High performance workflow automation

Case study

High performance workflow automation

In the Insurance industry trying to reduce the Turnaround Time (TAT) by using workflows to manage business operations with minimal errors is still a challenge. Often, workflows involve a lot of repetitive and predictable tasks. Additionally, when a large volume of tasks have to be handled in a short span of time, traditional models tend to increase human resources. This may not be effective, not just in terms of time and dollars, but from a quality perspective too, as it is highly prone to manual errors.

Our client, who is one of the top 10 Insurance brokers in the US, was looking for ways to reduce error rates and improve TAT. Their client-facing teams had huge volumes of work queued up, which was affecting the forward business flow. The business strategy they adopted to resolve this issue was to offload all processing to a Service Center (SC).

Need of the hour

The SC personnel adhered to a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to handle different types of tasks to ensure that the deliverables are achieved within TAT. Close to 100 processes were defined in the SC and each of them was fine-tuned to target optimized results. While the optimized workflows worked to a good extent, the challenge was to consistently perform às per the rising needs of the business. Workflow automation was introduced to cut down the time taken and reduce the error rates. Still, they were looking for ways to deliver consistently at optimized efficiency. To enable this, an application was envisioned to allocate, monitor and optimize the incoming workloads.

Challenges

Impact on TAT not only affected the business financially, but also on customer satisfaction. Errors & Omissions (E&O) had a direct and significant impact on business. The challenge in this case was not just to zero in on a technical solution. It was important to understand the dynamics of the business and design a suitable solution that can scale up operations, without a significant increase in team headcount.

Solution

The objective was to provide a high-performance workflow automation solution that would enable the SC teams to scale according to the business needs. Beyond this short term goal, we envisioned long term goals of process standardizations, data analytics and predictive analysis. One of the significant aspects of this vision was to orient towards program management and focus on the strategic goals of the organization. This enabled all the stakeholders to align with the overall objective.

Our Business Analysis team conducted an extensive study of the ‘as-is-process’ to gain a thorough understanding of the logic behind all the steps involved in the processes. This enabled the team to clearly define the problem areas and map it to features that would address them. This study was performed for multiple processes and a baseline was derived to draw out a solution.

Our highly competent architects designed the technical aspects, based on which the solution was built. Here is an overview of the high-level workflow:

The application comes with a task processing screen, operations dashboard and a reports module. Our Project Management team ensured the delivery of a sturdy and high-performance application, with a response time of less than 5 seconds. The system was able to handle over a million tasks in about 6 months. The application was well-aligned to cater around 5000 SCs across 30+ teams.

Tech stack

How our solution helped

Workflow automation led to standardization of process handling across teams.

FTE Reduction

Reduction in
handling time

Quality Efficiency

Overall approach

The application is designed to anchor the process teams across locations and enable seamless operations on a continuous basis. Our overall approach is described here:

  1. The input methods for workflow automation are directly integrated into the application. This included configuring designated email boxes, folders, FTP locations and even external apps that provided data via API.
  2. The allocation logic ensures that task priority is considered and allocated to the SC user, who is skilled in handling the specific task. As part of the automatic work allocation, the queued tasks will be allocated to the SC users.
  3. The task processing screen was designed to ensure that the time taken by the processor is minimal. The processing time taken was automatically tracked and this saved time, as the processor had to make an entry in a separate time tracking application earlier. From this screen, the user can complete a task, and also take actions on what should happen next, like enabling the task to queue up for a different user or team. The application is also capable of alerting the users of possible E&O.
  4. Pre-defined templates can be used to automatically send out emails or update an external application that is interfaced via an API, after completing a task.
  5. The Operations Dashboard enabled the managers to get a clear view of the workload and identify areas that need urgent attention. From a managers’ perspective, the application provides a detailed interface to monitor the incoming volume of work, oversee the work allocation and enable the users to handle the tasks at an optimum level.
  6. Reports provide detailed tracking data and also insights to drive performance efficiency.

The application was well accepted by all the SC users. It enabled them to deliver consistently at an optimized efficiency level. By using this application, some of the teams were able to handle seasonal increase of workload by almost 30%, without supplementing the team headcount. Many teams were able to take up short term assignments, in addition to the usual volumes, and deliver on time and meet quality benchmarks.

Results

  • Application serves as a process platform for the Service Center and is used by 5000+ users
  • Avg. transactions per year – Over 5 Million
  • Successfully used by ~30 Services across 15 teams
  • Process efficiency and SLA adherence of over 95%
  • Quality efficiency of over 90%

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