Nekkanti Sea Foods Limited (NSFL) is one of the largest exporters of seafood from India and has been in this business for over two decades. From a humble beginning in the seafood industry, the organization integrated backward by venturing into deep-sea trawling and processing seafood. In 1985, they started their operations by taking up a leased processing facility in Kakinada. Later in 1989, Nekkanti set up its processing facility in Visakhapatnam. They have since then never looked back.
Nekkanti has been exporting substantial quantities of Fresh Water Shrimps in various product forms, raw, cooked, and blanched, especially PD Tail-on & Off, Butterfly, Easy Peel, Head-on & Head Less in the block and IQF packs to various international markets for the last several years.
Processing and delivering safe and quality shrimp to its customers is the core focus at Nekkanti. The processing plants produce thousands of tonnes of processed shrimp annually for export in various value-added forms. Naturally, there were numerous workflows associated with the overall food processing and support processes. The organization was facing several challenges with these processes, which included:
Paper-Based Data Processing: At each stage of seafood processing, data was recorded using paper-based forms. The manual recording system led to errors and discrepancies for both data related to the material being processed and the workforce involved in the processing. This form of data recording also led to issues for HR, as the workforce was divided across locations, type, efforts, shift process, etc. They had to depend on the paper-based effort tracker followed by the supervisor, which was quite tedious and time-taking.
Information Silos Proliferation: As the discrepancies and errors happened across various processing stages, it became challenging to pinpoint the root cause of the issue. During reconciliation, the company found discrepancies when comparing the raw material to the end product. Due to the silos, there was no single source of truth, and rectifying discrepancies became very difficult.
Issues in Performance Measurement: Due to the obliteration of accurate and effective data, it was becoming quite challenging to manage resources effectively and measure the performance of the workforce involved and the various stages involved in the process. Even for quality control, the company had to rely on paper-based data for different processing stages such as grading, soaking, and freezing.
NSFL decided to bring in innovation and automate processes and activities which were not digitized using their existing applications. They evaluated various no-code solutions as they wanted to decentralize application development to empower process owners to build solutions for their challenges without depending on the central IT team. Nekkanti strongly believed that empowering business users with the power and flexibility of a no-code platform will result in buy-in at a ground level, thereby derisking the transformation efforts to a great extent. They selected Quixy to drive their digital transformation journey as they found the platform suitable for their specific needs while being economically feasible.
Nekkanti identified and set up a core team of citizen developers composed of business users across the departments and trained them on the Quixy platform. The central IT team put together the necessary governance and monitoring structure to ensure that processes automated across different departments seamlessly integrated without any possibility for information silos and data redundancy. Business unit heads took over the ownership and accountability for the digitization efforts within their groups.
The core team established selection criteria for the high-impact processes to be automated and identified these processes for the first implementation phase. These included Inward Entry, Daily Quantity Reconciliation, Shift Output Reports, Facilitators Commission Processing, Payment Processing to name a few.
All the selected processes were automated and rolled out for the first processing center within six weeks, including requirements, design, implementation, and testing. The deployment for the remaining centers was thereafter completed within one week. Through this automation, key paper-based processes were eliminated. Whatsapp integration allowed prompt alerts and notifications for all key activities involved starting from the arrival of the raw material, weighment entry, daily quantity reconciliation, shift output report, attendance, payroll processing, to facilitators commission processing.
Quixy helped Nekkanti’s staff automate high-impact paper and excel-based processes involved at various stages of seafood processing. The automated system provided the single source of truth that helped eliminate errors and reconciliation issues from the manual recording of data, improve productivity & efficiency, and bring transparency into operations. Overall, Nekkanti improved its productivity by over 15% and reduced the application development time by over 60%.