CommBank feels the need for speed

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has invested millions in a move to ramp up the efficiency of its business processes.

The company has just sealed a deal with business solutions firm, Staffware, to put in place Web-enabled workflow systems designed to automate a number of its business processes. Although neither company would disclose the exact worth of the Staffware Enterprise Partnership contract (StEP), it was deemed "multi million".

According to Russell Scrimshaw, head of technology, operations and procurement for the bank, customer demand spurred the move, which is an indication of a general shift in the way that businesses are being forced to re-think their business processes.

"As we move to meet the needs of the customer of the 21st century, our IT&T and processing strategies are about consistent electronic processing, a browser-based environment and self-service," he said. "We are rebuilding our infrastructure and processes to be customer-centric and not product centric."

Angela Gregory, managing director of Staffware Asia Pacfiic, agrees that companies are looking more and more at how to best serve their customer, and adds that many are finding the automation of their businesses processes through the implementation of end-to-end solutions as one way to achieve this.

"The approach that companies are beginning to take now is different to what they've done before, in that there is a recognition of the importance of this business process automation," she said. "In the past companies went for specific solutions where they've automated a business process. There's now a growing feeling that in order to get the best efficiencies you've really got to look at linking all your key business processes right from the front end through to back-end systems."

The Commonwealth Bank will use Staffware's services to implement self-service functionality for customers into the loans applications, funds management and insurance processes, adding increased visibility to these processes, according to Staffware CEO John O'Connell.

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