The fact that customers’ needs are changing all the time, and at an accelerating pace, demands an agile response from the companies that serve them. To stay relevant, they must keep reviewing, refining, and even reinventing their business processes to reflect the way the world is changing.
Businesses must also be able to adapt to other broader changes in the market, such as the impact of the pandemic on supply/demand and buyer behavior. Disruptive forces are never far away, either. Somewhere, right now, a rival could be setting a higher bar for employee or customer experiences, raising market expectations.
These strategic imperatives, coupled with the perpetual need to boost cost efficiency, productivity, and compliance, are a major motivator for enterprise digital transformation initiatives today.
Yet, unless business processes and supporting content are managed in a seamlessly interlinked and intelligent way, it can be difficult for organizations to deliver the desired outcomes.
Transforming insurance claims management
Insurance claims handling is a resource-intensive activity that needs to be managed efficiently to ensure a positive customer experience. But the scope for bold new process efficiencies, more automated workflow for routine case-handling, and ultimately more differentiated customer experiences remains restricted as long as teams need to switch between different IT systems and screens to inform their next action.
Being able to manage business processes and supporting content together via the same platform would enable insurance companies to innovate in a range of ways. This might involve using content sentiment analysis to help prioritize responses to angry or anxious customers, for instance; or providing facilities for clients to upload their own claims forms, photos, and other evidence to accelerate processing.
Given that the teams currently handling claims workloads will have a strong grasp of relative case complexity, who the subject experts are, and how those people’s time is best spent, it follows that these users are the ideal people to adapt and hone case management processes.
It’s this kind of adaptive scenario businesses should be aiming for – rather than one in which they try to specify the ultimate new process up front, and build this rigidly into everyday operations for the next five years (during which time needs will undoubtedly change, and new service options will come to the fore.)
The ideal is to stay flexible, providing strong but malleable parameters that the business can adapt as needed, because there will always be new room for improvement.
Contract handling & compliance
Contract management is an area that’s ripe for transformation across all kinds of businesses. A more integrated and intelligent approach to managing processes and content would enable organizations to tighten and streamline compliance, security, and information governance, and to manage contracts and supplier relationships in a smarter and more strategic way. That could be by linking contracts to supplier records, timelines, and cost/value analytics, to inform process automation/contact prioritization/business planning, for example.
Banks and financial services providers also recognize the potential to combine agreements with their own customizable intelligence to manage new and enhanced regulations around the retention and management of data – requirements that might otherwise tie up teams for months. Using intelligent content analytics and extraction would allow financial organizations to perform automated analysis of their loan agreements, for instance, storing a set of metadata for each one – as stipulated by regulators.
Aligning workflow & all forms of supporting content
Laying the foundations for next-generation business process management must start with a platform that can link processes and relevant content and deliver them to the right person, in the right context, at the right time so that they can complete tasks promptly, confidently, and efficiently.
Where legacy investments are holding back transformation, consider a solution that preserves the value of ERP or CRM systems via direct integration, so that the rich data in these systems can be put to extended business use.
Content federation (using virtual/external information objects to create a 360 degree view of diverse information stored across ERP, CRM systems, and more) and intelligent information management provide a path forward here, allowing content from other line-of-business applications to be brought into play. It could even provide an initial step to eventual system consolidation, keeping the business’s options open.
However businesses view it, a bold new future starts with greater alignment and agility in the way businesses manage both business process workflows and any supporting content.
Gregor Joeris is CTO of SER Group, which specializes in designing digital solutions for intelligent information and process. For a fuller discussion of the opportunities for holistic BPM/ECM transformation, SER Group has produced a comprehensive guide that is available for download from its website.