Get smarter with role-based portals | #3 success factor of BI
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Building a smarter organization with role-based portals

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How can you get a better grip on business processes and transform your company into an organization where the customer comes first? The idea of role-based portals can provide new thinking and give you a fresh perspective on your organization.

Focusing on the customer

Nowadays it is important for every company to put the customer first. It is all about companies listening carefully to the customer, understanding what the customer needs and ensuring that the customer’s needs are met quickly. All companies, both profit and non-profit, wish to excel in this and thus distinguish themselves from the competition.

Companies can only excel when they give their employees the mandate and the business intelligence tools to allow them to work in a smarter way. An important prerequisite to achieving this is the introduction of process management, so that the customer can be engaged in a consistent way.

Uniform and common view

It is also important to have a uniform and common view of the customer (CRM), to know what arrangements have been made and what communication channels are available to do business with the customer. It is therefore important to have the right information available on time at the right place. That is the reason that more and more role-based software is being created. Naturally, success can only be achieved if all the preconditions are met, such as the presence of a well thought-out strategy, leadership, motivation and a tight internal organization.

Role-based portal

Another aspect that plays a role is the great diversity of functional systems in a company, which significantly impedes the work of employees because the employees must explore the systems for the data that is needed to help the customer adequately. The role-based way of working can make it significantly easier to search for and combine data by bringing the relevant information together in a role-based portal.

Also from the perspective of the “user experience” and the ease with which employees receive quick and clear access to the necessary information, there is a great need to work with a role-based portal. The employee must be able to easily navigate through the various business processes from the portal and have all the information at their disposal in order to be able to make decisions that contribute to having a satisfied customer. The various ‘silos’ in the company are then connected to each other by the role-based portal. Moreover, research shows that employees work more efficiently if information is tailored to the role(s) that they fulfil within the organization.

What do we want to achieve now?

Basically, we want to use role-based portals to ensure that employees work together in a harmonious and integral process that contributes to value being added for the customer in an efficient and effective way. This creates real communication: becoming connected to each other and staying connected.

The objective is better management of the business processes by a smart workflow led by the primary process, where the employees are supported by role-based portals and uniform management information. This will, among other things, lead to a reduction in the administrative workload and a significant increase in value for the customer, through lower costs, higher service levels and achieving a faster “time to market” for customer solutions.

How does it work in practice?

It is first important to explain what is meant by a role. A role is somebody who performs a specific task in a process to add value to the company; this can be formal or informal. Role-based working is the key to a very user friendly system, for example OBIEE, in which users can intuitively find their way.

This means that every employee sees only that information and only gets the functionality that is necessary to perform the role. It is therefore tailored to his or her tasks, competencies and responsibilities. The user no longer has to search for information, but it appears on his screen so that action can be taken immediately. The authorization is ingrained, as it were, in the role and the portal, so that it is no longer necessary to administer authorizations.

The screen acts as a window into the underlying functional systems. Having to work with all kinds of, often user-unfriendly, systems will thus be a thing of the past. In a role-based screen, for example, the workload to be processed by a particular role is shown, so that the next step is made in the (customer) process. The system provides users with one portal as the primary work environment where they can collaborate with each other. In addition, all employees in the company including the management and team leaders can click on the dashboards in their role-based portal and immediately see their relevant KPIs in the form of meters and charts.

British pension fund halves its response time

Last year, a British pension fund with assets of around 256 billion Euros realised a state-of-the-art data warehouse with an emphasis on the performance of different funds and portfolios.

Highest possible return

Case: British pension fund halves its response time All kinds of reports and analysis were used to achieve the highest possible return at an acceptable risk. For investment in shares, the front office – the people who commission stock market trading – used different operational systems that were linked to the systems of the brokers at the stock exchange. The performance was monitored daily and where necessary assets (shares, derivatives, bonds) were acquired or disposed of, via the operational systems.

It did not always run very smoothly

The actual responding – changing the mix of assets and shares – did not however always run very smoothly. Main reason for this was that too many actions had to occur before there was any response, actions such as entering data in several systems, filling out forms, spreadsheet calculations, following procedures and in some cases waiting for authorisation.

Complex transactions took four days

The time between knowing actions were needed and actually executing these actions was, on average, about a day. This would vary from a couple of hours in case of simple transactions to four days where it concerned complex transactions. The latter in particular is much too long in the current investment market. The chance that other large asset managers will carry out similar transactions earlier increases and funds will have already risen or dropped in value.

The portal was ready for use

Later in that year, a team was formed to investigate whether a portal would be a solution in bringing together information, knowledge and applications. After overcoming various challenges the portal was ready for use. The portal offers much functionality: users can quickly obtain information about the performance of different assets; they can start up functions within the business applications, run reports in Business Intelligence tools with integrated possibilities for what-if-analysis and forecasting. They can also fill in relevant forms and then apply for authorisation via an automated workflow.

The average response time was reduced to hours

The first results showed that the pension fund was now able to respond much quicker: the average response time was reduced to hours instead of days. Subsequently, the fund is now confident that – thanks to the portal – they can acquire potentially profitable assets sooner – and cheaper – and dispose of poorly performing assets at the right time.

One click of the mouse

With one click of the mouse, one can analyze and filter the information, and view the underlying data. Therefore, everyone has access to all the information needed to take action on problems that arise during the process and the PDCA cycle is thus closed. Role-based working ensures that all daily tasks and the key management information is presented in a way that can be taken in at a glance from the user, who can perform all his/her work activities from the portal with a few clicks.

The advantages of role-based working can be described by the words: Simplicity, Time savings and Quality.

How can the Passionned staff help you with this?

Passionned Group can help you streamline the (customer) processes and map the roles in your company, creating a blueprint for the role-based portals and their integration with the back-office systems. Furthermore, Passionned Group can help you in defining the most important key performance indicators to be able to adjust the processes and last but not least to measure the success of your business.

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