A holistic approach to transforming business operations, customer experience, and cost efficiency.
Established in 1974, Sunway Group is one of Malaysia’s largest conglomerates, with over 16,000 employees operating across 13 business divisions and 50 locations primarily in Asia. Sunway’s core interest include real estate, construction, education, healthcare, retail and hospitality.
Sunway's vision is to be Asia’s model corporation in sustainable development and innovating to enrich lives for a better tomorrow. To achieve this aim, Sunway plans to empower and equip its workforce to face the digital era. Technology had to be the catalyst for change, but an immediate challenge was how to optimize business operations across Sunway’s 13 independent business divisions that relied on different Enterprise Resource Planning platforms and multiple business applications.
Intelligent Automation (IA) was identified as a key enabler. Once implemented, IA, a combination of technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA); Intelligent Character Recognition; Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics, would catapult Sunway on its journey to become a truly, Artificial Intelligence (AI)-fueled organization, delivering enhanced value, faster decision making and streamlined business processes for all its stakeholders.
Building the path to Intelligent Automation
Sunway engaged Deloitte to design and lead their IA transformation. Deloitte adopted a three-phase approach: Opportunity Assessment; Capability Development, and Delivery of Automation ‘Sprints’.
In the first phase, Deloitte’s IA experts performed a top-down Opportunity Assessment of Sunway’s business divisions in order to identify the most suitable and high-value processes that could be automated. Using Deloitte’s time-tested methodology, Sunway’s shared service center which employs more than 200 Finance, HR and IT staff was first to be assessed.
In parallel Sunway and Deloitte carried out a Vendor Selection. The two main criteria to be judged were technical fit and commercial viability.
Kevin KhooChief Information Officer, Sunway Group
“Sunway ultimately chose UiPath. UiPath was the best solution in terms of return on investment. We particularly liked that we could start small and scale as and when we needed. UiPath was the easiest tool to use especially for non-technical team members. Finally, UiPath was able to operate with more than 95 per cent of our existing systems offering seamless integration.”
In the next phase, Deloitte helped Sunway establish an internal Centre of Excellence (CoE) and an IA Operating Model. A critical piece of infrastructure required for good Governance, the CoE enables Sunway to assess new opportunities for automation, enhance existing robots that have been deployed, and measure their impact against pre-defined metrics aligned to the group’s strategy.
The availability and high quality of free training and support resources such as UiPath Academy and UiPath Community Forum, alongside more formal support and training channels, enabled Sunway's internal CoE team to quickly operate autonomously and become certified to design and run their own robots.
The CoE used the final phase, ‘Sprint’ Development, to hone their AI credentials. Working alongside consultants from Deloitte, the highest value business processes were transformed to rapidly realize the benefits of IA across the Shared Services Center, including eliminating errors in data entry and reconciliation, improving turnaround time for processes such as claims settlement, consolidating scattered data across multiple systems, and improving the accuracy of reporting.
Sunway’s approach supported by Deloitte and UiPath, led to a transformation in how its Shared Service Center operates and supports company-wide business operations. In addition to cost savings, these additional benefits were also realized:
Training of internal IA experts and the creation of ‘Super Jobs’ – Sunway established a CoE and an IA Operating Model. Its in-house team of 18 experts are now trained and certified on UiPath RPA and other IA technologies.
Enhanced employee satisfaction – The AI-enabled transformation optimized Sunway’s operations across business divisions by identifying 35 high-value processes that, once automated, reduced processing times by 30 per cent and freed up 25 Full-time equivalent (FTE) of routine effort from employees, allowing them to focus on more value-adding activities, significantly improving employee satisfaction.
Streamlined business operations – Sunway streamlined and simplified processes across 13 business divisions. This was achieved by consolidating, standardizing, and optimizing processes through a combination of process re-engineering and adopting IA technologies.
Romain DehayeDirector, Intelligent Automation – Deloitte Consulting, Southeast Asia
“What we’re most proud of with Sunway is the visible impact it’s had on its people, creating new ‘Super Jobs’ for some employees and helping transition others to higher-value tasks. Beyond reductions in processing times and consolidations of business divisions, it’s this workforce satisfaction that trickles through to every corner of the business and delivers superior results for whole group.”
Sunway’s journey to becoming an AI fueled organization is not over; with its CoE and AI Operating Model in place, it continues to identify group-wide cost efficiencies using highly responsive, agile, AI-enabled processes, powered by Deloitte and UiPath.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 35automated processes
- 30% reduction in processing time
- 13business divisions have streamlined and simplified processes
- 18"Super Jobs" (internal IA experts)