Technology enabled continuous improvement using structured approach

by HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
0 255 5.0/5

One day as I was browsing through the TV channels casually I came across a program where Scientists were seen monitoring some of the endangered species,particularly the penguins.

Not only is the aerial tracking of the penguins difficult but even the traditional method of tracking adversely affected this animal.

By making use of high-quality satellite imagery,Scientists have been monitoring the travels of king Penguin groups and identified an additional ten colonies of penguins previously unknown to the conservationists.

Einstein is quoted as having said that if he had one hour to save the world,he would spend 55 minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution.This observation triggered our understanding of the problems.

It was on one summer afternoon, we were in a monthly business review with the MD and the Departmental Heads.Weather inside the boardroom was as hot as it seemed outside. I still remember Boss coming out of the room with an anxious face.

We were hesitant to ask him about what had actually happened in the review. Rohit,the new management trainee couldn’t resist himself.He said,"Boss,Is everything ok? Why do you look so worried?" Mukesh replied,”Team,we are failing to manage performances of our TPAs,it is having an unfavorable impact on our toplines, customers are unhappy.Don’t you think this is a sign of worry?”

Next day,we met to discuss the problems ,reviewed the existing status of 3-key metrics of medical process-Customer TAT,Reports TAT & Quality of Medical Reports.All were showing a downward trend.Later,we did brainstorming followed by affinity exercise to broadly identify key-focus areas.

"Take a chill-pill guys! It won’t happen overnight.Let’s go and have some fresh air”Guess who said this?None other than Rohit.His words prompted us to look at the time.It was 10:30pm.With the weather being sultry all of us opted for a cup of fresh homemade icecream in a café near Bandra and headed towards our respective destinations.

In next one month we had almost completed 60 small improvement projects. However,to our utter dismay the monthly review revealed a negligible improvement in the graph.

That evening Mukesh again summoned a meeting and said,“Team,lets partner with Business &Service Excellence team and analyze the root causes of each metrics”

This led us to initiate RCA(root cause analysis)of 3-keymetrics for identifying root-causes.

Factors like manual activities,delays in customer connect & customers not willing to visit the DCs(Diagnostic centre)were impacting CustomerTAT.

Factors contributing to the Delay in ReportsTAT were manual upload of medical reports,user-error while indexing,unavailability of scanning centres.

Image-viewer issue, Manual MIS,Delay in report visibility were adversely affecting Quality of Medical Reports.

In a rather unconventional approach,we thought of leveraging technology to address these issues and implemented automated self-servicing tool, automated registration process(using BOTs)to improve customer-connect. Introduced video medical examination @home so that customers don’t visit the centre.

Manual reports upload was eliminated through Robotics Process Automation thus reducing user-dependence &saving time.Implemented Automated Indexing tool and paperless flow to reduce Reports TAT.

Introduced OnlinePDF tool,Automated Dashboard(MIS) & Flodox access(for users) to improve Quality of reports.

In the subsequent months we witnessed a considerable improvement in the key-metrics. Rework and overtime got reduced. At floor-level we implemented approximately 145-small improvement initiatives(Kaizen).Entire process resulted in improved cross-functional collaboration and overall team development.

Lessons Learned

  • Structured problem solving approach addresses and solve problems by eliminating the root cause through a structured series of steps right from the identification of a problem to the solution.
  • Technology makes complex process simpler,leading to improved productivity & efficiency.
  • Workplace collaboration is a sign of effective team as it harnesses the best out of two or more individuals together.
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