Glico Group is a major confectionery company in Japan that deals with snacks, ice cream, dairy products, and beverages. The group introduced Allganize's AI chatbot, 'Alli', to respond to a large number of in-house inquiries in more efficient way.
We talked to Kawamoto and Wakabayashi who are in charge of operating AI chatbots.
Due to the poor usage of the company’s portal sites, inquiries to the back-office have been overwhelmed.
Q: Please tell us about Glico's business details and your duties.
Kawamoto: (At the time of Alli's introduction, I belonged to the digitalization promotion team of the management planning department but moved to the new department as of December 2022) Now, I work in the digital promotion department of Ezaki Glico Co., Ltd. and work on DX promotion as before.
Wakabayashi: Ezaki Information Systems Co., Ltd., where I work, is responsible for the information systems of Glico Group, and is in charge of building value chains at home and abroad and planning the IT strategy for the entire group. Among the various tasks, I mainly perform Alli's maintenance and repair work.
Q: Is there any special reason for introducing AI chatbots?
After seeing how much time employees are spending on what tasks and how much time they are spending across the enterprise to streamline their operations, we found that the back-office is spending a lot of time responding to inquiries.
It was not easy to figure out where to find the information because there was no integrated portal site in the company and each department had a separate website. Additionally, the lack of optimization of the search engine in the websites was the reason for the high number of direct inquiries. For these reasons, it become natural for internal employees to ask people who know each other’s faces directly rather than searching for answers to inquiries themselves. Based on the awareness of the problem, we started to consider introducing AI chatbots with the goal of ‘Building an environment where employees can search for information on their own’ and ‘Reducing inquiry response resources by 30%’.
Q: Could you tell us the reason why you started using Alli?
An employee stationed abroad introduced Alli. A reason we decided to use Alli was that it was to enable 'Complete Internalization'. Of course, its various functions and reasonable price range were also positive factors.
The FAQs that are registered in Alli are basically related to support work. For this reason, we considered introducing chatbots on the premise that not only the system sector but also personnel, general affairs, and other back-office personnel should be able to create and manage FAQs without resistance.
Alli's ability to create FAQ data through Excel made it easy and simple for non-professional employees who didn't know much about the system.
Q: Are the departments still operating Alli together?
Yes, when a FAQ update is required, each department representative stores the updated FAQ data on the Alli-dedicated drive in the One Drive.
These updated data are linked to Microsoft's RPA Power Automate, which automatically uploads data to Alli at a certain time every day.
Alli is useful when creating or updating FAQs because it not only requires fewer resources for maintenance but also reflects real-time modifications.
Q: What has changed in particular since the introduction of Alli?
Kawamoto: Currently, I have installed the Alli icon on the start page of the in-house portal. At the beginning of the introduction, I was worried about where to locate Alli and whether it would harmonize well with the existing in-house portal site, but since the introduction of Alli, the number of in-house inquiries that caused the workload has decreased noticeably.
Wakabayashi: With the introduction of Alli, we could achieve our original goal of 30% reduction in response to inquiries. Taking the system sector as an example, the number of telephone and mail inquiries to the service desk, which was more than 10,000 per month, has decreased by about 31%.
Q: How did you inform your employees of the AI chatbot?
First, we named the AI chatbot ‘Chat-bot’. Additionally, we have devised a variety of methods, such as producing stickers with explanations for ‘Cha-bot’ and providing the stickers with the new PCs when employees replace PCs.
As a result, I could guide a number of inquiries that occur during the replacement of the business-use PC through ‘Cha-bot’, and I think it helped create in-house atmosphere of "Let's ask ‘Cha-bot’ first.".
When I see the employees using ‘Chabot’ at work, I think it was a good idea to introduce it.
Q: How was the support provided by Allganize when it was introduced?
We feel that we have regular support from Allganize at the time of introduction as well as after the start of operations.
Alli has a short update cycle for its own services, and each update adds various new features. I'm getting a lot of help because I'm also getting emails about new and improved features from Allganize.
Q: What are your prospects?
I think there is still room for improvement in the response rate of AI chatbots. In the future, we will continue to perform periodic FAQ maintenance to improve user satisfaction and support AI chatbots to become an in-house infrastructure.
Additionally, we are planning to operate an AI chatbot exclusively for the system sector. We are making various preparations so that we can answer questions about business apps used to be answered by system personnel through chatbots.
Ezaki Glico Co., Ltd
Headquarter: 4-6-5 Utajima, Nishi-Yodogawa-ku, Osaka, Japan 555-8502
Production and sales of snacks, food, dairy products, and beverages
Established: February 1929. |Website: https://www.glico.com/jp/