Business Process Management: Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

Introduction

In the competitive business environment today, more and more organizations are looking to optimize their competitive advantage. This is done by, among other ways, leveraging the organizational information technology, which has generally come to be known as Business Process Management (BPM). It is a systematic strategy for continuously improving the effectiveness and efficiency of a business as it strives for “innovation, flexibility and integration with technology” (Ryan et al., 2009, p. 1465). It is a holistic approach to management that focuses on aligning organizational processes with its customers’ needs and wants. In a nutshell, BPM is a process of optimizing business processes with the goal of enhancing customer satisfaction (Fischer, 2012).

 

This business essay example examines the BPM of the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB): the workflow design, business process activities, whether its BPM has enhanced customer satisfaction and in what ways, among others.

The bank’s BPM operates under a parallel execution workflow design. In this respect, various units of the bank (such as branches and departments) work semi-autonomously and meet at a central point. For example, account applications are done at the branches, and then the case files are all moved to the Central Processing Department (CPD) (Fischer, 2012).

Business Process Activities

ADCB has a strong presence in both the corporate and consumer arenas. Today, it is one of the leading providers of technology-enabled services in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), having invested in its information technology (IT) infrastructure and business automation. This is the result of what has been the bank’s long-term objective to ensure complete automation of its processes. This was aimed at enabling an all-round automation of its key business activities, as well as providing integration for its existing application.

The bank’s business processes are many. However, in its BPM, the bank has mainly focused on four key areas: processing and servicing time, customer service quality and satisfaction, and daily transactions.

In this respect, the bank, in its BPM, is aimed at: addressing delays in processing and low productivity; reducing its dependence on physical documentation as well as the movement of these documents between departments and branches; addressing the effect of problem ii, which included difficulty in the process of verification and identification of errors because of the unavailability of documents; addressing the problems with the processes of tracking and monitoring; correcting the challenges with incorporating requirements for process change using the existing applications (Fischer, 2012).

Symptoms of Business Processes Dysfunction

A BPM is said to be success when it implements the process functions for which it is primarily adopted (and more), and it is considered a failure when it ‘does not satisfy the desirable or intended objectives” (Ge et al., 2011, p.141). Although the actual symptoms of failure of a BPM system vary from one context to another, there are still general defining factors (Ge et al., 2011):

  • Incompleteness:

This, as the title tells, is when a system does not complete a process. For example, ADCB aimed to provide workflow, document management, image capturing, and indexing solutions. All these constitute a complete process management. Incompleteness, therefore, would be if a system fails to address one of these. As it were, in the absence of one of these three key areas, the BPM cannot effectively and efficiently solve the problems it seeks to solve. Besides, one cannot speak of a satisfactory workflow without proper document management.

  • Invalidity:

Validity means providing a solution to a problem when it matters. For example, if a customer requests a bank statement within a certain period of time, say, before they make a deposit or a withdrawal, if the statement is provided after the withdrawal or a deposit has been made, then this is invalid.

  • Inconsistency:

This means that a system follows standard criteria to solution provision everytime. If for example, ADCB has digitized its document, then this should be the case throughout. If another time the bank says the physical documents (when they are expected to be virtual and easily accessible), this is an inconsistency. This means that the customers can never be too sure. This is a failure.

  • Untimeliness:

This is when the outcomes of the activity are realized. For example, the integration of ADCB’s BPM has been realized with a SMS system. The customers should be able to access simple services. The purpose of mobile banking is that it should provide instant response. If this does not happen, then as afar as the BPM/SMS system integration goes, ADCB process management is failing.

  • Inaccuracy:

In this case, the system enacts a wrong purpose and/or provides a wrong value of the outcomes. For example, if the system provides the wrong statement value, this is a problem that needs to be addressed as it takes away the customer’s trust.

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ADCB’sBPM and Customer Satisfaction

Generally, the BPM project has enhanced ADCB’s workflow solution, document management, and image capture and indexing. This has provided a number of benefits (both direct and indirect) for its customers, both direct and indirect.

From a business perspective, the centralization and implementation of ADCB’s BPM solution has reduced operating costs, including the usage of office stationery and infrastructure. Secondly, a better utilization of resources has reduced IT infrastructure costs and, ultimately, increase in productivity. Most importantly, the BPM has had positive impacts on the bank’s business processes, the primary goal for which it had been adopted. First, the bank has realized real time integration with its core system, among other applications. TAT have also been reduced for the process of account opening and other processes. The project has removed work duplication as data entry has been restricted to branch operations only. Third, it has unified and harmonized the interface for the underlying applications that provide business users with increased ease of usage, which means the system can “perform multiple tasks through single system access” (Fischer, 2012, p. 102). From an organizational point of view, the project has improved employee efficiency and productivity, provided scalable solutions that have enabled faster rollout business initiatives and handling increasing business volumes, and flexible solutions in terms of incorporating changes within short periods in line with business requirements.

All these have, one way or another, improved customer satisfaction by quicker and better servicing. For example, the requirements of physical forms and response times have been reduced. More directly, the bank has automated various key customer-direct processes: customer and account maintenance, as well as Term Deposit Initiation (TDI). The account opening process has been eased. The system can now process about 245 applications daily. These can be easily scaled up according to the bank’s future requirements. Moreover, customers do not have to submit complex forms. Instead, the system generates the required forms automatically. Also, having been integrated with the SMS system, the bank can communicate to its customers within 10 to 15 minutes after their accounts become operational. Customers can get “immediate and informed response to their queries” (Fischer, 2012, p.103).

ADCB: Business Model

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank operates a consumer banking model. This is why its focus in recent years has mainly turned to its Consumer Banking Business. In fact, ACDB has won awards for the best retail bank in the Gulf region. The successes of ADCB’s BPM, especially in relation to consumer satisfaction, is therefore just the thing it needs.

BPM Practice Patterns

One of the reasons ADCB has had considerable success with its BPM is because they considered the candidate processes (that is, the context) and adapted the right kind of BPM tool. This secured pervasiveness (that is, scalability in relation to the number of users), capability levels, as well as the types and number of users (Fischer, 2012).

The bank should, however, conduct periodical reviews of the elements of growth and what needs to be done to meet them. This is to ensure that its BPM addresses: segmentation, security and confidentiality, flexibility and customization (as the business continues to grow, needing a bigger system), accountability, and business continuity.

Conclusion

The advantages of BPM are not automatic. The actual goals of a BPM are informed by the process weaknesses an organization forces and, therefore, its immediate and long-term goals and objectives. Failure to adapt BPM goals and objectives to the contextual elements in the organization can lead to failure.

Otherwise, Business Process Management (BPM) ensures the optimization of business processes. This provides various managerial and financial benefits for the organization (ADCB in this case). These benefits translate to advantages for the customers, as well. Ultimately, this boosts the organization’s competitive advantages.

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