Case management is the handling of non-routine or unpredictable business processes, including communications, forms, documents, contracts, claims, proposals, loans, and reports. It includes any process or project that has a defined beginning and end, where the process steps and the outcome may change during the course of the process, and where associated content needs to be grouped and managed as a case-file or project-file. Making an informed decision comes down to having the right information at the right time. How can you have it without wasting hours of your precious time? Case management solutions are the answer.
Historically, process automation solutions have been rigid in their workflows, lacking the ability to re-route as the case progresses. However, a completely free-to-change process could introduce shortfalls in compliance and productivity. So, how to handle the process flexibly while automating the workflow and ensuring compliance? How to use technology to gain the most out of the existing content, knowing that it isn’t possible if it only exists on paper or in a locked electronic format like PDF, JPEG, e-Mail or Word?
BPM vs case management solutions
In a pursue to make content management processes more structured, reliable and cost efficient, enterprises have been improving their systems to integrate fully automated and structured solutions for their businesses. Thereby, Business Process Management (BPM) systems have been broadly adopted as the key for process optimization. In fact, these are ideal when using simple standard workflows, where processes are usually predictable, linear and do not require intensive human intervention.
However, and even tough process automation may be rewarded, BPM systems are mostly very stiff, involving complex predefined paths for extensive frameworks that difficult any change to the process as the case develops. These tend to jeopardize flexibility and coordination between departments and stakeholders, giving users poor control over information along the process.
For many organizations, case-based processing makes up more than half of their main business processes. And it is the increasing impact that case management is having on customer service and operational efficiency that make it especially relevant.
AIIM conducted a study on this topic and here are some key findings that are worth to think about:
- For 67% of respondents, half or more of their main LOB processes involve connecting multi-channel inbound content to one managed process. One-third consider this to be their biggest single problem in managing cases.
- 23% admit that their management of inbound emails and faxes is somewhat ad hoc, or even “chaotic”. Voice and hand-written correspondence even more so.
- While 47% have automated management of inbound invoices and web forms, only 34% automate email routing. Only 29% automate handling of forms on paper.
- 22% have a dedicated case management system and 16% a dedicated BPM suite. 42% currently use workflow in their DM or ECM systems for process management, 20% have a custom system or middleware.
- The most important features for a modern case management system are flexible workflows, comprehensive monitoring and reporting, and direct archive to records management. Direct capture across inbound streams and better pattern detection and analytics are also important.
- Automated classification and automated recognition and routing of inbound content are desirable features for 80% of respondents, although only 7% have them now. Routing to the case file by customer ID and automated monitoring and alerts are also much sought after – 20% have these now.
- For 51% of the organizations polled, half or more of their business processes are not straightforward or predictable. For 62% half or more processes involve assembling a case folder, claim file, project folder, proposal, etc.
That’s why for non-routine processes, case management represents a far more suitable system than a BPM system. It provides a dynamic and constant mutable structure, involving the coordination of multiple tasks throughout a stream of activities.
Case management benefits
By pre-setting a structured pathway for each outcome of the process, users can better control the information and seamlessly coordinate the tasks between different stakeholders. Also, for cases requiring better collaboration between parts and adaptability along the process, case management give users the chance to continuously exchange information between stakeholders using collaborative tools and platforms.
Case management solutions like Papersoft’s allow processes to be effectively handled both vertically and horizontally among the entire organization and information to be accessed and managed over the entire length of time. By incorporating both a system of engagement and a system of records framework, case management introduces an open, unstructured and flexible approach, also including an important level of automation and guaranteeing process efficiency, encrypted security and embedded compliance. Besides, users don’t lose sight of cases because things are always visible, you can track who (and when) is working on a case, it ensures all required tasks are completed for each case and it helps users process more cases easily.
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