Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation Office

“In 2019, in the first full year of its existence, the JG Summit Digital Transformation Office (DTO) worked with several business units to launch and market products using new ways of working like design thinking and agile project management.”
In 2019, in the first full year of its existence, the JG Summit Digital Transformation Office (DTO) worked with several business units to launch and market products using new ways of working like design thinking and agile project management.

Among these products were an end-to-end hotel management portal for Robinsons Hotels & Resorts; digital sellers and buyers’ portals for Robinsons Land Corporation’s Residential Division; a digital employee loan platform for Robinsons Bank; and order management platforms for both Global Exports and Agro-Industrial Group of Universal Robina Corporation. Many other projects across the conglomerate are in various stages of completion, enabled by the DTO.

A key milestone was the Launchbox, a 5-month training program that teaches participants from various business units how to launch innovative digital products, from the discovery phase all the way to product delivery. The participants not only learn new skills but also bring a product to market at the end of the process. Among the products are a homeowner management platform to improve homeowner experience in Robinsons Land residential developments as well as a QR payment product for Robinsons Bank.

Furthermore, the DTO helped launch new digital initiatives to improve experiences for employees and suppliers.

SBU Initiatives

Universal Robina Corporation (URC)

“As soon as the orders are confirmed and clicked on the tablet, they are transmitted to enter the system immediately, ensuring fast and accurate delivery of products—in some cases as soon as the next day.”

The implementation of Sales Force Automation has been instrumental in driving our vision of leapfrogging our distributor capabilities through digitization. This allowed our distributors to reach out effectively to the market and cover more stores in the most efficient manner. With the app, salesmen no longer have to pitch a long list of products as they can just show store owners a comprehensive product guide on a tablet, including the latest URC merchandise and promotions. Store owners can also check that the items he or she wants are correctly entered in the ordering section of the app. As soon as the orders are confirmed and clicked on the tablet, they are transmitted to enter the system immediately, ensuring fast and accurate delivery of products—in some cases as soon as the next day.

Cebu Air, Inc. (CEB)

Seamless customer digital experience is key to maintain CEB’s position as the country’s best low-cost carrier. In line with this, CEB has initiated the Agility Platform project, the heart of digital transformation which focuses on developing software applications through microservices – suites of independently deployable services via the Agility framework. The initiative aims to significantly enhance the organization’s online presence to fully embrace customers and their journeys such as from flight searches and booking, to arrivals. The Agility platform using microservices simplifies everything to provide airline travelers the best digital experience.

CEB also started implementing various Robotic Process Automation (RPA) initiatives in 2019, including modules that automate form filling and report generation. The success that RPA enjoyed served as a springboard for the development of an RPA System that allowed employees to create, run, and manage their respective high-volume task and workflow automations.

The use of RPA technology has considerably enhanced work quality and cycle times across the organization. It has allowed CEB to maintain maximum possession, control and visibility of its businesses and interests, while realizing significant cost savings in the process. Moreover, RPA has empowered everyJuan, freeing them up from repetitive tasks for critical ones. With RPA, repetitive and tedious tasks are now a thing of the past.

Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC)

RLC has pioneered a few digitization initiatives geared towards improving the customer experience.
One of the main goals of digitization was to find the pain points or problems that a customer experiences and use technology to find solutions. To light the way for the conglomerate’s successful adoption of an agile framework and driving a customer-obsessed culture, RLC developed four such projects.
Robinsons Malls

Interactive directory to help shoppers navigate with ease

RLC’s Residential Division

Buyers Portal for smoother resident transactions

Sellers Portal to aid agents with accurate information

Robinsons Hotels & Resorts

Hotel Property Management
System (PMS) to provide guests
with a seamless customer experience throughout their stay

One of the first tools developed was for Robinsons Malls. One pain point of customers when they enter a mall is when they can’t find a store. So, the digital transformation team made an interactive directory that helps shoppers navigate RLC’s malls, finding shops, finding restaurants, mall products, and services. After successful tests in select malls, the interactive directories are now being rolled out nationwide.

For RLC’s Residential Division, two projects promise to simplify things for both the sales agents and their clients. First is the Buyers Portal which helps automate RLC buyers’ most common interactions. The Buyers Portal allows them to view easily and update their account information, manage their payments, view and download the latest statement of accounts, and log requests and inquiries directly. Also, through the Buyers Portal, customers/buyers can electronically log their queries and somebody will reply. And because they’re registered in the Buyers Portal, RLC’s sales team knows who they are and will know how to answer customers/buyers’ concerns.

On the opposite side of the fence, sales agents’ lives have gotten simpler with the Sellers Portal. For sales agents, when they are out in the field and trying to sell a unit, their biggest issue is that they cannot memorize all the details of the 4,000 condo units we are selling. They have to carry a lot of brochures, papers, price lists, and payment terms. Now, it’s all available through the Sellers Portal. Aside from providing accurate information at the touch of a button, the Sellers Portal enables sales team members to see which units are available, in real time. If someone sells a particular unit, another seller won’t make the mistake of selling it also, because the portal immediately updates if a unit has been sold.

The fourth project developed by RLC is a Hotel Property Management System (PMS), another tool meant to give hotel guests a perfect customer experience, it’s an end-to-end solution – from the time a customer books to the time he checks out. The PMS is designed to help staff provide a seamless experience for guests while managing the hotel business effectively. For the returning guests, the front desk team will know who the guest is and his preferences. Before it was more manual. This makes work easier for the hotel staff.

JG Summit Petrochemicals Group (JGSPG)

JGSPG constantly drives digital transformation initiatives that enable business growth and operational improvements, using technology to help address gaps in business processes. More than just IT-related projects, various departments within the group have been undertaking respective digital transformation initiatives as appropriate for their areas. Some examples of projects undertaken and/or completed in 2019 are described below.

