staff sponsorship
        • Critical!
      • You need your team behind it:
        • How:
          • Go smaller
          • Prove the concept
            • Show the employees automation isn’t going to take their jobs, it is going to help them spend more time on less tedious, more strategic tasks
          • Remember we are at the beginning of the technology adoption curve
  • 1. Begin with use cases: How Reddy introduced hyperautomation to Autodesk employees
    • Start with several obvious use cases
      • Example: Cut and paste across multiple windows, dealing with 15+ different systems
    • Shadow employees to learn their roles and see where automation can help make their jobs better
    • By automating mundane employee tasks to improve employee experience, you will also improve customer experience
    • The list of use case requests became so long and the demand for automation became so high from employees after seeing other use case successes
  •  2. Investment: How Reddy generated excitement around hyperautomation
    • Must invest to be able to take on more use cases!
    • Investing generates enthusiasm throughout the company
    • Investing allows Autodesk to create a process team
    • Autodesk investment examples:
      • Process-side
      • RPA
      • AI & machine learning (NLP)-side
      • Citizen Development Program:
        • Innovation idea pooling system
        • Collected the ideas people were enthusiastic about
          • People close to the business and close to the customers know the pain points
        • Ran ideas through Autodesk’s innovation program, Innovate to Operate
        • Reddy’s role: channel the positivity and excitement, take the ideas and get the support for them, and get the ROI
  • 3. Prioritization: How Reddy managed the incoming case requests for automation
    • Created criteria that took ROI into account (i.e., the numbers of hours saved, the risk that it mitigated, customer experience enhanced, employee experience enhanced, etc.)
      • Assign an ROI score/weight to each case
        • Determining the ROI: art & science
          • Science: quantify possible metrics (i.e., financial, hours saved, etc.)
          • Art: prioritize what you care about as a company (i.e., employee experience, customer experience, etc.)
        • The employees who submit cases are given the criteria template
          • They score the case and explain its importance
          • Makes the employee think through the idea in detail and in terms of ROI
          • Employees understand there are limited resources
        • Employees then present their idea to a steering committee
          • Benefits:
            • Allows employees to stand by their idea
            • Trains employees to learn presentation skills
            • Improve employee engagement
            • Aligns employees with the company mission
            • Employee is recognized
            • Employees can see their idea become a reality
            • This leads to more intakes
  • 4. Implementation: How Reddy decided which use cases to implement
    • Created a Steering Committee that decided which ideas would be implemented based on the ROI criteria template and presentation
    • Reminder: don’t implement a steering committee too soon
      • Implement one after you have proven the concept with at least several use cases
      • You do not want to “over process” too early
      • Don’t want the bureaucracy present before your employees believe in the hyperautomation mission
      • When people see the first couple of successful use cases, more ideas will follow
      • The team needs to mature first
      • Success will breed success
    • You must map the process and clean the process
      • Have clean processes
      • Use process methods
  • Process mapping: How Reddy’s team mapped and cleaned their processes
    • Created a process team:
      • Process experts work closely with business experts (someone who is doing the job day in and day out)
      • They sit together and map out an entire process
      • If changes (i.e., new business models, new events, rules change, etc.) happen along the mapping process, they go back and clean the process again
      • They do not want to automate a process that is bad or inaccurate
      • Create a “to be” future process
      • Business expert role: explain how the business works daily
      • Process expert role: provide process perspective
        • The cleanup process explained by business expert
        • Key for process reengineering
        • Get the process ready for automation
    • Reddy’s Advice:
      • Before any automation happens, make sure that your “to be” future process makes sense
  • Example Autodesk use case: Term changes for customers (Podcast time: 34:54 — 45:22)
    • Problem: When a customer needed to change terms on a subscription agreement with Autodesk, specialists at the company needed to make the changes manually
      • Took time to filter through many systems
      • The customer had to wait for confirmation until the task was completed manually
    • Solution:
      • Business analyst team: create the process for any new business model
      • Mapped from when a customer calls in until the customer gets notified of the change made
      • Automate: After the process is mapped, Autodesk automated the process in 3 iterations
        • Determined what steps of the process could be automated
          • Made sure that the steps that couldn’t be automated were not a hindrance to the automation
        • Automated the steps in increments
          • Easiest to most difficult
          • Automate as many quick wins as possible
        • Reminder: You do not need to automate the entire process at once
      • Result: Saved 15,000 manual hours each year

Hyperautomation Journey

  •  
  • Next steps:
    • Once small wins start to add up and you generate ROI from hyperautomation profits you can…
      • Invest in more ROI-positive capital machinery
      • Move from mapping one process to mapping an entire process group or an entire department
      • Support more complex situations and business cases (versus mundane tasks)
      • Invest in more advanced automation capabilities
      • Build Center of Excellence
      • Invest more in people
        • Reminder: with hyperautomation, you should be able to support growth in the business without taking on additional assets (i.e., people)
          • Example: Same operations team able to support 2x the business after automating processes in their process map
        • Hyperautomation definition:
          • Reddy:
            • It is an approach,
              • It’s not tool specific
              • It’s not technology-specific
            • It is business-driven and you need to have a disciplined approach that shows business value in terms of ROI, customer experience, employee experience, etc.
            • A combination of tools and capabilities
              • Examples:
                • Process mapping & mining
                • RPA
                • AI & Machine learning
                • Decision automation: Business Rules Manager
                • Capture: OCR
                • Workflow
                • Content: ECM
              • Automate routine tasks all the way to intelligent tasks
              • The virtuous cycle that begins with the process

Summary

Reddy speaks about implementing hyperautomation throughout Autodesk, from his visionary period to implementation and everything in between. Reddy gets into topics such as how to get your team behind hyperautomation the right way, how to overcome apprehension and staff off disappointment, his virtuous cycle of hyperautomation that combines professional development with operational excellence, and so much more. Reddy imparts his knowledge and passion for hyperautomation

 
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