Disrupting Business Process Management



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Customer Spotlight: Aon (feat. Forrester)


Rob Koplowitz Forrester Research FlowForma CEO Neil Young Podcast

In their own words...

Read on below for some quotes from the podcast. 

[01:05] Rob Koplowitz (Forrester):  ‘’Process is nothing new I’m sure many people here are very familiar with process technologies, we’ve been at this for a very very long time, but something is changing really dramatically over the course of the last few years and it's really about digital transformation and the role of process in digital transformation and how critical it is.’’ 

[02:12] Rob: I think Aon's story is really really interesting, so lets dive into that one a little bit, Neil. (...) First of all I want to say that insurance is actually a really interesting application (...) they've got a LOT of processes, they've got a lot of things where they've had permission to do things inefficiently and the market is kind of not really tolerating that anymore. But what was going on with Aon, what were Brian's challenges and what did they tackle?

[02:55] Neil Young (FlowForma):  'What we find when we land with IT Managers and IT Directors like Brian from Aon is that they are progressive in their view. And by that I mean, they don’t have the resources in IT to do all these projects and they're not looking to keep it all within their remit. So what we found with Brian is that he's in a mode of empowering the business, but providing the guardrails.

[03:22] Neil: They had a lot of business process improvement ideas coming from the business managers - I think there was 4 key business managers that we've met in different times over the years - all connected with IT, but all about how these are the business process ideas and if we did this we would improve this experience with this customer

[05:57] Neil: They didn't want to get into the hard level coding.(..) Back to ROI, they wanted to solve this problem, but what was the cost-effective nature of the delivery. And software development in its traditional fashion was just too expensive. 

[09:07] Rob: Another thing I want to point out is I think that we have a bit of a tendency to look at these things and say 'well some of these are back office, most of these are back office and we really want to focus on the customer', and that's where we end up applying the customer journey map and saying there is really not any difference between back office, front office, every day processes.

A lot of these things if they're not automated, if a change request is not automated, if things like project approach is not automated, if risk assessments are not automated, these result in bad customer experience and that's where we see the first stab at digital transformation failing, so focused on the common customer experience that it missed the journey, missed the process. 

[10:52] Neil: (Construction Insurance) One of the construction companies wins a large piece of work, and they come on site and they have subcontractors that also work in and then there was a challenge - 'how do I know that that subcontractor is insured to come on site and work on this new building?' And simply put, that was not that straight-forward - that new contractor would land on site, would check in with a form and security, then it would be a phone call back to the main office, then the main office may give Aon a call and ask for an insurance certificate for this contractor and that was breaking down to the point where people were saying 'Look, your paperwork isn't processed, we don’t know whether you’re insured, we need to come back tomorrow and we'll have it addressed'.

So it was real time impacting Aon's customers - having challenges because of the communications bottleneck back and forth, from the site up to the head office back of Aon - too many layers of communications. 

[12:16] Rob: There's this other piece of this - one other thing that we're increasingly more focused on is the emotional journey of the customer journey. So there is two customers that I can identify in this example and I just want to point out the emotional journey that they go through and why automation is so important.

So number 1 is the people who are sitting at the gates who are saying 'I want to let the contractor in, but I’m not sure if they have insurance' - They're customers of Aon, and if they can’t get the staff on site on that day to do that work, that's a pretty bad emotional journey, pretty bad customer journey, and they probably want to work with an insurance company that can do it better.

The other one, which is a little less obvious, is the contractors. The contractor walks up, he or she wants to do a day's worth of work, and hears 'I'm sorry, we gotta make a bunch of phone calls, you’re not going to get paid today' He or she is going to go somewhere else the next day, if someone else does it better. In both of these instances you’re really looking at 'If I don't do this well, my competitor will' 

[14:14] Neil: Tech is 25% of the solution. It's also the emotional journey, the impact it has, it's retaining customers, it's winning new customers.

[17:53] Neil: There's two sides - there's definitely operational efficiency, internally. But it's all around the customer experience, So it's enhancing customer experience, but achieving operational efficiency. So if you can get that double win - it's golden.

Another Customer Experience Process Example:

[18:42] Neil: Essar Oil - external piece around suppliers, the solution is quite neat, how they approached it. We've trained 12 of their staff as well. Working on internal processes, organizational specific processes, but the customer experience process that's resonated the most is around connecting with their suppliers. So if you want to become a supplier of Essar, you have to sign up in the online portal, go through FlowForma, then get approved. And then, let's say there's different categories of suppliers and it's Request for Quotation (RFQ) sent to 10 suppliers relative to this specific piece they want to quote.

They've given a specific GUID to each of the suppliers, they click on the link, they respond to the quote, they include the attachments and push a button and it goes back in to the internal FlowForma system. Again, very quick, very strong time to value. Solves the big problem - improve operational efficiency as well as improving the experience with their suppliers, and getting their best price. 

[19:57] Rob: that really resonates Neil, because getting a supplier on board is one that you would just think 'well, what does that have to do with customer journey?'. And in this case, a break from research, a personal story - my car had a broken window in the back, and it's a relatively new car manufacturer, and I literally got to learn their internal process from bringing on a new company that could replace the glass. They were talking to me about how they bring on a supplier in this case and they have to add them to the system and it's going to take a couple of days, and I'm like 'my window is broken!'. I was really really mad, I was tweeting the CEO, and finally I got a little bit of attention, but back office process really really made me angry as a customer. 

[20:50] Neil: That's the biggest lesson, if you look thorough just one lens - that's not enough. You've got to see whats going on internally that has an indirect impact back out to your customers, and be wide with your lens. 


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