75% Reduction in Support Calls. Check. 25% Reduction in Manual Data Entry. Check. That’s One Successful WebCenter-Based Self-Service Solution!
By Kellsey Ruppel-Oracle on Apr 29, 2014
Google has changed everything. Of course they have. But one aspect of their contribution is a bit subtler than delivering trending videos on YouTube. Search is entrenched in so many aspects of our day-to-day lives that our mentality for approaching and completing tasks has fundamentally changed. Accordingly, software is now often-times designed around the idea that users can (and increasingly want to) complete tasks on their own. And to the benefit of businesses, this approach not only serves their customers more effectively, it often times drives down the costs of doing business fairly dramatically.
Conceptually, self-service transforms a process that is dependent on multiple parties for completion to one that enables an individual to complete some, or all, of that process on his/her own. But there are still many tasks in the world that tend to be gated…certain pieces of information are simply not available without having to ask someone for the answer. One example occurred to me recently as I was trying to figure out if one of my wife’s pregnancy-related tests was covered by my insurance plan. The information available for online lookup was so “thin” that I was forced to call my Health Insurance provider to ask a customer service rep to look up benefit coverage on my behalf. What a waste of time and money for everyone. Thanks to Google, we all believe that things can and should be much simpler. Sometimes they are.
Aurionpro’s Oracle WebCenter Practice recently completed a self-service transformation for a service provider in the entertainment industry. This organization’s challenge was to manage the mountain of paperwork that enables their employees to work on film and television productions. Each employee can work on multiple projects simultaneously, and each project requires both onboarding paperwork as well as regular timecard completion to support payroll processing. Previously, these processes were painfully completed through manual, paper-based submissions. Not only were employees frustrated with the bureaucracy of the whole thing, but manual data entry errors were also common across the process. These errors experienced during manual data entry, along with the inevitable and time-consuming follow-up discussions to resolve them, translated into extraordinarily high costs of servicing the processes.
The combination of escalating employee dissatisfaction and increasing costs prompted this 35+-year-old business to act. Leveraging Oracle WebCenter’s suite of products, the solution was built as a custom Oracle WebCenter Portal application using a combination of out-of-the-box Oracle WebCenter Task Flows and custom-built ADF Task Flows. BPEL workflows were used to define the hierarchy for paperwork and timecard approval and Oracle WebCenter Content was used for collaborative document sharing and for managing the employee’s paperwork. The results were astonishing. The online submission process has reduced data entry time by ~25% by leveraging data stored in each individual’s profile, automatically filling in many fields that had to be manually completed previously. In turn, data entry errors have been reduced dramatically and calls into the service center have decreased 75%. This is an incredible all around win for the business, and a great example of a process that has been transformed by the potential of self-service.