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Streamlined processes pay

Conclusion: Your business is only as good as your workflow processes

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  • Written by  Brent Gohl, Wolters Kluwer Financial Services
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  • Comments:   DISQUS_COMMENTS
Streamlined processes pay

This is the final installment in a three-part case study about business process management. Click for Part 1: “Time for business process management in your bank?” and Part 2: “What does inefficiency really cost you?”

The past few years have been a time of unprecedented challenges for the bank we’ve been following in this series. Regulators have become more aggressive in their compliance enforcement; customers are more demanding in the quality and quantity of services they desire; and the bank’s traditional banking models have become obsolete.

The institution recently implemented a business process management (BPM) discipline to help it gain the clarity and insight it needs to make business decisions that grow profitability while proactively managing operational risk and compliance. With a sound BPM strategy in place, the bank has become more adept at capitalizing on emerging business opportunities, identifying prospective deals ahead of its competitors, and heading off risk and regulatory issues before they become critical.

Benefits of BPM

Remember, with BPM, your business is as only good as your workflow processes are. BPM can help organizations:

• Gain a competitive advantage

• Optimize your workflow processes

• Reduce costs

• Increase customer satisfaction

• Provide operational transparency and accountability

• Consolidate data

As for the bank, after its workflow analysis, the bank started looking at multiple time and cost-saving opportunities throughout the organization. As they became more familiar with their workflow processes, the bank could drill down to ask such questions as, “How long does it take employees to complete that task?” and “Could that task be completed in a more effective manner?”

When you can answer those questions, it becomes much easier to streamline your processes for the greatest efficiency.

Think big, but start small (if necessary)

While this bank decided to implement BPM on a larger scale, don’t be afraid to start small.

Take a look at your organization to determine what works best for you. Some organizations prefer an incremental approach to BPM rather than forcing big changes all at once. Starting with the easy wins that deliver measurable results may help gain companywide confidence and pave the way for a much larger BPM implementation later on.

Every journey begins with a first step—and BPM is no different.

Many financial institutions now recognize the long-term benefits of a BPM discipline, but are often under the impression that implementing a BPM solution is a complicated and costly undertaking.

It’s not. Especially if you follow these simple guidelines:

• Set reasonable and attainable expectations.

• Take the time to define and document your workflow processes.

• Choose a BPM solution that best meets your organizational needs and goals, and will grow with your organization.

• Approach the implementation in an organized manner.

• Don’t take on more than you can manage.

Summing it all up

While these are clearly challenging times for financial institutions, success or failure depends on how far you are willing to go to win new customers and keep existing ones satisfied. More than ever, banks need to put customers at the center of everything they do.

Implementing an effective BPM discipline does just that. BPM means employees aren’t repeatedly asking for emails, searching through file cabinets, or waiting for documents.

As a result, they have more time to engage with customers, respond to their queries faster, decrease cycle times and errors, and focus on the right customer-centric business tasks—all of which are prerequisites to achieving higher customer satisfactions levels.

And, when customers are satisfied, positive business results tend to follow.

About the author

Brent Gohl is a product manager at Wolters Kluwer Financial Services, a provider of risk management, compliance, finance, and audit solutions. He can be reached at [email protected]

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