Excessive Processing is Costing You
A common challenge that Trindent tackles in financial services engagements is rework caused by excessive processing, an inefficiency that results from an attempt to artificially create quality control.
Quality control is a vital part of any service or product, and as such, should have its own established process, system and behavior component. Relying on an excessive amount of processing from multiple sources instead of putting in place solid methodology to ensure quality is not a tenable approach. If not corrected, this rework translates into poor service levels, long turnaround times, and excessive backlog – all of which affect the customer’s service experience.
What We Saw Happening
Let’s use the example of a new insurance policy application working its way through the pipeline. In previous engagements, when we followed the intake of a new policy application submission from start to finish, we saw that it had to make its ways through several departments. But what was most concerning is that, with each handoff, more rework was performed.
Each department had to complete a certain set of activities around each application and required several different pieces of information from the application to perform those activities. It was here that we we found two areas of opportunity to eliminate rework from excessive processing. We found an absence of a process to transfer knowledge from one department to the next, so when a file was passed along, the receiving department had to recheck the entire application. And even when information was transferred, we found the receiving department still rechecked the entire application out of concern that blame would fall on them if there were any inaccuracies.
What We Did
Through observations and process mapping, we identified these two inefficiencies and the opportunity to improve them. The underlying cause of both types of excessive processing was an attempt to create quality control. In both cases, there was unclear communication, an ill-defined breakdown of responsibilities, and a lack of active management – all of which led to a fear-based mentality and a duplication of work.
To remedy this situation, we looked for a solution that would prevent any further increase in processing time but would reduce the rechecking. With the help of subject matter experts from the client side, we mapped out current state to bring overlaps in process into sharp relief. From here, we were able to design a new process where the first department to have their hands on an application implemented the use of a checklist that would reduce the need for the second department to read the entire application. Simultaneously, if any inaccuracies were detected by the second department, they would be logged and checked anonymously so that no one feared repercussions.
This solution to excessive processing not only changed the process but its associated behaviour as well, taking both rework and fear of repercussion out of equation, while creating a more robust path to quality control.
The expression “time is money” is appropriate to inefficiencies we’ve observed in these engagements. Excess processing is a common pitfall that many financial service sector companies still encounter. A conscious effort to reduce or eliminate these types of inefficiencies results in better service levels between departments, ultimately decreasing the total end-to-end wait times that frustrate customers.
Implementing efficient processes, robust systems and the right set of behavior can allow any financial services organization to reduce waste and boost service levels. Click here to find out how Trindent and our proven methodology can your organization make sustainable changes to process, systems and behaviors.