Improving task efficiency and eliminating process friction

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The Challenge

Efficiently managing frontline workers posed a challenge for the company, aiming to cut costs and enhance overall experiences. While focusing on financial transaction processing, identifying optimal processes was hindered by users struggling to articulate actions due to the semi-automatic nature of repetitive tasks.

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The Solution

Addressing the need for accurate user journey insights, the company found a solution in Acumen. Chosen for its unmatched ability to pinpoint “process friction” and inefficiencies, Acumen provided quick results. By mapping users’ journeys seamlessly, the platform facilitated easy review, helping the company identify and address deviations from the expected process.

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The Results

With Acumen, the company swiftly identified process improvements, integrated calculations to eliminate spreadsheet inefficiencies, and saved time for frontline workers. The platform’s data is now leveraged for ongoing efficiency enhancements, application usage tracking, and informed system modernization decisions.


The company needed to maximize the efficiency of frontline workers, partly with a view to managing its cost but also to improve the experience of employees and customers by eliminating unnecessary complexities.

It decided to focus initially on people processing financial transactions through its inhouse systems, and to build its understanding of the whole journey that is involved in carrying out this process. Even though everyone is using the same basic system, the company realized that there are many ways of getting from A to Z, and that some ways of completing that journey work better than others.

Finding the variations was a way of identifying opportunities to speed up and improve the process, as well as reducing frustration for workers and customers. The challenge was that users were not always able to articulate what they do and why because they had done it so many times that it had become semi-automatic.


To gain an accurate understanding of user journeys, the company needed a workforce analytics solution.

They chose Acumen because of its unrivalled ability to highlight an issue it suspected it had – “process friction” or small inefficiencies that prevented its user journeys from being as efficient as intended.

This ability makes it easy to truly understand what users are experiencing when they use a system. The company rapidly implemented Acumen, deploying the product and seeing results within just a few weeks.

Then it was simply a matter of mapping the start and end point of the process and then letting the platform map out each users’ journey between these points. Acumen makes it easy to review the results and to spot instances where the mapped journey deviates from what the organization expects.


Within weeks of starting to work with Acumen, the company was identifying major opportunities for process improvement.

One of the biggest improvements so far relates to spreadsheets. Acumen revealed that many employees were using a spreadsheet for calculations that were not provided by the in-house system. Although the spreadsheet was only used for a couple of minutes on each occasion, the time taken to switch out of the system, start up the spreadsheet, enter the data, perform the calculation, and then switch back to the main system was considerable. And typically, an individual would do this multiple times a day. It added up to several hours of wasted time per week for most of the organization’s 15,000 frontline workers. Having discovered this opportunity thanks to Acumen, the company was quickly able to incorporate the necessary calculations into the main system.

This avoided the need to switch over to a spreadsheet, with the extra work and frustration that entails, not to mention the possible risk of miskeying the data. This relatively minor change has made life easier for the employees and customers, and has saved the company many thousands of dollars.

The company has identified several other opportunities to use Acumen, and the data it generates, to improve user and customer experience and increase efficiency. The data from the mapping exercise is being added to a data lake, so that it can easily be combined with other information to obtain further insights into potential efficiencies.

In addition, the company plans to exploit Acumen’s ability to track application usage. For example, by tracking how frequently email is used, it may be possible to find ways to reduce the need and give more people more time to focus on their real jobs. Because Acumen can track user activity across multiple applications, the company will also be able to build a picture of which of its systems are used most and least. That will pave the way for modernizing the systems landscape by retiring systems whose functions are already being performed more effectively by another system that is in use elsewhere in the organization.

Understanding the overall application landscape will also make it possible to track the adoption and usage of new products and identify where individuals or teams need help in transitioning from legacy solutions to new ones.

Want to see how Acumen can help your organization? Speak to one of our experts today.