Jurgita Juskeviciene offers advice to organisations planning to invest in a document and process management system, based on her experience at DNB, where each euro invested in its system has produced a return of €57.
DNB, Norway’s largest financial-services group, provides investment, banking, asset management and leasing services to private individuals and business clients in 19 countries.
Our remit in the Quality and Process Management Department is to oversee improvements to the efficiency of operational processes and to ensure high quality information management with minimal consumption of time and paper.
These goals are definitely not easy or quickly achievable, but the results are worth the effort – helping DNB to save thousands of euros and staff to spend less time managing documents and more time serving customers.
It is more than 10 years since we implemented a DocLogix document and process management system and in that time our investment has yielded a return on investment (ROI) of not hundreds but thousands of per cent.
So far, each euro invested in the system has produced a return of €57 from time saved on operational processes (automation and optimisation) and a reduction in the direct costs of printing and paper.
Below, I share some observations that I hope will encourage those who are considering acquiring a document and process management system to take their first steps.
1. Make clever investments and put your purchases to work
Investing in IT solutions that help simplify information and document management is a standard practice in most companies. However, without further actions, installing a solution is a dead end. You do not grow muscles by simply purchasing costly training equipment. Tangible benefits become visible when you make the system work at its optimal level by adapting it to the needs of your company and transferring document and information management processes from paper to the system. This can be achieved only if people commit to it. Do not expect the system to break even straight away: it will take a few years, but the return on investment will be higher if you can first identify the processes that consume the most time and paper, and only then integrate them into the system.
2. Use of the system: managed by one for the benefit of many
To improve processes must be the goal not just of one division or project but of everybody within an organisation. Making it part of an enterprise’s global and strategic approach towards operations is the best way to involve staff. Appointing a person or division to take responsibility for these matters is essential for a successful outcome, because then everyone will know who to contact and whose duty it is to assess the benefits of any initiative.
3. An independently configured system means freedom of action
You will need the help of a specialist (or even an entire team)to make optimal use of the system. We have installed a platform with extensive opportunities for configuration, making us almost independent of the system manufacturer. All we require is occasional consultations to help us in the development of complex processes. The main purpose of all these changes is to establish a system that can ‘think’ in place of the user. Doing this presents a major challenge, but, speaking from my own experience, I can assure you that it is definitely achievable.
4. Start small, but don’t stop there
Small steps are a perfect way to move forward. We started by automating several processes at a time, generally the least popular ones in the organisation. Once they were systematised, we were able to show clear benefits to users and win their trust, thus preparing ourselves for the next step. After processes are integrated into the system, your staff will quickly feel the benefits. The automated movement of information helps to develop trust among employees and make such practices a habit.
5. Benefits are not emotions, but facts
If you wish to change the attitudes of staff, good intentions alone will not suffice. Instead, you need concrete facts to motivate employees to move forward and discover other possibilities that the system offers. To see improvements, you need to measure your situation prior to the document managed system implementation and process automation. For a simple example, consider the business trip documentation process we have integrated with our DocLogix system.
The tables to the left and above show that doing this has cut the process time from 8 hours to 6 minutes. To calculate the financial benefits, the net working time an employee saved during this process needs to be counted. In this case, the net working time was reduced from 16 to 6 minutes, representing a saving of 10 minutes of one employee’s working time. As the business trip documentation process is repeated 3,800 times a year, this adds up to a total saving of 633 working hours, or 79 business days. Add in costs for paper and administration, and total savings come to €13,000 every year – from automating just one process. Clearly, the more processes you can automate, the greater the financial benefit.
6. Soft benefits are also important
There are other advantages that cannot be measured in euros or hours, such as employee satisfaction with a newly implemented, streamlined process. In this case, employees gave the business trip documentation process a rating of 5.7 out of 6 points. Employee surveys are the easiest method of evaluation, and we include three short questions in a survey offered two months after a new process is introduced. A good rating is wonderful, but you need to value criticism and suggestions even more, because they demonstrate the organisation’s involvement, and this will help you grow.
7. Walk a consistent path to save a million
Advanced IT solutions, dynamic management, proactive employees,early integration of solutions, hours saved and consistent development are spokes on a wheel that can drive a million savings and change an organisation from within. Innovative processes motivate people to continue developing and be proud of what they have achieved to date.
Jurgita Juskeviciene is Head of the Quality and Process Management Department at DNB Bank. This article was originally published on the DocLogix blog
DocLogix is a document and process management solution serving more than 300 clients in 13 countries. The DocLogix product portfolio includes a range of ready-to-use document and process management apps.
DocLogix has twice been selected as the best solution for information management at the European IT and Software Excellence Awards, in 2015 and 2014.