Automated scheduling in action: How Whitbread achieved automation success


By Neil Kinson, Chief of Staff, Redwood Software

Since the start of the year, we’ve devoted time to discussing the benefits of automation, as well as the real world costs and potential pitfalls of relying on outdated workload automation (WLA) solutions.

And while we pride ourselves on the simplicity, scalability and transparency of the process automation services we deliver, we also know that real-life examples can really help people see the benefits and envisage their own automation journey.

Simplify the landscape

One of the biggest problems enterprises face when considering newer automation technologies is the patchwork of tools they’ll be replacing. Consider Whitbread, a multinational organization with more than 50,000 employees that supports thousands of hotels and restaurants around the world.

The reality of keeping a day-to-day operation like this running involves a finely-tuned cycle of stock ordering, financial transactions, HR management and logistics – all delivered flawlessly, to avoid it all coming to a grinding halt.

Before moving to Redwood RunMyJobs® scheduling, Whitbread had a collection of technologies to support automation of many of these crucial tasks. At its core was SAP® RemoteWare – supported by DXC/Fujitsu – for managed file transfers, and CA Workload Automation AE (Autosys®) – supported by DXC – for scheduling jobs.

With over 20 years of IT evolution baked into the company, key to the transformative automation project was replacing these two inflexible outdated schedulers with a single scalable solution, without causing any downtime or outages.

Simplify the workload

With such vast complexity, the result was a plan that involved 11 phased and grouped migrations. Migrating 1,900 scheduled jobs away from RemoteWare and Autosys to Redwood RunMyJobs scheduling took just five months from planning to full completion. Since deployment, Whitbread now automates 1.3 million business-critical file transfers across 800 servers per month.

After the successful completion of the first main phase of the project, Whitbread continued to simplify its workload through further process and task changes – ultimately converting 8,000 jobs into just 100 with Redwood RunMyJobs scheduling, all now run in a more organized way and documented.

Achieving this huge reduction in the number of jobs was the result of increased process documentation visibility. Previously, many processes weren’t documented at all. Now there’s a fully-visual interface that provides an overview of processes at a glance.

“On a single screen we can see the results of our enterprise outlets – all 800 of them. This view helps our support team see if there are network outages, and our managers see if there are problems with suppliers. We can easily rationalize our core, automated business processes across our different teams,” John Fitzsimmons, Technical Program Manager at Whitbread, said of the implementation.

Upgrading automation capabilities isn’t just about reducing costs and allowing more responsive business practices – with increased visibility the Whitbread team is now improving process coordination and efficiency across the entire enterprise. And that’s exactly what automation should do: Release people from repetitive tasks, so they can take on more strategic activities.

Sign up to our webinar with Chris Gardner, Senior Analyst, Forrester and John Fitzsimmons, Technical Program Manager, Whitbread to learn more about how we set Whitbread on the road to automation success. May 28th between 4pm & 5pm CET

Try the world’s only enterprise cloud-based solution for job scheduling and process automation today. Get started now with a free trial of Redwood RunMyJobs scheduling. You’ll be able to use the service for 30 days and get support and help.

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