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WNS (Holdings) Limited - Collaboration Solution

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2019, Click to Enter The 2020 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Company: WNS (Holdings) Limited, Mumbai, India
Company Description: WNS (Holdings) Limited is a global Business Process Management (BPM) leader. We offer business value to 200+ clients around the world in key industry verticals, including banking and financial services, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, media and entertainment, consulting and professional services, retail and consumer packaged goods, telecom, shipping and logistics, travel and leisure, and utilities.
Nomination Category: New Product & Service Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Collaboration Solution – New

Nomination Title: Collaboration solution: a leading FMCG player and WNS

Tell the story about this nominated product or service (up to 650 words). Describe its function, features, benefits, and sales to date:

Background

Quality assurance & control is one of the key functional areas of product supply divisions of any FMCG company. A product undergoes many tests throughout its production cycle e.g. chemical, sensory, physical etc. before it can be released for further stages of manufacturing or distribution. Quality assurance tests are typically performed in centralized environment and entire information related to testing processes, specifications and results are stored in specialized software called LIMS (laboratory information management systems). It is very critical to manage the master data in LIMS which in sync with the product lifecycle management systems and ERPs in product supply divisions. Any loss or inaccuracy in the LIMS master data would create product quality issues, market and brand value erosion and schedule delays.

The challenge

The WNS client, a Fortune 50 company, is a world leader in FMCG production and distribution with global manufacturing and distribution footprint. For each product, there are multiple test methods and specifications that needs to be maintained in the LIMS systems for its corresponding product supply divisions. Currently, the process of managing master data for test methods and specifications is manual. The process incurs significant operating costs on an annual basis, causes non-standardized or erroneous/duplicate entries and delays in overall testing schedules. Additionally, the manual record processing increases operational complexity and overall risk in product supply divisions. On an average, 3-5 FTEs are deployed per sector (group of production sites) to cater the workload on a continuous basis, and despite that there are cost and time overruns for each setup. The client wants to reduce the operating costs and increase master data standardization and overall schedule adherence.

The solution

WNS analyzed the current process setup, existing source documents and templates used to extract master data and key functional information set required to run the product quality tests in product supply division laboratories. Upon detailed analysis, WNS determined that the master data creation and maintenance process can be automated using advanced machine learning and classical/self-learning NLP routines. Furthermore, the solution can be deployed either as a single instance at a global level or against each LIMS instance. WNS also devised the automation routines to extract outputs in such a way so that they are not dependent on the technology/COTS software used for LIMS solution at each product supply site.

WNS went through the complete landscape assessment with sample set of documents to showcase the technical and functional feasibility of the solution. The feasibility assessment included successful extraction of text and images from source document using OCR/deep learning & summarization/contextualization using NLP/neural network/ML etc. WNS team was able to achieve almost 100% accuracy on the sample set of documents. The output created by extraction routines can directly be uploaded to LIMS using batch upload utilities, thereby omitting any manual intervention. After the successful completion of landscape assessment, WNS engaged with the customer for complete solution development and deployment across the enterprise.

WNS further enhanced the solution by introducing a low touch workflow that allowed the LIMS subject matter experts to address exceptions and add more rules before the master data is uploaded to LIMS for quality assurance tests and validation of results.

The outcomes from implementing cognitive data management solution are:

-Huge savings in operating costs by reducing human capital and administrative costs. Estimated benefits across production sites ~$25Mn (for automated data entry for entire document), ~$20Mn (for R&D) and annualized savings of ~$2Mn across the enterprise.
-Increased process standardization by adopting a centralized AI engine and low touch workflow.
-Reduced lead time for data setup and maintenance, thereby ensuring more schedule adherence for product suppliers and overall shorter production cycle time.
-Reduced material storage costs and less obsolescence and wastage