SAS Airlines, the Nordic region's largest listed airline and travel group, is a major European provider of air transportation and airline-related services to over 29 million passengers per year.

The Client’s Challenge

Towards the end of 2001, SAS initiated a number of programs designed to enhance efficiency and productivity, as well as to reduce capacity in response to weak demand following September 11.

In 2003, SAS decided to evaluate outsourcing as a strategy to deliver passenger revenue accounting (PRA) operations. Outsourcing was considered to drive greater efficiencies, reduce costs and enhance productivity.

SAS's PRA operations were running on the Impala revenue accounting system. In addition to its own PRA operations, the airline decided to outsource revenue accounting processes which it was offering to other carriers on a hosted basis on the Strex system.

At the end of the evaluation exercise, WNS was selected to manage PRA operations for both SAS and the carriers for whom it was providing hosted revenue accounting services. According to Steen Wulff, Director of passenger revenue accounting, SAS Airlines, “We selected WNS because of the high quality of talent, cultural alignment and airline industry expertise.”

The WNS Solution

Engagement with SAS began with a “lift-and-shift” of their revenue accounting process into the WNS Center of Excellence for revenue accounting in India. Several of the initiatives undertaken to improve efficiency and reduce costs of the revenue accounting process included

  • Ensuring robust and seamless transition – By leveraging its transition methodology – EnABLE – WNS ensured that the transition was seamless. It was a complex transition given that SAS’s PRA operations encompassed approximately 90 legacy applications. Adding to the complexity was the need to understand both the Impala and Strex revenue accounting systems. This required onshore training for the core-team, rigorous pre-process training for the offshore personnel, and detailed process documentation.

  • Enriching the knowledge repository tool – WNS enriched the knowledge repository tool by developing exhaustive documentation on the processes, best practices and tools, and made them easily accessible to the team.

  • Consolidating and re-engineering processes – WNS re-engineered and restructured the fare audit process to deliver enhanced revenue recovery and revenue protection to SAS. The processes have been consolidated from geographies including Europe, the Middle East and U.S. into WNS’s Center of Excellence.

Extending Your Enterprise

WNS extended SAS's enterprise by improving the efficiency, reducing costs and improving productivity for its revenue accounting operations.

Benefits delivered by the WNS team

  • Identifying recoveries of several million dollars within one year

  • Improving accuracy in interline sampling from 98 percent to 99 percent within a year, resulting in significant revenue protection

  • Delivering over 50 percent improvement in turnaround time and managing over 7.5 million exception transactions within one year

  • Reducing the cost of revenue accounting operations by approximately 30 percent annually

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