By Amanda Ulery, Hyland, product marketing team
Case management. If you think the concept only applies to the courtroom or social services agencies, you might want to take a second look. While case management has its roots in these and other specialized fields, the IT world has embraced and extended the concept, applying its principles and capabilities to cover a much broader scope.
As technology has evolved with changing business needs, vendors now offer solutions to support work that is unstructured, unpredictable and collaborative – taking the conversation beyond the process automation and efficiency-driven solutions that organizations have long been using to handle repetitive and tedious tasks. Innovative vendors are designing case management software tools and technologies to support the “knowledge worker” and information-centric work – ultimately creating better experiences for, service to and relationships with customers.
So, can your organization benefit from a case management solution? Read on – and ask yourself these five questions – to find out.
1. Are key employees managing work that can’t be fully automated – and could they be doing it better?
Think about the critical areas in your organization that are heavily dependent upon your “knowledge workers” – or any individuals expected to use their knowledge, decisions and discretion to determine the outcome of work. These include roles like university counselors, attorneys, project managers, customer service managers, HR specialists, investigators, claims adjusters, underwriters and more. Do these employees need a better way to manage their work, including unpredictable tasks, exceptions, incidents, investigations and complex requests?
If you have areas where employees are interacting with and relying on information to make decisions, you could benefit from document management software and the ability to manage those relationships, requests, issues and investigations like a “case.”
2. Is business information scattered across Excel spreadsheets, file shares, email inboxes and antiquated departmental apps?
Consider work across your organization that employees are currently managing in scattered spreadsheets, paper or electronic file shares or departmental databases like Access or Lotus Notes. How are business users handling the related information and key supporting content required to make decisions? Is information getting lost, misplaced, or is it frequently out of -date?
If users spend time searching across locations and applications to find the information they need, case management capabilities can provide a better option. Case management solutions provide instant access to all information in one complete view – including data, documents, notes and other information surrounding a case, customer, incident, investigation or relationship. With all data and documents in one central location, you ensure that employees are accessing the most up-to-date information.
And by eliminating the need for them to switch between information silos to get their work done, you’ll increase both productivity and satisfaction.
3. Is there room to improve your customer-facing work processes?
The customer is at the center of a successful case management approach. In fact, 58 percent of organizations consider case handling to be vital or very important to their customer experience management, according to AIIM research. Think about your processes, people and departments that are customer-, employee-, constituent- or student-facing. Do you want to improve these relationships and better manage the critical information that supports them?
If your customers complain about long response times or incidents taking too long to resolve, a case management solution can support better service and faster resolutions. It does this by giving employees a 360-degree view of the relationship, easy access to all supporting content and information and a detailed history of past customer interactions to make better decisions going forward.
4. Are you in a heavily regulated industry – or do you have to show a trail of actions, decisions and information for internal or external audits?
Visibility is a huge benefit of effective case management – and that goes beyond the 360-degree view of a case for the knowledge worker. The right solution is also a tremendous way to improve visibility for regulators and internal and external auditors. In fact, recent AIIM research points to strong compliance/reduced risk as one of the biggest drivers for improving case management capabilities.
The same level of transparency, detailed auditable history of all actions taken and ease of access to supporting data and documents that benefits your employees can also streamline the audit process. Increased visibility mitigates the risks of fines and penalties resulting from missed deadlines or the inability to produce specific information during an audit.
5. Are there gaps that exist in your employees’ day-to-day work – areas that your major line-of-business applications and current IT investments can’t fully support?
Line-of-business systems like your ERP or HRIS are critical for managing specific operations, but they aren’t always optimal for managing the content and information surrounding those processes. For example, can users easily access related documents, notes and tasks from your student information system (SIS), enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution or electronic medical record (EMR) solution? Are employees spending time switching between multiple systems to get work done or filling in the gaps themselves with those Excel spreadsheets and other applications mentioned above?
If you and your business users play “mind the gap” with your key data, documents and processes, a comprehensive case management solution and capabilities can bridge the disconnect and provide all of this information within one intuitive interface.
If you answered yes to most or all of these questions, you could benefit from a case management solution. The next step is selecting the right offering for your business needs. Download the Forrester WAVE™: Dynamic Case Management, Q1 2016 to learn more about OnBase for case management and the type of features to look for when evaluating a case management solution.