Candidate Business Processes for Documenting and Analysis

Compliance: with increasing regulation around fraud, terrorism, Sarbanes-Oxley, data protection, and quality-management systems, processes must be consistent and traceable.

With processes managed in various locations, many of them ad hoc in nature, unintended non-compliance occurs as efforts to keep employees up-to-date lags changing regulations.

Documenting business processes and their control points is an important means of insuring (and documenting for the auditors) that appropriate “checks and balances” are in place. When the CEO and CFO have to attest to operations with their signatures, documentation of compliance is critical.

Opening accounts: even within the same organization the processes for opening a new account can vary significantly for different types of accounts, even though the same information tends to form the basis of each “customer” application.

With too much time spent duplicating efforts, not only is there a potential for inaccuracy but also this can cause a customer relationship to get started on the wrong foot.

Event-driven marketing: organizations have huge amounts of relevant information yet can fail to offer customers services when the opportunity presents itself.  An example of this is the way many firms handle account closings, allowing customers to “churn” between firms.

This is particularly pertinent when organizations have set business objectives to cross sell more products to their existing customers or to increase/improve customer retention.

Sorting out the front office: many customer interactions are dictated by the processes that sit behind the front office rather than being dictated by specific customer requirements.

This often means wading through forms or not being able to get basic account information via websites. Customers are increasingly looking for easy-to-use, “24/7 access” with processes that can cope with multiple points of access.

Getting real benefits out of business process outsourcing: outsourcing is common for large companies and some smaller businesses. The existing approach of exporting jobs and processes many times doesn’t always work because of communication problems between involved parties.  Bottlenecks and other problems with processes are often exported to organizations with cheaper – often less knowledgeable – manpower.

Enabling contingency processes: most systems and processes are designed to function in a certain way, which is great when dealing with standard situations. What happens when things go outside the process scope and do not allow for (typical) non-standard requests?

Product configuration: financial firms can learn a lot from manufacturers. For example, many products can be made in any number of combinations depending on the customer’s needs.

Complaints tracking: not that your business gets any but complaints are often the most useful source of feedback for a company; in addition they are also an opportunity to cement the client relationship by providing a successful resolution to problems.  There is typically a small minority of ‘complainers’ and it may be that the cost of servicing these individuals is more than their value as a customer.

Competitive response: financial firms compete on various other terms for shrinking margins. To better understand operations means being more competitive. “If you can measure, you can manage.”  The better you manage; the more competitive you are.