Santa Expecting Most Efficient Holiday, Thanks to Intelligent Automation

Valued WorkFusion customer Santa Claus tells us he expects Christmas 2019 to be his most efficient ever. As the North Pole finishes Year 3 of its Intelligent Automation journey, he offered a first-hand look at the transformative benefits they are experiencing thanks to this technology.

The ‘future of work’ is already changing work

As an early adopter by nature, Santa always looks to pull his organization forward, but he feels that what’s often discussed as “the future of work” has already become his current “change in work,” particularly for his operations teams.

Before automation, many elves spent time focused on manual mouse-click and keystroke activities like parsing wish list letters from youngsters, processing birth announcements of new children, and reviewing notes from in-person Santa conversations across the world.

Now, over 70% of manual effort in his most important processes has been eliminated, freeing many of his pointy-eared workers to focus on higher-value activities, such as better mapping strategies between kids and desired toys, or just simply giving the elves back more free time.

To assess team performance, Father Christmas tracks a happiness score of all kids served by his workshop. The better the North Pole team can deliver the toys that kids expect, the higher the score. Projections suggest this will be the highest year-over-year growth for the happiness score.

Looking inward, St. Nick has used a toy-to-elf ratio to assess productivity. Recent decades had seen this metric continually increasing, which indicates elves were busier every year to meet demand. But for the first time in memory, this year is showing a toy:elf ratio reduction while the workshop maintains the same output. This means much jollier elves, with time to play reindeer games on the weekends!

santa using workfusion
Perched atop a chimney is not the time to find out that a child’s family has moved away. Now that Santa has automated address and identity verification, he no longer has to worry.

WorkFusion pre-built use cases accelerate adoption in the workshop

Kris Kringle was able to make vast gains with Intelligent Automation by leveraging WorkFusion’s pre-packaged use cases. Unfortunately for the bearded one, because he’s in a unique industry he has to customize more than the typical WorkFusion customer — but he was excited to have a strong starting point. And his team was still able to leverage some underlying pre-trained bots to expedite time-to-value. A few examples:

  1. Adverse Media Monitoring: Banks have a common use case that emphasizes searching online news sources for reports of inappropriate or illegal activity by customers. While Santa doesn’t typically check for money laundering or financial fraud by children, monitoring news reports for juvenile delinquency has proven useful toward assessing who will get lumps of coal in their stockings.
  2. Verification of Address: Banks have Identity Verification processes that reconcile bank account applications with identity documentation such as passports and address documentation such as utility bills. Santa appreciates this address documentation element of this process: Each wish list letter has a return address, and elves need to match the name and address with what’s on file (in case someone has moved to a new house). Now, it’s highly automated.
  3. Sales Order Updates: In enterprise supply chain activities, sales reps often will email their order changes to an operations team to update CRM and ERP systems. Santa doesn’t have sales reps, but he does have children sending emails and Twitter posts about desired toys. It’s very helpful for this data to be ingested automatically.

Intelligent Automation is Santa’s core AI strategy

Santa has many options for tools, but he’s delighted by the level of value he’s achieved by putting Intelligent Automation at the core of his AI strategy. He was gratified to see his approach validated by Gartner, which recently stated that process automation is the best use case of AI.

Primarily, Mr. Claus likes being impact-oriented. He is able to emphasize metrics that focus on overall impact, such as effort reduction. This stems from the end-to-end nature of Intelligent Automation, which leverages many automation capabilities to address the full scope of work.

In addition, the man in red appreciates keeping his true focus on the data of his operation, rather than just automation of systems. He has been incrementally improving upon systems integration over the years, but with a new focus on automating with data tied to decision work, he’s seen powerful transformations in his worldwide operations.

We look forward to Christmas 2020 — and an even further scaled automation program up at the North Pole!

Kyle Hoback
Kyle Hoback

Director, Market Enablement, WorkFusion

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