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10 Signs It’s Time to Upgrade Your Case Management Solution

Rob Vanderzyppe, Appian
July 14, 2022

Case management software is often confused by the word “case.” Let's debunk this. Case management is a type of work where all tasks revolve around a noun (person, place, event, etc.) that needs to be resolved in a loose or unstructured pattern. So yes, cases can be customer service requests, legal cases, or a patient in a health care system, BUT they are also government grant application reviews, insurance claims, drug trials, corporate investigations, a box in a warehouse, or any other noun (thing) that you need to manage.

Because this type of work can be so vague, it can often be difficult to determine if your work would be a good fit for a case management solution. Many different organizations across varying industries like Addiko Bank, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), and Health Management Limited have developed case management systems for their mission-critical objectives using Appian. From years of helping these and other customers, we’ve come to recognize 10 signs that indicate you are a perfect fit for a case management solution:

10 signs you need a case management solution.

1. You are using spreadsheets to manage mission-critical work.

While spreadsheets are easy to use and only take a few minutes to set up, they just don’t scale. Oftentimes they are fraught with errors that can impact important decisions and information. Not to mention all the issues that go with version controls and up-to-date data.

2. You are drowning in paper from each case.

Paper reduction has some obvious ESG benefits but it can also improve business efficiency. Information on paper is slow moving and usually stale by the time it is entered into the system. It also requires increased human labor to collect hand-written signatures and manually export the data (of course, unless you are using IDP). To summarize, paper hurts your processes way more than a papercut does to your finger.

3. When working anywhere outside of the office, you are hamstrung without internet access and forced to fall back on manual, paper processes.

Field working teams like service technicians, agricultural consultants, and maintenance staff had previously been restricted to manual, paper-based work due to connectivity issues. However, with the continued development of cell signals in rural areas and the soon-to-be 5G networks, it’s no longer necessary for these teams to carry out these outdated work processes. And even if teams are without internet service, working offline should not be an issue with today’s mobile applications. These outdated processes are slow, inefficient, and lack the speed and agility needed in the new work environment.

4. You deal with “swivel chair syndrome”: bouncing from different screens and tabs to find the information you need across different systems.

This has become a problem that is getting worse every day. All of us are guilty of having dozens of tabs, windows, and applications open at once. Did you know that Google has even made a tab manager to allow you to have even more Chrome tabs open at once? This only compounds when you add multiple screens to your desk. Jumping back and forth between point solutions, emails, spreadsheets, etc. is not only inefficient but can create confusion and lead to incorrect decisions on cases.

5. You spend a substantial amount of your time searching for that one right piece of information.

Even with those multiple tabs, screens, and applications, there is still no single source of truth for information. You look in your CRM, your email, messages, legacy systems, etc. to find a specific piece of information that you need to complete a task or answer a pressing question and you find several different versions of what should be a single data point. Wouldn’t your job (and everyone else’s) be so much easier if you could just have it all in one place and know that it was current and accurate?

6. There is a lack of consistent visibility across cases.

From a management perspective, this can really hinder your ability to drive speed and efficiency. ust getting a basic understanding of what’s going on is a challenge. Simple tracking like “how many people inquired about a recall” turns into a nightmare scavenger hunt.

7. You don’t have a productive way to collaborate on details and information and resort to email, messaging, meetings, or calls.

Internal communications can get really tricky, really fast. Ad hoc email, messaging apps, phone calls, video calls, etc. can all leave someone out who is vital to the project. More importantly, these methods don’t provide the necessary visibility to allow everyone involved to see progress being made. Status updates on cases can quickly take valuable time away from the person managing the case as they often have to be repeated over and over again across collaboration systems.

8. Compliance is a real concern, and you don’t have reliable logs to go back to in support of a case.

Looking back at how cases were handled and ensuring proper steps were taken can be almost impossible without reliable, well-organized data. Proper audits would require looking in lots of different systems, and you can only imagine the number of compliance breaches that may have occurred.

9. Your reporting is scattered across different systems.

Getting metrics and reports takes a lot of time and a lot of manual work. You need to work with different admins for different systems, IT has to search within logs of legacy systems, and your BI (business intelligence) tool has to pull data from the lake—and this all has to be repeated every month for executive briefings.

10. Data is siloed across different systems and is often outdated or inaccurate.

And even when you do get the data you need, it’s stale. You tend to read reports on Q2 data in Q4 when it’s too late to make any significant changes. In 2022, there is no time to wait on lagging data sets as organizations and consumers worldwide change their preferences from one day to the next.

The good news is that a modernized case management solution can change all of this. Appian Case Management provides you with the tools needed to manage, execute, and analyze your case work with the speed, agility, and security you require.

To learn more about case management and how modern, dynamic systems can change the way you work, check out our case management guide.