Workforce Optimization drives operational excellence in service-oriented industries.
While almost all industries have back-office operations, service industries in particular have high-volume, process-oriented functions for which they historically have had very limited visibility into, and understanding of, how work is actually processed. These functions include account set up and maintenance, billing, order processing, claims and underwriting, case management, and more.
Not surprisingly, the industries that have been first to embrace back-office workforce optimization are:
- Banking and financial services
- Insurance and healthcare
- Business process outsourcers.
Additionally, business process management executives charged with process optimization across these and other industries have been the early beneficiaries of implementing Verint Impact 360 for Back-office Operations workforce optimization solutions.
Banking and Financial Services
The Banking and Financial Services industry has likely experienced more change in the last few years than any other industry due to the economic crisis and increased government regulations and public scrutiny. A number of leading banks have turned to enterprise workforce management to help create a more agile operation; one able to quickly adapt to changes and shift resources across the organization to drive operational excellence, lower costs, and improve the customer experience.
Verint’s Impact 360 Workforce Optimization solutions help banks manage their highest cost – their workforce. Within functional areas, workforce optimization helps improve the utilization, productivity, and quality output of the individual, enabling functions to absorb growth and handle more transactions with the same or fewer resources, as one national bank did in their document management organization and achieved a 20 percent improvement in productivity.
Across the enterprise, banks are training resources to support multiple channels, such as the branch, contact center, web and mobile, or back-office operations. Doing so helps banks:
- Improve the consistency of the customer experience, regardless of the channel the customer uses
- Reduce idle time and overtime with enterprise workforce management by shifting resources across the organization to handle intraday and seasonal service peaks, like one an education financing lender did and reduced shrinkage by 10 percent
- Create a more agile operation, able to respond to market changes faster and more effectively
- Encourage knowledge transfer and sharing between functional areas
- Increase employee engagement, enhancing their skills and providing alternate career paths.
Insurance and Healthcare
For the insurance industry, the 20th century was policy centric – focused on product. The 21st century, however, is customer-centric – focused on service. Whether it's claims processing, handling a call center inquiry or following up on a commission payment, insurers are intensely focused on efficiency and service – accomplishing these kinds of activities as quickly and accurately as possible, at the lowest cost. Yet “doing more with less” is a daunting challenge.
With multiple, autonomous functions and disparate systems that don't work together and do not foster information sharing, management can't get a real-time view of volume and activity, plan for current and future needs, and assess quality and compliance. The Impact 360 for Back-office Operations and Desktop and Process Analytics solutions help insurers:
- Gain operational visibility, identifying and capturing hidden capacity by creating a holistic view of their entire operations, incorporating all activities and KPIs with automated workforce and performance management tools. One mutual life insurer was able to decrease service delivery time by 60 percent.
- Increase throughput, turnaround time and quality through leading-edge desktop and process analytics solutions that can identify opportunities to streamline processes, ensure process adherence, decrease idle time, and eliminate low-value activities. A large banking and insurance provider was able to redirected employees to higher value production activities and improved productivity by 10 percent.
- Generate robust reporting that enables actionable intelligence for proactive planning and intra-day responsiveness vs. simple historical analysis. One BCBS insurer implemented workforce optimization to provide “a much needed management and reporting foundation” that enabled segment-level statistics/metrics, end-to-end KPI development and reporting, and improved performance management and controls over the accuracy of claim payout.
Business Process Outsourcers
The outsourcing industry is changing. The labor arbitrage benefits of offshoring are decreasing, customers are demanding transaction-based versus FTE-based contracts, and many outsourcers are taking on more complex tasks that require knowledge workers, versus straight through processing. To remain competitive and increase operating margins, outsourcers need to improve the efficiencies of their people, processes and technologies. Impact 360 for Back-office Operations helps outsourcers to optimize resource utilization, increase throughput, and ensure compliance to customer standards.
Whether on-shore of off-shore, simple transactions or complex processes, workforce optimization is helping outsourcers meet their service and operational goals. For example:
- Trinet, an HR services outsourcer, created a single framework to equitably measure performance across the organization with the Impact 360 Performance Management solution. They dramatically reduced overtime and improved service during peak seasons by enabling cross functional deployment of resources based on customer demand.
- StarTek was experiencing an increase in the amount of back-office work it was performing for its clients, from provisioning products to complex order management services. They deployed the Impact 360 Desktop and Process Analytics solution to gain visibility into, capture and quantify the efficiency and productivity of their off-line agents. StarTek was able to increase employee efficiency by 10 percent, improve application navigation and usage by 20 percent, and saved one client nearly $100,000 by processing more items with fewer staff.
- A global IT help desk support provider used Impact 360 Enterprise Workforce Management to create a single, virtual queue of all work requests and manage inventory levels across multiple sites against service level compliance. They improved productivity by 16 percent through the redeployment of previously underutilized capacity, achieving a greater than 500 percent ROI.
Business Process Improvement Executives
Business process improvement executives are charged with streamlining processes across their organizations. Whether they employ Lean, Six Sigma or other methodologies, executives are still challenged with ensuring that once they’ve mapped the optimal process, the individuals performing the process follow it. Impact 360 Desktop and Process Analytics gives organizations the insight to understand how work is being processed, highlights opportunities for improvements, and enables them to monitor performance for process adherence and sustainability.
Typically, the first step in any process improvement initiative is to baseline the “as is” state. Application Event Triggering, a component of the Desktop and Process Analytics suite, captures events directly at the employee desktop. Managers can associate the events with process steps, and utilize Process Discovery to create accurate, real-time process maps that identify process variations and bottlenecks, the number of paths taken, and enable you to drill down to the individual to understand how they are handling the work. This replaces cumbersome and time consuming observations, and can generate a broader sampling than in traditional studies.
Process Guidance provides personalized reminders and guides as to next steps, or unique conditions based on where an individual is in a specific process or transaction, which is especially helpful when rolling out changes. Process Analysis can monitor process adherence and handle times for each distinct step in a process.
Together, these components help business process improvement executives baseline processes, identify variances and bottlenecks, and monitor changes for sustainability and continuous process improvement.