Case Management: Handling Unpredictability in Real Time

Date:   Thursday , March 24, 2016

Headquartered in Washington, Newgen Software is a global leader in offering Business Process Management (BPM), Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Customer Communication Management (CCM) and Case Management solutions to leading banks, BPOs, insurance firms and healthcare institutions

What is common between a customer escalation and a process exception? What follows a payment being credited wrongly and a legible health claim getting rejected? What needs to be managed during an identity fraud and a regulation over-looked?

All the above scenarios have a shared characteristic: Unpredictability! They are not encountered in the normal course of business. These are situations that cannot be pre-planned or accounted for. These ad hoc, dynamic or exceptional scenarios qualify as \'Cases\' and require the business and the systems to adapt to such cases in real-time.

Case Management is an enterprise platform that relies on real-time collaboration and the tacit knowledge of case workers to handle a case effectively. It plans and executes various actions in the run-time by responding to changing dynamics between the different case elements. This approach is more outcome-oriented than process oriented, which means that a greater impetus is given to the end outcome over the process itself.

Let\'s have a look at some real business situations that accentuate the applicability of case management platforms. We will try to define the problem as though it is actually happening in some part of the world and establish how case management can prove to be an effective solution.

Use Case 1: Risk Management in Bank

An established European bank is experiencing a dilemma. They are contemplating how differently the actual lending market scenario stands vis-a-vis the assumptions made a few years ago. As part of their lending diversification initiative, the bank had sanctioned some large corporate loans to customers across the European real estate sector. Today, it is under obligation to extend the line of credit for these projects as per the initial commitment made to the corporate clients. At a macro level, however, the board expresses the need to secure the overall risk profile of the bank.

Since the original loans were granted, both the macro and micro economic environment has changed, causing the bank to revisit the original assumptions underlying the loans. These loans now represent a large, relatively risky proposition - so the board decides to take a closer look. The board requests that the international banking division and the real estate division jointly look into the viability and risk of the projects, taking into account various deal parameters such as the current legal situation of the country involved, the macro economic outlook, the expected amount of financing that will be requested, the financing sources for the projects, the capital structure of the projects and the current viability of the developers.

Instead of the e-mails and spreadsheet based approach, the corporate secretary suggests using the Adaptive-Case Management (ACM) approach. The proposal is accepted and a process is designed using the collaborative modelling approach. The execution framework is established using the ACM Workflow Engine and Business Rules Management System (BRMS).

By endorsing this implementation, it is ensured that the corporate secretary provides an appropriate level of oversight and insight into the process - without the need to completely dictate the execution. The process owners (and the corporate secretary) monitor, track and report on the process without the excessive management that can strangle it. The overall risk exposure is lowered while the corporate compliance and governance increases. Subsequently, a revised set of terms and conditions is arrived at, to fund the projects appropriately while reducing the lending risk effectively.

Use Case 2: Dynamic Sales Management

An organization has a bunch of sales people. All are focused on achieving their sales targets. The sales manager wants to make the Leads-to-Sales transfer process as effective as it can get. In essence he wants the leads to be handled by the most qualified sales person on the team. The existing system follows a clear process driven approach where it considers various pre-defined attributes of a lead before assigning it to a sales person. It however lacks on several accounts. It does not take into account the context in which a lead flows into the system. For example, a lead may originate from an existing relationship of a sales person. These are times when the sales manager wants to use his discretion while transferring the leads.

They use the ACM platform and design an open-ended process where the workflow as well as the process direction can be managed through the contextual information. It also brings an inherent intelligence to the core operational framework to absorb (and learn from) the interim unstructured or structured process changes in due course of time. Resultantly, the process matures over time with more of the unstructured elements becoming structured and controllable.

Case management thus serves two broad objectives that determine the success of critical organizational functions:

• Facilitating the stability and efficiency that is expected from a new business process

• Elevating an existing process to the desired maturity level by increasing its span of business control,leaving room for innovation to happen

As more of the unpredictable process component is tamed, the business moves to becoming a lean and efficient enterprise taking smart decisions.