Process Automation Through Innovation: A Case Study

Introduction
Business Problem
Solution Strategies Through Nexgen Partnership
Results
 

Introduction

Our client, a world leader in convenient foods and beverages, with over $35 billion in annual revenue and more than 150 thousand employees is well known for its innovative approach towards streamlining business processes through IT innovation and exceptional corporate culture. Maintaining this leadership position year after year in this rapidly evolving global marketplace could be a real challenge. The company and its subsidiaries rely heavily on outsourcing for cost-effective solutions and to maintain overall efficiency in terms of time-to-market and productivity.

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Business Problem

Based upon seasonality and popular local events throughout the United States, our client’s regional marketing teams conduct “Local Promotions” which appear on their product packaging. These promotions would only appear on products distributed to the specific regional market. These local promotions, initiated by the regional marketing team have to move through a lengthy and complex approval process, be reviewed by multiple departments and finally reach producing plants in the local region.

Our client’s customer marketing leadership team was managing this process through emails and spreadsheets. This was largely inefficient and required multiple dedicated resources. This process did not allow for any detailed tracking or reporting. This manual process had a much greater chance of error, since all steps were handled by a dedicated resource managing the communication between all stakeholders through email. Also, this method considerably slowed the process while most of these promotions moved on a tight timeline.

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Solution Strategies Through Nexgen Partnership

Nexgen analyzed this problem, with its extensive experience in process automation and workflow integration, and suggested a “task oriented”, web based workflow solution. The core of this solution was based on “tasks” being assigned to all stakeholders in a given local promotion and the user only having to worry about answering tasks assigned to them. Following is a quick snapshot of what happens to a given local promotion through our streamlined process-flow solution.

  • Regional marketing team enters a local promotion and uploads all supporting documents.
  • The system generates a set of tasks and notifies the administrator to review the promotion.
  • Depending on the administrator’s response, the system identifies appropriate stakeholders based upon easily configurable business logic and assigns tasks to them.
  • The system moves the promotion through this complex, iterative review and approval process utilizing notification emails and other alert mechanisms.
  • Once the review and approval stage of the process is complete, the system moves it to the logistics of production and distribution.

This process runs on a tight timeline as it has preset in-plant, in-market and out-of-market deadlines. Also, each promotion could have more than one brand/package combination, which means each of those brands go through the above mentioned process, in parallel, as separate threads.

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Results

First and foremost, this solution greatly improved and simplified the user experience. Users are able to easily manage their responsibilities just by attending to their task notifications. Anyone with the right permission can easily review a promotion and track all its details with history of how it moved through the pipeline.

  • The client was able to cut down 65% of dedicated time and resources to manage this process.
  • Statistical reporting based on geography and market segments was introduced.
  • Promotions processed in a given year increased by 120%.

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