Hyperautomation CoE saves $16 million at Clemens Food Group with VP of IT Stu Farber

Hyperautomation CoE saves $16 million at Clemens Food Group with VP of IT Stu Farber

Published By : Cydney McCollum July 22, 2022

Hyperautomation CoE saves $16 million at Clemens Food Group with VP of IT Stu Farber

During this episode, you’ll learn how Salient supported the process improvement journey, which has realized over $16 million in annualized cost savings for Clemens Food Group. Join Host Jimmy A. Hewitt and Senior Automation Advisor Geoffrey Hamm as they sit down with early adopter and VP of IT at Clemens Food Group, Stuart Farber, to hear his thoughts on their Hyperautomation journey and accomplishments so far. Listen to how they’ve saved over $16 million in cost thanks to hyperautomation.

Watch episode 8 interview now!

Follow along with the episode now!

Co-host Background: Geoff Hamm,  Senior Automation Advisor for Salient Process
  • Position automation technologies to see benefits and solve problems
  • Worked with Stu and Clemens Food Group for three years
Guest Background: Stuart (Stu) Farber, Vice President of IT for Clemens Food Group

Early Adopter | Five years Hyperautomation experience

Clemens Food Group: Family-owned business since 1895

  • 6th generation pork producer | 5th largest pork producer in the United States 
  • 4,500 team members

Plants: 3 total

Original: Hatfield, PA

Additional: Coldwater, MI

Smoked Meats: Hatfield, PA


 300,500 square feet



  • IT Team:
    • Hardware
    • Software
    • Infrastructure
Clemens Food Group + Salient Process:

Initial concept was to build a Center of Excellence with a full team, create a large scope project, and have dedicated resources for RPA, but kept starting too big, failing, and then COVID hit

Clemens started with several use cases, looked at the best way to do each one, and chose Salient as the company to move forward with for two use cases

Automating Process:

Identified 6 processes or tasks that could be automated

Used Blueworks Live and mapped out the 6 processes, understood the steps, and identified the top two use cases

  • Quick Win First Approach: Quick win first instead of one big initial project
    • Can get the ROI from each individual event. A lot simpler to prove it out
    • Start with a quick win bot, learn what you don’t know as you go, and use the quick win ROI and the learnings from the new bot for an additional bot
      • Agile approach. Proof that RPA can really add value
    • By starting small with quick wins, the percentage of successful hyperautomation and RPA projects goes way up. You don’t have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a hyperautomation or Center of Excellence team until you have proven success
Use cases:
  • Gap in SAP capabilities: reversal of a good’s issue

    • When Clemens produces a good, the reversal of that production (i.e., double printed labels for two pellets of inventory when there was only one) could not be done automatically
    • The goods reduction used to be automated, but Clemens could no longer automate the process with SAP
    • Partnership Formed: Worked with Salient to create a reversal of a good’s issue. Saved hundreds of hours over the years and been a good improvement
    • Team member communicates to the floor on their user interface to now reverse a goods issue without having to involve finance department and other additional employees/departments
    • SAP is a great candidate for RPA because it is tough to navigate, requires a lot of clicks, but is very repeatable
  • Accrual Project: Giving credit rules accruals

RPA + Workflow

RPA can make most decisions, but there is sometimes a piece of the process that does require human intervention

RPA is excellent at automating tasks and workflow is helpful for keeping track of the existing tasks that may need human involvement without impeding on your RPA capacity


Clemens Scenario: There are two accruals that you could do for one single credit, and somebody in the end may have to make that decision

  • Use workflow to send that decision out to the sales team and the sale teammate can make the final choice
  • Only do this when it’s needed, but when Clemens does need it then it that has that ability and that’s why they chose to include workflow.
Automation Integration at Clemens:
  • RPA can often be mistaken for something else
  • Hyperautomation started to take off at Clemens once the company simply started talking about process improvement, not RPA technology

“Basically, when they think about, you know, solving a problem on their own side, right? It’s about process improvement. They don’t think about robots in business…they just want it better and they want it faster and easier for them to use. It’s like if you call a handyman. They bring their toolbox. You don’t call him and say I need you to bring 3 screws…”

Process Improvement Process: Moving forward


Clemens follows a business-driven IT Process:

1. Meet with their businesses once or twice a week

2. Talk about the issues they’re having

3. Talk about the projects that are going on

4. Talk about how to solve their problems

5. Add the project to the automation list

6. Once project is on the list, Clemens makes a decision on its priority based on the ROI/the reduction in team member headcount hours that it takes to do the task

7. When the project gets to the top of the list, it begins



Consistent meetings with the businesses, capturing use cases, quantifying the benefit of solving one in comparison to another, developing them accordingly, and recording everything to chare with the business

  • Benefits of sharing information collected with their businesses:
    • People see the value of IT
    • Helps for prioritizing
  • Clemens objectives:
    • Priority: Compliance or something that is broken
    • Business analysts that work with each department choose
      • Often have high hours or have ROI
      • Always based on business needs
      • Large company initiatives
Clemens Success:
  • Started recording in 2008
  • Saved $16 million/year
  • Hours saved since 2021: 450 hours/year
Hyperautomation at Clemens Today:
  • The ownership always stays with the business
  • Clemens works with the business, they define their needs, and Clemens helps execute those needs with the help of Salient
Bonus Use Case: Password Reset

Clemens has a large Spanish speaking contingent in their team members. The HR package required them to change their password to answer 3 questions on the application

  • Challenge: They were able to have bilingual or multilingual options in all their application except for these three questions
    • The team members could not read or answer the 3 questions because they were not in Spanish
    • The employees would have to go to HR team to change password
    • 1000 password changes a quarter
  • Solution: Clemens developed an iPad application that allowed the team members to scan their badge and their password auto resets with the help of an RPA bot
    • Project only took 1 week
    • Scope is simple and it is well defined
    • Clemens has does 4, one-week projects. The week includes testing and error handling
  • Result: averaging 40 minutes/day saved
    • Simplified the process
    • Improved employee experience, time savings, cost reduction for multiple business divisions
    • 3 more similar HR self service applications in the works now
Hyperautomation Outlook for Clemens:

Clemens does large projects, medium projects are planned out for the year, but when they see a problem in the business, they jump on it and get them done quickly

Future bots: HR processes, printing pay stubs, and the ability to reprint W2 forms


  • Used a Quick-Win-First Approach:
    • Get the ROI for each individual event to show its value to the company
    • Utilize learnings from each quick win in future projects
    • Get support behind automation projects first, then look to create hyperautomation teams or divisions after you prove success
    • Used to add value back to the business
  • Advice:
    • One-week-long projects are possible with well defined projects
    • Make sure you have knowledge on the team of the software and tools being used
    • Focus on and talk about process improvement, not the specific technology
    • RPA + Workflow = great way to automate tasks AND keep track of those task that may require human involvement
    • Use quick wins to add value back into the business
  • Clemens Success:
    • Saved $16 million/year since 2008 with hyperautomation
Watch Episode 8 Interview with Stu Farber Now



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