A Common Solution for Unique Challenges: Workflow Automation for Vertical Markets

Regardless of your industry, there are certain universal challenges just about every business faces – creating an engaging customer experience, retaining top talent and turning a profit, just to name a few. But once we dig into specific vertical markets, unique obstacles pop up that impact productivity, efficiency, costs and even security. 

Business process automation concept. Gears and icons on abstract background.

These challenges are often bottlenecks in the workflow. They slow down processes and sometimes lead to errors. Healthcare companies, for instance, often struggle with getting an accurate, real-time view of a patient. Insurance companies are bogged down by slow application and claims processing. Manufacturers are faced with supply chain disruptions. Banks must find ways to deliver services securely and efficiently in an increasingly mobile world. Retailers are expected to deliver a personalized, omnichannel customer experience on par with Amazon. The list goes on.

One might think the challenges unique to each vertical call for a unique solution – but the same technology can tackle them all. In fact, it can actually turn these obstacles on their heads and transform them into opportunities that accelerate digital transformation and your competitive edge in the market.

Wondering what this universal panacea is? It’s workflow automation – but it has to be done right. Organizations that adopt an integrated intelligent automation platform can leverage a full suite of complementary automation technologies to create custom workflows that solve the unique challenges in a given vertical and the larger struggles every business faces.

See how it’s done in three key vertical markets and learn more about the technology behind this universal problem solver for verticals.

Workflow Automation Breathes New Life into Healthcare

From the second a patient enters a healthcare facility, the quality of care is directly tied to how accurate and up-to-date a patient record is. However, data often needs to be updated in more than one system, and staff (and patients) move from one room to another. How can healthcare organizations ensure patient records are reliable and easily accessible? Factor privacy regulations like HIPAA into the equation and the challenges seem as complex as brain surgery.

But workflow automations can help.

Through intelligent automation, all of the structured and unstructured data coming in via paper forms, fax, scanner, email, mobile and portals are automatically processed, categorized, analyzed and routed to the appropriate electronic health records (EHR) system, as well as other required databases and archives. Automation drastically improves document processing times, improves data accuracy, and reduces costs.

With everything digitized, including medical images, staff no longer have to deal with trying to locate hard copies of documents. An automated workflow ensures patient records are always up-to-date in EHR systems, allowing caregivers to access accurate patient information from a variety of devices and systems in any area of the hospital. Staff can retrieve a fully digital patient record from mobile devices, so they always have a complete and accurate view of the patient.

Let’s not forget about document security. A data breach can be devastating to an organization’s reputation and bottom line. Intelligent automation enables the convenient data accessibility that results from connecting MFDs to business systems while maximizing document security. Capabilities like user authentication, network auditing, data encryption, secure print release, and content redaction enable healthcare organizations to control and protect the physical and electronic access points on MFDs.

Workflow automation even helps behind the scenes, processing the millions of benefit claims forms and other documents coming into the mailroom. Claims can be processed in days rather than weeks, and fewer staff are needed to complete the work.

Specific benefits of intelligent automation in healthcare include:

  • Streamlined admissions and registration processes
  • Implementation of a one patient/one record methodology
  • Delivery of better and faster patient care
  • Elimination of overhead costs associated with paper-based systems
  • Improved security and compliance

Insurers Ensure Their Future With Automation

As the insurance industry becomes more commoditized, it’s harder than ever to keep customers loyal and stand out in the market. An efficient, customer-friendly application process and fast claims processing are two of the best ways to gain a competitive advantage. However, these processes are often riddled with paper documents, and customers don’t want to deal with paper anymore. They expect to complete the application process digitally. The same goes for claims processing. Customers demand real-time status updates in their preferred channel, whenever they want.

How can intelligent automation provide the seamless customer experience insurers need to survive?

With end-to-end automation, insurers can create a truly frictionless customer experience that automates underwriting and claims processing, loan servicing, operations and even customer communications, for true digital workflow transformation.

