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Traffic jams in the business process highway


A few days ago, I took the day off and went for a nice long drive. For the most part the drive was great. Beautiful country side, great weather and nice music. However, on any long drive, there has to be a few Business Processes are in Traffic Jam along the way (it was Friday evening – what was I thinking). I patiently sat through the traffic jam, contemplated on topics like why the universe is expanding, what do billionaires eat for breakfast, etc.

After a little while, the jam just disappeared! Back to speed. There was nothing wrong. It was a phantom jam! Why did the phantom jam happen in the first place? There was one or two cars that slammed on their brakes hard and this triggered a concertina effect.

In our experience of implementing digital workers over the course, we have come across numerous business processes that are smooth for the most parts but regularly hit a “traffic jam”. These jams are caused by mostly automated business processes hitting tasks/steps that are dependent on a human to transfer, in most part with little change, data from one application to another.

The human is not as fast the applications and creates a bottleneck. The process slows down, cycle time increases, customers get frustrated and constraints are applied to the businesses capacity to handle transaction volume.

The solution to phantom jams is self-driving cars are the cars react based on other cars. Reaction times are faster as a result recovery is faster and jams are eliminated leading to smoother flowing traffic. In general everything is faster. We are a little far away from self-driving cars but a solution to the phantom jams of the business process world is here in the form of digital workers.

Digital workers work faster than human workers, they work without any chances of an error, work without needing a coffee break, etc. In the end we get smoother flow of business processes leading to greater throughout and greater customer satisfaction.

Similar to the highways, we have worked with a leading, innovative hotel chain who wanted to improve customer service and being more competitive. There was a huge volume of emails coming in to their contact centre 24 hours a day. At 5pm every weekday they would hit the brakes. The contact centre staff would come back in the morning to a traffic jam of emails to process and were constantly playing catchup.

The constant inflow combined limited working hours meant that there was a constant traffic jam in handling customer queries. Along with the impact on customer service, the contact centre team was de-motivated as they felt like they could never win the constant inflow of emails.

Centelli deployed digital workers to handle the more routine, regular coming emails. Over the course of 6 months, the digital workers handled 150,000 emails. The business process for better customer service flowed smoother and the positive impact on the morale of the contact centre staff was better than expected! The solution took just weeks to deploy without any changes to IT applications.

If you feel your business processes are stuck in a traffic jam, get in touch. Let Centelli explore if Digital Workers can smoothen the flow.


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