Are there inefficiencies in your organization that you are looking to eliminate through process automation? Do you have business processes that are redundant, prone to error or bottlenecks, or simply taking up too much of your resources’ time? More and more companies are leaning toward streamlining processes through automation, like case management, quote to cash, invoices, expense claims, procurement, inventory management and more. When choosing a solution to help you meet your business automation needs, it’s important to look for one that promises to not only automate processes, but also measure the efficiency of your operations. Nothing is worse than not being able to measure key performance indicators (KPIs) to actually determine whether you are getting a good return on investment.
Island Savings Credit Union found that just being able to determine its most expensive process – mortgage origination – and eliminate inefficiencies by automating the process, would end up saving the company between $1.4 and $1.7 million per year.
Being able to measure this kind of efficiency means that your process automation system needs reporting capabilities that give you visibility and insight into the performance of each process you have automated. Here is a checklist of reporting capabilities to consider when evaluating systems:
Full visibility into processes
To effectively manage and measure process efficiency, managers first need full visibility into the processes they are responsible for. Look for systems with management dashboards that provide a view into all processes from a single interface and more detailed information about a specific process instance as needed. This kind of visibility will help managers keep track of the status of each process, so issues that come up can be quickly resolved.
Reporting capabilities are an important part of process automation. Your system should provide out-of-the-box reports that span real-time, historical, auditing and analytical information. This allows managers to monitor processes, measure outlets, and clearly see how each process is performing. This also makes it possible to identify remaining inefficiencies that could be costing the company time and money, and spot trends that can help with forecasting. Your system’s reports should have the ability to provide information about an entire process or drill down to give managers specifics about a particular user’s performance. Out-of-the-box reports should include:
- Activity statistics
- Process information
- Process and business overviews
Managers sometimes need specialized, custom reports that pull together a particular set of information about a process. Custom reports can be difficult to create, often requiring code and technical resources to produce. Systems with the ability to create custom reports without having to resort to code make it possible for business users to create their own reports. This prevents them from having to rely on others for this function and frees up technical resources to focus on mission-critical projects.
Managers don’t want to have to micro manage, but they also need to be sure that work is getting done on time. Escalation capabilities can help managers do just this without breathing down the necks of their employees. Look for escalation capabilities that automatically reroute tasks based on predefined criteria or alert managers when a task isn’t completed within a designated timeframe. This way a manager only has to step in when a task is at risk and still be confident that work is being completed.
Manual reporting capabilities
Larger, more complex processes, like inventory management, quote to cash and case management, may have manual components within a larger automated process. Systems should have the ability to measure the process end to end, including any manual processes that fall within the larger process. This makes it easy to maintain end-to-end process visibility, while also giving managers the ability to measure manual components of a process to identify further opportunities for improvement.
K2 provides a platform for business applications, which allows you to quickly build and deploy business apps that automate and speed up business processes across your organization. The platform offers all of the reporting and management capabilities listed above, making it easy to not only manage processes but get the information you need to measure the efficiency of your processes, from individual user performance to the efficiency of the process as a whole. Comprehensive insight capabilities will not only allow you to measure process efficiency and identify further opportunities for automation, but will also provide you with information that can help with forecasting, risk management and other critical business decisions.
Check out the Island Savings case study to learn more about K2 and the reporting capabilities that K2 provides. For more information, visit K2.com.