Success Story

The market demanded new
technologies and fresh ideas

How Sberbank’s subsidiary bank in Kazakhstan automated business
processes and electronic document management
using ELMA and improved employee performance
Sberbank

About the Project

The Kazakhstan subsidiary of SB Sberbank is a part of the international Sberbank Group. Its network includes 110 structural subdivisions; 17 of them are branch offices. The ELMA implementation project involved the headquarters in Almaty and the whole network.

With ELMA, Sberbank set really ambitious goals: to go paperless, to optimize and automate business processes, and to improve employee performance. We’ve talked to Rashid Ushurbakiev, Bank Technology Manager, to hear about the company’s progress.

SB Sberbank

Sberbank-logo

Banking services, Kazakhstan
sberbank.kz

  • 110

    structural subdivisions

  • 17

    branch offices

ELMA: What kind of challenges was the company facing? Why did you decide to implement ELMA?

R.U.: The reason to switch to ELMA was that the previous system had exhausted itself. There were no growth opportunities, and we needed state-of-the-art technologies to improve our business processes and operations

Technologies improve by the day, and at that time, the market demanded new technologies and fresh ideas, so we decided to switch to a more modern platform. We set several goals: to go paperless, to optimize and automate business processes, and to improve the employees’ performance.

At the research stage, we analyzed more than 10 platforms that were popular with different major companies. They were all similar to each other in most aspects, so we established several criteria that the system had to meet. In addition to that, we explored the potential of the company as a vendor and the opportunities of its distributive network as well as the product itself. In the end, we chose ELMA.

Both the executives and the employees knew that the business processes had to be improved, so nothing restrained the project from within. Both the executives and the dedicated employees engaged in it.

R.U.: We started researching the possibilities of migrating to a different system in April, 2017. The project itself launched in July of the same year. As we had considerable experience and understanding of what an EDMS is and what business processes are, we developed detailed business requirements, a plan of moving from one platform to the other, and a plan of data migration to save all the necessary information.

The whole project, including the research stage and the internal preparation, took 14 months. Moving from one system to the other, including development and data migration, took 9 months. Thanks to our coordinated team and flexible approach, we managed to complete the implementation in a very short time.

ELMA: How much time did it take for the project to pay off? What results did you achieve?

R.U.: A project like this pays off quickly if as many automated processes as possible are moved to the EDMS. Using electronic document management makes many processes run faster, especially when the participants are in different offices or cities.

ELMA also allows to completely eliminate physical documents as it lets you use a digital signature of almost any legitimate certificate authority.

As a result, not only business processes, but also employees work more efficiently because all actions without value are eliminated: the circulation and the transportation of documents, the endless waiting, etc. Our clients are what drives us. We can only produce qualitative products and services if we optimize the internal processes.

Different processes improved on different scales, as well as the use of staff hours and the employees’ performance. For example, using digital signatures allowed us to convert all internal documents (requests, proposals, claims, etc.) to digital formats and completely stop printing them and using their paper copies.

This allowed us to save money on paper, ink, and places to store physical documents. In six months, we saved roughly 100,000 sheets of paper just on one business process.

The functions and features of the platform let us create processes that replace manual operations with automated ones. That way, we save specialists’ time and make the processes clearer.

ELMA: How does ELMA work in your company?

R.U.: We’ve integrated ELMA with other systems that merged together to automate operations that used to be performed manually and were prone to human error. ELMA helps to save time that used to be wasted on waiting and error correction, eliminates manual operations, greatly reduces expenses connected with human factors, and improves the speed of processes.

In the current situation, it’s important to be able to work remotely, and ELMA rose to the occasion. The number of users working in the system and the number of running processes tripled, but, thanks to its well-arranged and fault-tolerant architecture, the system was available 24/7.

During the pandemic, we managed to digitize our work very quickly as ELMA allowed to scale the system and its tools easily (which was especially significant for the executives). The managers recognized all opportunities of the mobile version, acknowledged and appreciated how practical the system is. Most of the credit for this goes to the chair and his deputies as they were the ambassadors of mobile technology implementation.

"Now we can safely make ambitious plans. Our new goal is to become a completely paperless business despite the fact that we’re a financial institution. ELMA lets us improve our business processes so that our clients always stay ahead of the game".

ELMA: What did you learn from this project? What kind of advice can you give to companies that are implementing BPM? What kind of pitfalls would you warn them about?

Both the executives and the employees knew that the business processes had to be improved, so nothing restrained the project from within. Both the executives and the dedicated employees engaged in it.

R.U.: I’m glad that I’m a part of a strong and forward-minded team that is building one of the best finance companies in the world as we create high-quality and high-tech products and services.

Here is what we learned:

  • 1

    Spare enough time for research, and the project will be more beneficial than you expected.

  • 2

    You can only achieve the best result if you work as a team.

I’d say: don’t be afraid to take the steps towards unexplored destinations and, of course, don’t hang on to old technologies.

Now we can safely make ambitious plans. Our new goal is to become a completely paperless business despite the fact that we’re a financial institution. ELMA lets us improve our business processes so that our clients always stay ahead of the game.

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