The banking and finance sectors are coming under pressure from digital players, fintechs and the biggest driver of all—changing customer expectations. In this second part of our two-part series on Operational Efficiency in the Banking & Finance Sector, we continued our conversation with a large German financial services provider, to find out how introducing a company-wide BPM software solution enables them to rise to meet the challenges of digitalization for banks.
Digitalization has had a huge impact on the finance industry in recent years, for customer and vendor alike. Banks are reimagining their services, in order to integrate them into the everyday lives of their customers—and this is increasingly digital. In other words, there must be complete integration of both analogue and digital channels, coupled with a constant benign presence in the customer’s daily life.
It goes without saying that to meet this goal, the customer must be the central focus, not the product. Banks must know their customers to be able to make the right offer. To do so, they must know their processes, redesign them in a customer-focused way and be constantly ready to adapt.
To find out more, Signavio caught up with Gisbert Beckmann and Wolfgang Tietz-Niemzok of VR FinanzDienstLeistung GmbH, who have been leading a BPM initiative at their organization since 2015. Three years on, they have seen up close how Business Process Management can transform a company, and increase operational efficiency, and ultimately increase customer satisfaction.
Know your processes
Signavio: We all know process documentation is important. But what happens afterwards, once the processes are recorded?
Beckmann: As a service provider for banks, we have a very good controlling system that is based on processes. For example, we measure how often we run a process, how much time we spend on it, and what it costs. There is a clear requirement to reduce our process costs annually. A neatly documented process is always the starting point: What does it look like and where are the set of screws we can turn?
Signavio: How do you measure the success of your processes?
Beckmann: We have a good overview of our key figures. For example, we have a very strong sense of what exactly a process costs—this is not self-evident in every bank. We have to deliver the corresponding numbers to Controlling at all times. Our KPIs are therefore continuously reviewed and adjusted. It is also important to consider what we can apply in terms of quality.
The challenges of digitalization for banks
Signavio: The subject of regulation in banks is always an interesting topic. How do you implement compliance requirements in your processes?
Tietz-Niemzok: First of all, let's take a look at what these guidelines are: Here we can identify legal requirements and requirements for risk management. The processes serve as a central focus; after all, everything else depends on them. Signavio's internal control system enables us to identify risks in the individual process steps and to deposit associated risk controls. The revision view of the processes also helps us a lot: At any point in time, we must also make it clear in retrospect how and under what instructions we have been working.
Signavio: How do you meet the requirements of digitalization and how does process management assist you?
Tietz-Niemzok: Media must be used differently, both in customer service and internally. One of our goals in this context is the paperless office. Process managers and department managers today use Signavio Process Governance to reconcile processes, while in the past a lot of paper was used. Automated release not only saves paper but also a lot of time, and accelerated processes ultimately benefit the customer.
Beckmann: One exciting topic we are working on right now is the use of software robots, which we mainly want to use where there are interface problems between different systems. Again, our focus is on accelerating our service and tailoring our offer to a high number of customers.
Key takeaways from the project
Signavio: What would you do differently with today's perspective?
Beckmann: Over the years, we have learned to develop end-to-end perspectives on processes. The sooner you learn to not only look at the individual work step, but to recognize process chains and dependencies, the more efficiently you can work. Of course, end-to-end considerations are more demanding, but from today's perspective I would start earlier.
Signavio: What clear benefits do you see today in your process initiative?
Beckmann: To change in a positive way, you first have to know exactly where you stand. The uniform presentation of our current processes represents a significant step forward for us. Process management is strategically very important: For seven years now, we have been working to increase efficiency and effectiveness to the tune of millions of euros. This gives an impression of the significance of process management at this point!
Signavio: Would you say that you achieved your goals today?
Tietz-Niemzok: We have significantly improved the topic of process evaluation. Compared to previous documentation manuals, we are able to take a 360-degree perspective on information through the structured Signavio presentation: How many control actions are there? How many repetitive actions were needed? How often is a person/organizational unit involved in processes? We did not have this kind of evaluation before. It allows us to understand our processes on a fundamental level and make the necessary improvements. In short, yes, we have achieved our goals and will continue to achieve them!
Signavio: In a nutshell, what does process management mean to you?
Beckmann: For us process management is the key tool for implementing our operational excellence strategy. It means knowing processes in order to develop them with intention and purpose. There is certainly no perfect path to sustainable process management. However, if you pay attention to a few key things, you will create a solid foundation to improve traditional approaches or even to bring innovations to market.
Signavio: Would you recommend Signavio?
Beckmann: Of course, we recommend Signavio! We chose it consciously and have never looked back. The tool dispenses with the legacies of the past, that is, the cumbersome usability and complex functions which many other BPM products still have. Signavio is simple, understandable and fast!
Bank on your own process improvement
To see just how simple, understandable and fast the SAP Signavio Process Transformation Suite really is, try it out for yourself by signing up for a free 30-day trial today. Or, if you’d like to schedule a personal demonstration first, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org