Risk mitigation is crucial and relevant to all businesses, regardless of industry. But if you’re in a highly regulated sector where the slightest error can have significant financial and legal consequences, well, it’s even more important to understand how to manage risk.
We believe that process automation and process management are the key to risk management and increasing consistency, efficiency, and accountability in your organization. Automation ensures that processes are carried out in compliance with established policies and regulations, reducing legal risks. It allows for real-time monitoring and reporting of operational activities, enabling businesses to identify and address risks promptly.
In this blog, we’ll explore five ways you can harness process automation to navigate risk and enhance compliance in your organization. These are super practical tips that you can start to implement right away.
Recently, we hosted an engaging and insightful webinar where we delved deeper into the nuances of process automation for risk management. The session was well-received, providing attendees with valuable insights and in-depth understanding of the points we will touch upon in this blog.
If you missed it, don’t worry! The following content will guide you through the essential takeaways and actionable strategies discussed during the webinar, and also provides examples of other customers who have successfully executed these strategies. You can watch the full webinar on demand here.
1. Start with incremental change
Sometimes you have to start small. Rather than automating an entire process, narrowing your focus is the best approach. By starting with incremental change, you can highlight the positive impact on the organization, customers, and employees. Each micro-innovation highlights the value of automation, helping people embrace a future-forward, automated business.
This approach allows for gradual transformation and creates a culture of continuous improvement. Also, it leads to lean process improvement. This business methodology focuses on continually reviewing a process to identify waste or opportunities to improve process efficiency. As an ongoing feedback loop, it can improve your business through better processes, over time.
For instance, let’s look at our client, Husch Blackwell. As discussed in the webinar, the large US-based law firm has seen enormous success with micro-innovation throughout many of its administrative processes — eliminating unnecessary staff interventions and cutting down hours that can be spent elsewhere.
Their customer request/onboarding process, before process automation, was a long chain of emails and approvals. This was very inefficient, and prone to human errors that risk severe consequences. With a few tweaks, the manual onboarding process was changed into a streamlined automated workflow. Now, Husch Blackwell’s employees can onboard cases faster due to the workflow pulling data from a form into the system, while routing approvals to the correct personnel within the organization. This improves customer satisfaction and overall efficiency. By removing the back-and-forth and manual emailing, lawyers can bill more hours and increase pro bono work.
Small success stories like these lead to bigger projects that can have even more transformative change on processes. Because of Husch Blackwell’s wins with their customer onboarding process (which saved 30-40 hours per client), other departments wanted to know whether any of their processes could be automated to free up time.
Build out your risk management plan today.
2. Let the value of process improvement speak for itself
Once employees see the rewards of process automation and process management across your workplace, they will be more open to deploying its benefits even further. But first, documenting and creating a shared understanding of business processes is crucial. By effectively documenting your processes, you can ensure that everyone involved has a clear understanding of how tasks are performed, roles and responsibilities, and the overall workflow. Plus, it helps you to even further identify areas for improvement, streamline operations, and mitigate risks by reducing procedural variations.
Another example is Genesis Energy, a New Zealand state-owned generator and retailer of electricity, gas, and LPG. Initially, they implemented Nintex Process Manager to retain corporate knowledge. But soon they realised the value of using the software for other purposes like documenting and creating a shared understanding of business processes and eliminating geographical process differences. Overall, this not only enhanced consistency and efficiency, but also fortified their risk management framework by improving documentation and reducing procedural variations at every organizational tier.
3. Be people focused
A people-focused strategy is essential when implementing process automation in your organization. The true value of automation is realized when your employees understand how it enables them to use their time more effectively. Automation should be seen as a tool to supplement employee efforts and save valuable time, allowing them to focus on high value aspects of their role.
Our collaboration with the global spirits company, Amber Beverage Group, is a great example of how automation increases employee efficiency without compromising compliance. ABG chose Nintex’s RPA solutions to automate 10 key processes, including purchase order approvals and many more. This allowed their expert employees to focus on more creative and strategic projects that saw an increase of up to 300 purchase order approvals streamlined per day.
4. Don’t be technology-averse in highly regulated industries
Because the stakes are potentially so high, highly regulated industries can realize even more benefits from process automation. Highly regulated industries can benefit greatly from automation. Automating complex, error-prone steps of a process ensures they are executed properly every time, reducing the risk of human error and costly consequences.
Our partnership with GM Financial is an example of how automation helps the highly regulated financial industry when it comes to mitigating risks and staying compliant. We ensured their customer complaints tracking system was automated and efficient enough for over 4,000 staff to use to track customer feedback. Using Nintex Automation Cloud, their online form ensures the complaints teams have all the relevant information before dealing with a customer case.
Watch the full webinar:
5. Understand existing processes and where technology introduces new risks
Understanding your existing processes is essential too. Using process management tools can highlight bottlenecks that need to be removed. With Adelaide City Council, they used our Process Manager to meet legislative requirements and enable employees at every level to create and manage processes.
For example, when someone wants to start a new business in Adelaide, Australia, they have to go through a long-winded process of talking to eight different council members. Our Process Manager lets staff visualize that complex process to ensure each step is necessary. This enhances council support and improves customer service.
Once you understand your processes, you can identify where risks might be increased by introducing AI or automation to process steps that are more highly regulated. Although process automation generally reduces business risk, process automation can inadvertently introduce risks like data breaches, privacy concerns, and regulatory non-compliance.
But by establishing governance mechanisms and data hygiene practices, you can identify and assess these risks, implement controls to mitigate them, and ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations to safeguard your organization against reputational damage.
Start your process automation journey with Nintex
Offering a comprehensive suite of tools and solutions to manage, automate and optimize processes, the Nintex Process Platform ensures you stay compliant and minimizes risks. By using Nintex, you can streamline operations and enhance efficiency across all departments.
Request a demo today to discover how Nintex can transform your processes end-to-end.