Without question, COVID-19 turned our current reality on its head. It also quickly ushered in our future.

The pandemic crisis has revealed a future in which digital is central to every interaction, forcing both organizations and individuals to amp up their digital adoption almost overnight. Now is the time to reassess your digital initiatives because in this new digital-first world, some things will snap back, but others are forever changed. Playing it safe by maintaining the status quo—as tempting and understandable as it may be—is the wrong approach. 

Beyond Paper: Digital Process Automation

Digitize These Paper-based Processes FirstA recent Forrester study suggests this crisis will usher in a new wave of automation. The need for digital transformation has never been greater. Social distancing and disrupted physical operations have impacted the digitization plans for enterprises around the globe. The current state of the world has created two options: acceleration of existing digital transformation or rapid adoption of first-time digital initiatives.

That leaves one of two questions: Where does our digital transformation go from here? or How do we get started?

To fully leverage the improved experience and efficiency promises of digital transformation takes more than turning paper into digital content and waiting for the benefits to roll in. The critical next step is realizing the power of digital process automation.

When you identify where paper content is forcing inefficient manual processes, it opens the door to digital process automation. Digital process automation is the engine that drives fully successful digital transformation—for both government agencies and private businesses. 

How Digital Process Automation Works

Content services platform integrationsDigital process automation, or DPA, is digitization of end-to-end processes. That means improving operational efficiencies and service delivery by eliminating the waste of manual workflows. Digital process automation is an evolution of business process management. It optimizes workflows by speeding up results and decreasing the chances of human error that contributes to waste and compromised service delivery.

When backed by digital process automation like document processing, data capture, and payment processing, digital document management technology and services become exponentially more powerful. Combined, they can achieve the full promise of digital transformation. 

Processes like applications, contracts, employee and customer onboarding, high-security transactions are — all heavily dependent on content from completed forms and communication—can be optimized with automation. When these processes are automated effectively, and in a way that can be continually improved, it results in measurable customer and employee experience improvements, as well as decreased costs.

The Benefits

By integrating Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) imaging, content management, and digital process automation, organizations can reduce—or even eliminate—manual, paper-based processes and the costly errors, exposures, and delays associated with them. The result is:

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved customer and employee experiences
  • Time savings
  • Better collaboration
  • Stronger security and compliance
  • Fewer errors
  • Less waste

Digital Process Automation at Work:
Three Real-life Cases

When it comes to achieving the real-life benefits of digital transformation, Forrester puts it simply: “As organizations undertake digital transformation efforts, an important realization emerges: process matters.” Investments in digitizing and managing content alone won’t effectively move the needle unless organizations also ensure their processes align to support true digital transformation. This is the intersection where real, positive change happens for customer and employee experiences.

There are also clear financial benefits. McKinsey estimates that as many as four out of five processes in human resources, finance, and application processing are at least partially automatable, with the potential to reduce costs by at least 30 percent.

These use cases demonstrate the power of combining digital content management technology and services with digital process automation to achieve results that benefit experience and bottom line:

Human Resources

With technology and services from Image API, the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) replaced its manual, paper-based process for licensing nursing facility administrators with an online self-service solution. The solution, part of the agency’s overall digital transformation, empowered applicants and improved the overall experience for users and staff.

Challenges:

Prior to implementing the online self-service portal, DADS’ paper-based licensing process was slow and inefficient. The manual system was disruptive and time-consuming for staff, and it was inconvenient and complicated for applicants to use. It also posed compliance and security risks. 

Solution:

The self-service portal empowers nursing facility administrators to submit, renew, and track license applications entirely online. The SaaS solution now includes payment processing for application fees, reporting, automated notifications, and print fulfillment for licenses.

Because Image API is an Advanced Technology Partner in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN), the portal is securely hosted on AWS cloud technology, ensuring data security and compliance throughout the licensing process.

Results:

The end-to-end solution delivers a vastly improved experience for applicants by simplifying the application process and decreasing processing time for new and renewal applications. Because AWS eliminates security and compliance risk, it also reduces associated operational costs.

By putting control in the hands of applicants, DADS now delivers on its service mission while fostering public trust and engagement.

Finance and Administration

With an end-to-end automated solution, Image API is helping the State of Florida improve efficiency and transparency for its Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings, a public record that must be filed by lenders in the state for commercial loans. They began by digitizing more than 7.8 million fillings, then developed an automated system to handle future file processing.

Challenges:

Prior to implementing the new system, the manual process was labor-intensive, error-prone and inefficient. For lenders and their staff, the user experience was difficult and inconvenient. Sharing and posting for public transparency was also difficult for agency staff.

Solution:

With technology and services from Image API, the agency digitized over 7.8 million historical filings. Image API then launched and now maintains an online self-service portal for filings, handling intake and processing filings.

The portal features integrated payment processing for a seamless and always-on experience. Filings and payments can also be made in person at a facility operated by Image API Business Services.

Results:

The online portal delivers a vastly improved experience for lenders with access to on-demand filing. The agency has seen reduced costs and increased revenue while delivering greater transparency to the public.

Licensing

Florida’s Department of Health is responsible for licensure of over 600,000 healthcare professionals annually. Workflows include handling incoming mail, processing payments, reviewing applications, sending notifications, and issuing licenses.

Prior to digitization, as volume soared, the manual, labor-intensive, and heavily paper-based processes were inefficient and increasingly slow. Cycle times were more than six weeks from application to approval. To improve service delivery by reducing the time from application to approval, the agency partnered with Image API to develop a digital process automation solution.

Challenges:

Manual processes meant staff increasingly struggled to meet the soaring volume of license requests. As a result, customer experience suffered as wait times for initial licenses and renewals increased, and compliance was difficult. 

Solution: 

The Florida Department of Health now uses Image API’s Axiom Pro digital content management platform and business process services to manage mail, payments, fulfillment, and content digitization and storage. Axiom Pro enables automatic payments and routing of applications for review.

Results:

After digitizing its content and processes, the agency reduced cycle times from six weeks to three days while increasing accuracy. Automated workflows drastically improved customer experience while ensuring state and federal privacy requirements were met. Operationally, the efficiencies also reduced administrative costs.

The new system provides accountability, accuracy, and tracking for more than 280,000 checks, totaling $50 million in payments per year. 

Save the Date for Our Virtual Workshop with Digital Process Automation Experts

To learn more about the benefits of digital process automation, join us November 19th at 2:00 p.m. EDT for a virtual workshop.  Digital process automation experts will discuss how to identify processes in your organization that can be optimized through digitization and automation. We’ll share more use cases resulting in financial and experience benefits. 

To learn more about how Image API’s digital content management and digital process automation technology and services can help your organization achieve the full promise of digital transformation, contact us.