DB Schenker’s journey in implementing and scaling intelligent automation programmes

Ralf Bosch

An interview with Ralf Bosch, Senior Vice President of Global Technology, Architecture and IT Services, DB Schenker

journey in implementing and scaling intelligent automation programmes.

Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us ahead of your session at the Intelligent Automation Exchange. We understand that you have just employed your 1000th digital worker! Would you start by telling us a little more about your experience in delivering intelligent automation programmes to date?

We started our journey back in 2018 with the setup of a global RPA platform and the appropriate processes and governance structure to ramp-up

and run an intelligent automation programme on a global level. Since then, we have deployed around 150 use cases with more than 1,000 bots. On top of that, we established other platforms like chatbots, OCR, NLP, machine translation and others which – in combination – will further fuel our intelligent automation or hyper- automation programme.

You have managed to deliver this in a relatively short space of time – what were some of the key challenges in implementing these innovative programmes, and how did you overcome those?

Defining the appropriate governance structure in a global context was one of the main challenges. It was, and still is, key to ensure high operational stability, security and scalability of the global platform, and to efficiently develop global use cases. At the same time, enabling regional teams is also important. We managed very well with a federated model. Finding the most appropriate use cases is also one of the key challenges, especially to demonstrate the benefit of our platforms early on in the journey.

What would you say are the critical success factors for scaling digital transformation in large enterprises?

It is imperative to have a close cooperation between business and IT, working together in integrated and agile teams. The right mix between global and regional responsibilities is as important as the willingness and capability to standardise and optimise business processes as a basis for automation.

What are the biggest lessons you’ve learnt throughout this automation journey?

  • It is essential to find the most appropriate processes for automation early on.
  • Automation at a global scale requires a smart governance model including global as well as local components.
  • An Automation Competence Centre, combining all relevant technologies and striving for end-to-end automation, is key.

What advice would you give to leaders who are at the start of their automation journey?

Don’t focus on technology first of all, but on the business goals you want to achieve, and then select the mostappropriate technologies. Start small to achieve early success but keep global scaling in mind based on harmonised processes. Finally, ensure close cooperation between business and IT.

What do you hope to get out of attending the Intelligent Automation Exchange in February 2022??

I’m keen to learn about the different approaches to implementing Intelligent Automation programmes from different companies within various industries;

it would be good to hear the lessons they’ve learnt and their recipes for success.

Are there any particular speakers or topics areas that you are looking forward to hearing more about at the event?

I’m interested in hearing more about what’s next in the intelligent automation/hyper-automation journey!

Ralf Bosch will be speaking at the exclusive, invite-only Intelligent Automation Exchange in London (28 Feb – 1 Mar), alongside a host of other automation and transformation leaders.

Exchange 2022 agenda to explore sessions on how to:

  • Successfully scale your digital transformation projects.
  • Ensure you are automating the right processes by unlocking the potential of your data.
  • Adapt to the unpredictable business landscape and secure ROI by keeping ahead of the rapid advances in IA.

For any questions about the event programme or how to secure your complimentary spot for February 2022, get in touch at enquire@iqpc.co.uk.