Intelligent automation creates a better experience from the very beginning of the application process, offering relevant products and services to the applicant. All supporting documents required for applications can be uploaded easily and quickly via mobile device, and all information can be supplied in the applicant’s preferred channel. Even better, intelligent automation technology ensures applicants are never asked to enter the same information twice and can pre-populate information of existing customers. Secure e-signature technology keeps the process paperless, and applicants have full visibility into the application status during all stages.

A slow onboarding process increases abandonment rates, and current customers who have to wait a long time for claims processing (or even for a simple status update) won’t remain customers for long. Intelligent automation delivers speed through faster document processing, so applications and claims can be handled more quickly. Customers also have access to self-service features, so they get answers to their questions rapidly.

Automation technology also helps with third-party data, which often needs to be verified by insurers. Robotic process automation (RPA) uses software robots to connect to external sources and extract third-party data such as credit reports, saving time and reducing errors.

When workflows are automated, insurers have a bright future thanks to:

  • Faster onboarding and claims processing times
  • A frictionless customer experience
  • Reduced abandonment rate during onboarding
  • Improved compliance

Why Banks Can Bank on Intelligent Automation

Onboarding is just as important for banks as it is for insurance companies. The same seamless, fast experience is necessary to avoid abandonment. But as more financial services companies offer similar products as traditional banks, banking organizations are pressed to find new ways to remain competitive and stay afloat.

With so many options available, customers demand speed, transparency and security, which calls for a mobile-first approach. In the attempt to provide faster and more convenient services, however, banks can’t afford to ignore Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance requirements. In addition, fraud identification and detection cannot be overlooked.

Workflow automation makes it possible for banks to deliver what customers want without putting themselves at risk.

Intelligent automation provides a simple and secure mobile onboarding process. A customer can use their smartphone to take a picture of their ID, and mobile capture technology extracts the information and prefills the form. Authentication and verification technology ensures ID documents are genuine and unaltered, while facial recognition technology validates the applicant’s identity.

Workflow automation goes beyond onboarding however, enhancing all types of bank services. A customer can upload a photo of a bill, and automation can extract the required information to schedule automatic bill payments.

The opportunities for mobile banking touch all parts of the customer journey, from researching financial needs to comparing products, seeking advice, applying for a product, and viewing transactions.

With workflow automation banks benefit from:

  • Better customer attrition rates
  • Lower customer acquisition costs
  • Improved customer satisfaction and retention
  • Improved KYC and AML compliance
  • Better fraud identification and prevention

What’s Required for a Custom Workflow Solution

Regardless of your vertical, intelligent workflow automation can help overcome the challenges unique to your business. But you need the ability to adapt the solution to fit your immediate and long-term needs.

An integrated platform makes end-to-end automation and the creation of custom workflows possible through:

  • Low-code technology: A simple platform with drag-and-drop features empowers citizen developers to put their business knowledge of specific problems to work and create innovative automated workflows quickly.
  • Embedded artificial intelligence (AI): When AI is built into the platform, organizations can benefit from complex technologies without having to understand how they work. Automatic extraction and validation, sentiment analysis and advanced analytics improve document processing and provide actionable information for better business decisions.
  • Partner ecosystem: Pre-built connectors and frameworks speed up automation initiatives and make it possible to share data automatically across your critical databases and applications.
  • Integrated platform: A platform of complementary technologies enables organizations to leverage the right mix for a custom solution. Technologies like cognitive capture, RPA, electronic signature, and process orchestration can be deployed as needed to build an automation solution that solves your unique business challenges.

From healthcare to banking and beyond, custom workflow automation is the universal answer, delivering a faster time-to-value, growth, and competitive advantage. Make sure you stand out in your market – today and tomorrow.  

Dan Johnson
Dan Johnson, Kofax

Dan Johnson is Director, Product Marketing - Intelligent Automation at Kofax.