Case Studies

When a low probability line of thought leads to an effective idea,
there is a 'Eureka' moment and at once the low-probability approach acquires the highest probability... Edward De Bono on Lateral Thinking

......................................... Case Studies .........................................

Automating the rolls loading process streamlines the deliveries

Case

A major polymer company was facing problem with the point of loading of the material. The material when loaded into the trucks to be sent to the customers was not always tracked correctly leading into wrong delivery of the products. They had to keep an inspector at the all the loading to make sure that the correct rolls are being loaded. To add to this problem it was also very difficult to track the rolls location in the warehouse.

Course of action

The team at xPointers understood that there was a need for an automatic system to make sure that there are no wrong loading of the rolls in the trucks. It was decided to have barcode scanners to scan each item that is loaded on the trucks. This will give the primary information about the rolls loaded in the trucks.
In ERP deliveries were already created. So the “Delivery Tracking System” (DTS) had the information for a loading point from ERP. Once this information was passed on to the DTS, the DTS would then compare information about the rolls loaded in the truck and the actual delivery data. Any roll that doesn’t match the delivery information from ERP was prevented from loading in the truck. DTS would give an alarm indicating that the roll doesn’t have any delivery against it in that particular truck.
Also the information about the actual loading was updated in the ERP. Thus ERP had a real time data about the loading at any loading point.
This solved the problem partially. Also it had to be made sure that if the connection with SAP failed due to any reason all the data was stored in the DTS database and updated to ERP when the connection was reset. Also in event of scanner not working for the Labels that are damaged in transportation a provision to enter the information for verification was provided.

Business Benefits

  • The loading of a truck took 4-6 hours with DTS compared to 2-3 days earlier
  • The was no need for an inspector to check the correct rolls anylonger
  • The ERP had real time information about the deliveries of the material
  • Operators need not enter the details about the batches scanned in the excel sheet. Thus chances of incorrect data entry were nullified
  • The information about any shipment was available in the system. Earlier this information was difficult to find in the excel sheets

A step towards perfect plant

Case

A major packaging company in Nashik, supplies wooden packing boxes and pallets to the major manufacturing companies in Maharashtra. The wood required for this packing boxes and pallets comes from different parts of the country. With increasing sales there was a major problem in operations planning. This resulted in late deliveries, increasing overheads, quality problems and loosing the orders from customers. It was time to improve the operations management and supply chain.

The approach

The xPointers team had to build a system to cater to supplier management, customer relationship management and operations management. The idea was to link all the three pieces together.
The first step was to build a communication channel between the company and the supplier. This enabled the supplier to see the orders in the pipeline and helped in planning the shipping of the wood accordingly. The supplier was now able to look into the future and prepare his inventory accordingly.
The second step was to handle the operations at the company. This was a huge task due to the variations in the products manufactured at the company. Whenever an order was placed, the system could calculate the feasibility of production. In case it was not feasible the system would provide a feature to treat the order as rush order and create a new schedule for all the lines. The sales force was also able to see in the factory virtually helping them to make decisions to commit a particular date to the client.
The third step was to understand the customers buying pattern and based on that predicting the future load.

Business Benefits

  • Better visibility in the manufacturing plant to the production planner, sales force and the supplier
  • Improved inventory level at the plant, saving more than 50,000 USD per year
  • Understand the customer buying pattern and anticipate the orders in advance
  • Overhead costs of procuring the material on urgent note reduced by 25,000 USD
  • Proper scheduling of the orders helps in maintaining the quality of the product

Track them while they move

Case

A major travel company providing vehicles to almost all BPO companies in Pune had a problem tracking their vehicles for scheduling their routes. To add to this the records of all the trips were managed in excel format. The payments to the vehicle owners were difficult to track. Along with this it was also important for the company to maintain the details of vehicle insurance, Road Tax and Fitness of the vehicles. This led to inefficient management of the vehicle’s expenses and complaints from the most of the clients.

Course of action

xPointers had a major challenge to build a system to address all the above issues and at the same time making sure that the transition to an online system is smooth.

The decision was made to implement the system in three phases.

  • Scheduling the routes based on the availability
  • Tracking the details related to insurance and taxes online
  • Making Payments to the Vehicles owners online

The solution consisted of adding the vehicles in the system, determining the journey types (Back to Back, Pick up and Drop), entering the routes in the system and schedule required at the client side. Based on the requirement the system calculated the time required for each trip on an average speed and scheduled the vehicles on a daily basis. The system had to take the daily availability of the Vehicles as well.
When the scheduling went on smooth, it was time to track the details of the vehicles. The team added a module to the existing system where all the information pertaining to the vehicles was stored. This helped further in understanding the availability of the vehicles, adding to the ease in scheduling.
The last phase of the project was making the online payments to the vehicle owners. Once the system was doing the scheduling of vehicles and vehicle owners were able to see the daily management of the vehicles using their login credentials, the payments module was brought into practice. The vehicle owners were now paid based on the vehicle availability and the distance it ran for the time period of the payment.

Business Benefits

  • The daily scheduling of the vehicles was now possible with a click of a button on the screen.
  • The car details availability made it easy for the company to plan for insurances and tax liability
  • The payments made were accurate and on-time. This strengthened the trust of the vehicle owners
  • The management of the whole process gave enough room for expanding the number of clients served by the company increasing the revenues.

Call Management System

Case

A major hardware company in Pune claimed faster after sales service to their customers. However, most of the times the clients had to wait for weeks to get their queries or complaints resolved. Also the management was not able to track the progress on the client queries and complaints. The management had tough time in understanding the reason for delay in the call closure. Performance evaluation was also a major hurdle since there was no track of the call closures.

The Approach

xPointers team proposed to build complete transparency in the system. This was initialized by having an access based system and building the call workflow. The call attendant entered the details of the customer complaint. Based on the client and the work area the call gets assigned to the particular engineer. The engineer gets an alert of the assignment. The engineer has to finish the work depending on the nature of the call in allotted time frame. The updated report of the call is sent to the management for analysis.

The system also allows the clients to log into the system and see the progress on the call.

Business Benefits

·      The application created a transparent system for the client enabling them to automatically assign and monitor calls

·      Tracking the performance of the engineers was much easier. The management was able to generate the report of status of the call closure for a specific period

·      The management was able to track which products reported maximum number of complaints

·      The application helped the client to find the root cause for particular problems and develop a SOP for solving the same. Also the client was able to train customers on trivial complaints in advance

·      The customer were able to login the system and see the real time status of the complaint