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This is the only kind of business, I have ever seen, where a single company handles two customers at the same time for the same article or package, where as every other business handles one customer per product or service.


There are two companies involved in this case study, their names are ABC Courier Company and XYZ Service Centre (XYZ SC) (not actual names).  ABC is the client and XYZ is the service provider based on certain service level agreements (SLAs).  ABC Company outsourced its data entry job to XYZ SC.  So the job of XYZ SC is to hire people, to do the job of entering data into ABC Company's internal database, by accessing remotely. The data entry process runs in very tight schedules and literally, by all means, TENSE, during festival and New Year seasons where the average volume inflow will almost be double. 


So, the conclusion, from the face of the context is that ERRORS are mandatory, as human beings are not designed to work like robots, to do it right, the first time.


Overall Synopsis of the Work: The entire starts after the plane takes off and ends just before the plane lands on its destination.  The work seems easy, when it is an international flight but very worse, in case of domestic flight, the time at hand is just less than 1 hr.


Nature of work and data sources and resources
  • The work starts at XYZ, the moment a flight takes off, and the filled in Air Way Bills (AWBs) are to be returned to ABC company, before the flight lands at its destination centre.
  • The expected accuracy is 100%, owing to the sensitivity of respective customers, though as per SLAs (Service Level Agreement - an agreement between ABC and XYZ companies, ie, the client and the service provider), the expected quality is 99.8% accuracy.
  • Data Source: AWBs are scanned and sent to XYZ SC, where the user logs in to respective systems, access the rerspective AWBs, and inputs the customer addressess into the remotely access client system.
  • Process has 100% immediate Tech support, for any short fall, including immediate replacement keyboards and/or mouses, if they fail to meet the speed requirement of the process.
  • Dedicated seats are available for the working staff so that there is no delay / slag in time towards adjustments.
  • The beauty of the process is that the client provides the service centre with monthly volume inflow projections, which is mostly accurate with a margin of variation to 5%.
  • All breaks, inclusive of bio breaks are strictly monitored and any sort of delay is not tolerated and treated as non-compliance towards client business requirement.
The strength of the solution lies
in finding the weakest links (gaps in the system)
Constraints in the process:
  • Daily volume inflow may run over 100,000 awbs -  as the client has nearly 400 and more aeroplanes, to move around the globe, to carry parcels of different and varied varieties.
  • Process is highly tense, especially during festival season, where the vols may raise to almost double the daily volume inflow.
  • Existing staff count to do the job is nearly 120 - cannot raise further the staff count, owing to financial considerations, ie., income vs. expenditure ratio of Service Centre doesn't accomodate raise in staff, because, the business of business is business.
  • Time given to complete the task per awb is less than 60 secs. From the preliminary process study, it is observed that, most of the mistakes are because of the tight deadlines, where the employee is under high pressure to the job perfectly.  This is happening with highly skilled and certified typists as well, who fail to do the job perfectly.
  • Each field has to be manually keyed-in with expected accuracy 99.80% as per SLA.
  • Mostly foreign names, which demands additional care to type as  these names are not known to agents.
  • The team doesnt have any time to explain / assist their colleagues when requierd as each is busy in meeting their own targets.
  • In addition to the above, nearly 70% of awbs are hand written.  No proper OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is available in the open market


Solution Delivered: 

After Critically evaluating the process for over 15 working days,
implemented minor solutions screen controls during data entry., like mistake proofing etc...


Major changes were

  • to rearrange the data base based on customer.
    This solution has reduced the load on the server, thus more speed into the system
  • Segregating the customer database based on Customer / Client interaction.
    Helps "Search and Find" Operations.
  • Re-arranging data input fields to suit data entry positions.
    to help the user to identify which field has which type and kind of data
  • Implementing database search for best fit customer details.
    displays best probable input for the given output.

This solution has reduced nearly 99.8% data entry input errors thus raising quality above the expected 99.8%.  Now the bar is raised.


above all, the final credits is:

In the fourteen years of clients experience with XYZ SC, none has given such inputs to the client ABC.  They are so, over-whelmed that, they discussed the solution with the Major at Memphis to fasten up the process of implementation.