How can companies monitor daily tasks while employees work remotely in an efficient way? Business process management applications could help
Since the industrial revolution, processes have continually changed to better serve a business in the provision of goods or services that a customer wants in the timescales that are expected in the most cost-effective manner. While all businesses have processes, those that have better knowledge and control combined with the ability to easily change them are the ones that are consistently more successful.
Technology change over the past ten years has fundamentally altered how a customer wants to interact with a company. Customers are now more likely to use a website, mobile app, e-mail or social networking site than send a letter.
This choice also means that a single channel is unlikely to satisfy all customer expectations, and companies need to be able to seamlessly switch in response to that. The expectation of customer requests being satisfied correctly first time still remains. This shift is requiring companies to reconsider how they best manage customer interactions and move away from the document-centric model that has served them well in the past.
Many businesses have set up specialist teams to handle each of the different electronic channels available. These teams have grown in response to an organisation’s lack of ability to provide the mechanisms to manage the interaction and transparency that both their staff and the customer require.
For some of these channels, the team that is dealing with the enquiry is rarely doing the work themselves but is focused on ensuring that somebody else in the company treats a request with more urgency, resolves an issue or rectifies a mistake.
Business process management (BPM)-enabled applications are a solution to this challenge. Irrespective of how a customer tries to engage in the process, the organisation can be certain that the work will be given to staff in the order of priority that is most important.
Service-level agreements should be more than a measurement reported at the end of the month. A BPM-enabled application actively manages the work tasks and required service levels to meet both customer expectations and to achieve business goals.
Business processes are carried out by people, and getting the work to the right person is part of the challenge for a manager. In many companies, giving work out can take an inordinate amount of time, but with application support the manager can make decisions at the beginning of the day and then focus on adding value by coaching with the knowledge that everybody else in the team will be kept busy with work automatically appearing in their in-tray.
A BPM-enabled application also gives organisations the choice to allow people to work remotely. Recent research has shown that people with longer commutes have higher incidences of absenteeism, however, many service-based organisations still move the people to the workplace.
One of the most common issues raised by managers who are first looking at home working for processing staff is how will they know that they are working? The information available from a BPM-enabled application allows a manager to understand which of their staff is achieving what is required and allows comparison with their peers in the team and the wider organisation.
And to bring an organisation’s business process back to the customer, a BPM-enabled application allows a company to send status updates through whatever mechanism the customer or company feels is best, whether that is tweeting, sending an e-mail or letter.
For many companies, a document-centric view of a customer’s interactions has served them well over the past ten years. However, when a document no longer exists, the solutions used to control the process need to change.
Jarrod Poynton is the head of solutions at DST Global Solutions. AWD, the company’s BPM-enabled application, supports more than 220,000 users in many of the world’s biggest financial services institutions.