British American Tobacco - It’s TIME to talk automation

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17 November 2021

It’s TIME to talk automation

BAT’s ongoing digital transformation was in the spotlight recently as we hosted a summit bringing together some of the biggest names in technology.

The virtual TIME (Technology Inspiring a Modern Enterprise) Automation summit saw speakers from the likes of Amazon, Google, Microsoft Accenture and IBM join senior leaders from BAT discuss how automation is changing our lives.

At BAT, automation is already in action and freeing up our people to focus on delivering on our A Better Tomorrow™ transformation.

We continue to digitally transform manufacturing in order to reduce waste, lessen energy usage, limit stoppages to production and save personnel time. A range of scalable solutions support this focus, including advanced analytics, machine learning, robotic process automation, remote virtual engineering and smart infrastructure services. This transformation delivers a multitude of benefits, from a 5–10% reduction in waste to a smaller carbon footprint, lower utility costs and a significant reduction in costly stoppages, while saving thousands of working hours.

Our ongoing ranking in the Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 demonstrates how the digital transformation and increased automation of our supply chain is having a positive impact.

Other examples of automation in action at BAT include:

  • End-to-end automation of BAT’s afforestation programme in Pakistan has helped ensure the planting and distribution of 1.6 million trees this year, as previously time-consuming matters like inventory management were completed automatically.
  • Automation has enabled our Singapore factory to become more sustainable by managing its energy more smartly. A platform was implemented that collects all the necessary data real-time to enable faster analysis - resulting in a 50% reduction in the energy consumption of chillers at the factory.
  • A “citizen-developed” mobile phone app in Nigeria automated the manual forms used to report issues and helped to ensure quality control on the production line during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The main objective of the TIME summit - broadcast live to all employees - is to demystify automation and demonstrate how it can empower our people.

Marina Bellini, Luciano Comin and Zafar Aslam Khan

Our Chief Executive, Jack Bowles, provided the opening speech and was followed throughout the four-day summit by a range of fellow senior BAT leaders including (pictured above) Marina Bellini, Director, Digital and Information, Luciano Comin, Regional Director, AmSSA, and Zafar Khan, Director, Operations.

The full list of companies participating in the summit included: Accenture; Adobe, Amazon; Dentsu; EY; Google; IBM; Microsoft; Procter & Gamble; PWC; UI Path; Unilever; Reply; Sprinklr; So-Media as well as a range of inspirational thought leaders.

The TIME Summit agenda:

  • Day 1 - The art of the possible: Before automation comes innovation
  • Day 2 - The employee in the digital era
  • Day 3 - consumer moments reimagined: The power of AI, automation and machine learning
  • Day 4 - The supply chain of the future.

Marina Bellini said: “It was a huge privilege to welcome so many great minds from both inside and outside BAT to the TIME Automation summit.

“Automation is bringing huge benefits to BAT as we build A Better Tomorrow by unlocking value and freeing up our people to focus on what matters.”