Migration to SAP S/4 HANA
An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software package meant to cover all day-to-day processes of an enterprise
In-house Development of Operator Training Simulator

Computer-based training systems to impart process understanding and operation skills

Automation of Paper-Based Workflows

Digitalization of the Incident Reporting System

Vendor Invoice Management System

Development of Efficient Support Systems
Predictive Analytics, Work Flow Process and Asset Management Systems for Maintenance

Migration to SAP S/4 HANA

SAP is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software package meant to cover all day-to-day processes of an enterprise. In March 2019, JGSPG became the first company in the JG Summit group and in the Philippines to migrate to SAP S/4 HANA with full SAP functionalities.
  • Financial & Controlling (FICO)
  • Sales & Distribution (SD)
  • Production Planning & Control (PP)
  • Material Management (MM)
  • Plant Maintenance (PM)
  • Financial Supply Chain Management (FSCM)
  • Investment Management (IM for BMS
  • Quality Management (QM)
  • HCM Integration

We are also the first petrochemical company in South East Asia to implement full functionalities of S/4 HANA.

In-house Development of Operator Training Simulator

In 2019, JGSPG developed in-house the Operator Training Simulators (OTS) for the upcoming new aromatics and butadiene extraction units. OTS are computer-based training systems which aim to impart process understanding and operation skills by replicating process dynamics behavior over a wide range of operations, including plant startup, shutdown, and emergency situations. With engineering done in-house, an estimated savings of around USD 1 million was realized. More importantly, JGSPG is now able to provide in-house training to the plant operators of these two plants.
As these plants are the first of their kind in the country, the operators can now also be trained in advance of the actual plant’s commissioning and start-up, thereby ensuring operational preparedness for these upcoming facilities once they come on-stream by 2020.

Automation of Paper-Based Workflows

Digitalization of the Incident Reporting System

In 2019, JGSPG converted its paper-based Incident Reporting (IR) System into an automated workflow system. Transferring to an automated system rather than the previous paper-based system helped accelerate information sharing and approvals, thus providing a more efficient, consistent and systematic IR process and the corresponding investigation.
The organization is now able to focus more on the actual investigation and implementation of solutions rather than consume unnecessary man-hours on progressing paper-based IR approvals. The centralized IR database with corresponding preventive and corrective actions are now also accessible to all employees for more transparent sharing of learnings.

Automation of Paper-Based Workflows

Vendor Invoice Management System

In an effort to automate time-consuming manual processes such as invoice processing, the online Vendor Invoice Management (VIM) System was started to be developed using OpenText with SAP integration. With the VIM system, it is estimated that productivity for invoice processing will improve by around 30% through the use of a more streamlined and automated process, as well as the additional benefit of helping achieve on-time payment to suppliers to avoid penalties and surcharges.

Development of Efficient Support Systems

Predictive Analytics, Work Flow Process and Asset Management Systems for Maintenance

To help avoid costly downtime, reduce maintenance costs and improve operational efficiency, the JGSPG Maintenance, Operations, and IT teams are currently developing the use of Predictive Analytics towards the more efficient conduct of preventive and/or corrective maintenance prior to anticipated or predicted failure. This project aims to achieve higher asset utilization and availability and therefore contribute to improving overall operational efficiency. Within the SAP system, functionalities involving Maintenance Work Flow Process, asset registries and asset reliability requirements are also being explored as the group pivots towards ensuring 100% site reliability, given the increased maintenance requirements of the expanded complex.

Robinsons Bank Corporation (RBank)

Digital transformation changes the way RBank delivers products and services. Today, the Bank has more capabilities to deliver personalized service and to fulfill customer satisfaction. In 2019, the Bank’s digital transformation, which are all driving cost-savings opportunities, can be summarized in four major initiatives: (1) products and services, (2) digital marketing, (3) digital meetings, and (4) robotics.

Products and Services

RBank launched a fully digital payroll loan application process for the employees of its payroll corporate customers. With the digital payroll loan process, borrowers can now fill up a web-based digital form accessible in their own devices. The Bank also introduced an alternative banking channel through agency banking. BSP approved RBank to pilot in five (5) stores to serve as bank agents. With agency banking, RBank customers can now go to authorized third party agents and perform banking activities such as cash deposit, cash withdrawal, bills payment, and funds transfer. More banking agents will be introduced in 2020. Furthermore, the Bank introduced three (3) new 24-hour “hybrid” branches that provide both traditional with digital banking channels that provide banking services even when after bank business hours. These digital banking services include cash acceptance, account opening, personal online banking, and bills payment.

Digital Marketing

In 2019, Robinsons Bank redefined its marketing efforts by strengthening its online presence in the digital space, utilizing high reach platforms like Facebook and Waze, establishing relevance through Knowledge Bank, and owning organic search results through Search Engine Optimization. In January, Robinsons Bank launched a pilot campaign for Simple Savings Online, its first foray into digital account opening. With the success of the pilot campaign, a more expanded campaign was relaunched with expanded platforms and with optimized targets, resulting to higher conversion rates with lower costs.

Digital Meetings

For executive meetings, materials are now generated in digital form, securely stored in online repositories, and accessible only to authorized attendees. In addition, RBank rolled out Microsoft Teams to assist in online trainings and meetings.


Various robotic process automations were also implemented across areas of the Bank to improve operational efficiency and increase capacity to handle greater transaction volume. Some initiatives include a robot that automates the monitoring and reporting of ATM status nationwide, a robot that helps in the processing of ATM cards to newly opened accounts, and a robot that automates several manual credit validations for auto loans.