Business insights

More than just tech selection: a new approach to Operational Efficiency

More than just tech selection: a new approach to Operational Efficiency

Many Financial Services and Insurance businesses share the same challenges relating to operations, from seeking efficiency and service level improvements to achieving cost reductions in the context of global competition. Although there are plenty of technologies out there, taking a tech-only approach that fails to deep-dive into processes and understand how the business works, can be short-sighted. Fincons illustrates its distinctive, experience-based approach to shaping the right solution that fully responds to Banks and Insurance Companies’ needs.

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FSI businesses need to achieve better Operational Efficiency to stay competitive but taking a tech-first approach is not always preferable. 

The benefits of real Operational Efficiency

Increasing operation efficiency is the way to reach several benefits in the management of business processes. It is possible to reduce inefficiencies, increase productivity and help businesses reduce the pressure of repetitive manual tasks on staff. But businesses will reap many other benefits too: better quality, more control and ability to form strategic vision, faster execution, service level improvement, scalability and flexibility are all part of the package.
But to leverage the whole potential of Operational Efficiency a structured and well-thought out project methodology is required. Discover more below.

Processes, operations and context know-how. A must have pre condition for efficiency improvement projects

Given the range of technological tools available, it’s unsurprising to find that many managers expected to solve their issues just with the introduction of RPA technologies.
However, RPA should only be considered as one of the possible short term alternatives, and should only be preferred in some specific cases where it's not possible to access the data from legacy systems directly or through other more resilient technologies such as services or APIs provided by back-end systems. 
RPAs are in fact very powerful tools to be used to simulate the user working on the user interface of a system, thus realizing a sort of automation. These automations, however, are only robust if the integrated system is not modified anyway in its UI, and this is the reason why this solution should be used for third party solutions, for instance, or for very old solutions, where the cost and business continuity risks of evolving into API based systems may be prohibitive.
Operational Efficiency cannot be addressed simply through the selection and adoption of one of the existing market solutions, as this is a short-sighted and limited approach that tends to improve small parts of a process, for only a limited period.
Fincons believes that a deep and complete understanding of end-to-end processes, of the operational and technological context are the required steps for the adoption of solutions that really respond to the customer's needs with a forward-thinking perspective also in the medium and long term. In short, a through diagnosis is step one to selecting the right “cure”.

The Fincons vision on Operational Efficiency

Fincons holds that it is necessary to first evaluate the specific scenario of a company before starting project execution. 
The Fincons approach starts with analysing two main areas for the creation of a complete solution that fully exploits the capabilities of various technologies available on the market to meet clients' needs.
These are:

  • process management, the set of practices and tools to streamline processes, even very complex ones, in an end-to-end logic;
  • process automation, the set of practices and technologies to automate tasks, also by using technologies focused on simulating the behaviour of a human agent.

By analysing each business process, FSI companies can discover specific maturity levels which helps in the definition and in the prioritization of the required interventions, allowing companies to focus first on recurrent processes that can be streamlined and automated obtaining the major benefits, avoiding activities on low-frequency tasks that can be still managed manually without operational issues, and also  to avoid  investing in the automation of rare situations so unique that they may still require the human brain to be solved. 

Specifically, if the process is well-structured, but there is a high degree of human involvement in the execution of the steps, it is necessary to isolate the single steps and understand if and which manual activities can be automated.

If the process is unstructured and there is a high degree of human involvement in the execution of the steps it is usually necessary to first structure the processes, then isolate the single steps and understand if and which manual activities can be automated.

Finally, when the process is structured, and there is already a high level of automation in the execution of the steps, we may find that it is best to check whether the single steps are running correctly.

A five step approach to Operational Efficiency

The Fincons’ approach to Operations Efficiency is an iterative process of continuous improvement already successfully applied over the years in banking and insurance contexts.
Thanks to this approach it is possible to integrate and combine the technological capabilities of different products that are able to add cognitive abilities to solutions with intelligence modules (artificial and not artificial).
Fincons’ tried and tested approach can be summarized into five main phases:

  1. Strategy
    Where we support businesses in identifying which benefit to pursue first. Our experience in the sector helps support companies as they define their business goals, select the best KPIs and frame the way that they will measure benefits, building a precise roadmap and evaluating ROI.
  2. Discovery
    Fincons Group guides FSI companies in processes assessment with a range of tools and methodologies (automation maturity model, process mining, …), to map the actors and system involved, identify pain points, and clearly define the right problem to solve first.
  3. Design and plan
    Fincons’ Efficiency Architecture comes with several components, individually enabled to provide endless possibilities to integrate across touchpoints and capabilities. We tailor our flexible architecture to specific business needs, incrementing from the first MVP to the complete solution.
  4. Development
    Via an iterative approach to effectively build up the solution in an incremental way, getting feedback early and promptly adapting if needed.
  5. Delivery
    Defining the right launch strategy and mitigating risk for painless deployment. Finally, we measure KPIs again to benchmark expectations.

A structured approach in which the support of experienced system integrators as Fincons can help achieve lasting results by intervening on the right processes at the right time, with the right technological solution.

AI to boost automation to the next level

Moreover, with the latest AI technologies, process automation can reach new levels of accuracy, making it much more effective and significantly reducing human intervention for appropriate interpretation and response.

For example, it's possible to automatically process and understand complex text communications written in natural language, such as emails, tickets, contracts and attachments, and to route and manage requests in the correct way.

In addition, thanks to vision recognition technologies, it is possible to automatically recognise photos and images, extracting relevant metadata to help process and manage the file in the right way.

A series of intelligent activities that, until a few years ago, were the prerogative of humans, can now be automated, freeing up time to devote to more complex and deserving cases.

Do you want to discover more?
Contact us to find out how we help FSI businesses achieve real Operational Efficiency!

Roberto Guarinelli - Fincons Group Roberto Guarinelli

Fincons Group

Director of Global Banking Strategy & Development