Financial Services and Banking Automation Through BPM
We released a great case study on First West Credit Union, and the customer achieved some amazing results through automation and smartforms.
“With K2, we can take the member process from hours – and multiple sessions – down to less than 40 minutes,” explained Arrowsmith. “It’s a much simpler and better experience for the member, and made it easier for member service representatives to get involved with new business banking opportunities.”
I wanted to share this demo for any service company looking to automate the initiation of new service with forms. Although this demo ties to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, note that because of K2’s extensive CRM integration capabilities, this could tie into just about anything, including Salesforce.
Forms have been a way of life as long as I can remember. I filled out forms in school, forms for sports, forms for work, forms in the military, forms for taxes, and on and on. Hell, I even filled out forms on a typewriter (Link to wikipedia for those young enough to not know what that is 😉 Wikipedia Typewriter) . We have come a long way since the typewriter, or have we? Why are most forms so damn static? Why do I have to re-enter information over and over again, when they know who I am? I really cringe when I see some of the machinations (check-one $20 word per post) of the digital form world. And in business, poorly designed forms lacking strong design mean lost time, incorrectly entered data and missing information. So, I asked myself a critical question, “Why are most digital forms still so damn painful?” I think there are several reasons, a few outlined below:
Most digital forms are just a duplication of their paper brethren
Forms are thrown together on the fly without thought given to the underlying requirements
Most forms are not designed with the end user in mind
In steps the Form 2.0. The new forms on the street are intelligent, informative and “smart”. They go way beyond the basic data entry, and provide an informative dashboard for collecting information and making informed decisions. Below are 5 requirements of the new form, and can also be deemed as a technical requirements for any organization looking to implement:
Modular Views – How many times are you forced to have multiple applications open to fill out a form? The new digital form is really a digital dashboard, with info, charts and graphics all designed to make a quick informed entry of data.
Data-Centric Design – the first step in any form design happens at the data layer. Being able to surface information quickly, with no code from all types of data sources is an absolute necessity, as well as writing information to the right system(s) upon completion. K2 has some really cool, patented technology called a SmartObject that provides powerful data access. More here: K2 Data & SmartObjects
System Spanning – Organizations are complex beasts today, and they leverage a wide variety of systems: SAP, Oracle, Salesforce, Microsoft SharePoint, etc. Interfacing with all your Line of Business Systems is absolutely critical in today’s world, and is a true requirement for optimal form efficiency. Being able to read and write to all your departmental and enterprise systems through a single interface can streamline processes, and improve productivity. Of course, this also needs to be done with little or no code.
Automation – Keystrokes kill efficiency, and form automation is key. The use of intelligent drop downs, fields that auto-populate based on user credentials and lookups to core systems are examples of automation. The automation should guide the user, validate data, and drive the required end result.
Dynamic Functionality – A dynamic form can morph its layout based on a wide variety of input. Examples include the addition or removal of fields or views based on data entry. Another is this notion of “state”, where a form can be changed based on who is filling it out, or where it is surfaced in a process.
Presented this overview at SharePoint Saturday in Utah this past weekend. Some good info on how to drive paperless transformation with 3 distinct technical phases: scanning, digital forms and workflow. In the end, tie them all together by Building Your Own Apps (BYOA).
It is amazing how many businesses still conduct many customer facing operations using paper, especially when it comes to collecting data. With all the talk of the benefits of the paperless office, eliminating paper is still a slow process for most organizations. While scanning and capture can help reduce paper workloads, the next logical step is usually the elimination of paper-based forms with digital forms. Below are some of the key benefits of any paperless form initiative:
Cost Savings from Paper Forms – the most basic benefit is the cost savings on form production and printing. Depending on how you create your forms, this can be a tremendous cost savings both in production, and in the back end processing.
Rapid Deployment – with digital forms, you can create your form quickly, and deploy it just as fast. No more waiting for print services or a form order. Faster deployment means collecting that data, and a shorter time to data usability.
Instant Access to Data – with digital forms, your data is instantly accessible, in real time. You can quickly and easily make informed business decisions with all the information you require.
Reduced Operational Costs – without the need for back-end form data entry and/or scanning and processing, you can now reduce personnel requirements, and drive down costs.
Enable Your Mobile Workforce – with the advent of mobile technology, everyone can now be a “data collector”. Gathering information from all your employees can now be accomplished in the blink of an eye, from any location.