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Introduction of electronic documents: how business process simulation can help

Michael Leyer (ProcessLab, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, Frankfurt, Germany)
Maximilian Hollmann (ProcessLab, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, Frankfurt, Germany)

Business Process Management Journal

ISSN: 1463-7154

Article publication date: 28 October 2014




Many companies still use paper documents within their service processes, which is supposed to be inefficient, and a digitalisation of documents is a promising alternative. However, such a change is expensive and the process typically has to be adapted. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to show how business process simulation (BPS) can be used to forecast the effects of the introduction of electronic documents.


This paper presents a case study of a German bank, and shows how BPS can be used to evaluate the introduction of electronic documents in financial service processes.


The case study shows how BPS can be applied to evaluate the implications of introducing IT systems using the example of e-files. The results reveal that not only cycle time, but also costs and administrative workload, can be reduced, while the number of processed orders increases.

Practical implications

On the one hand the data generated in the simulation results can form the basis for feasibility studies regarding IT investments, e.g. for the migration of historical data from the old document management system system. On the other hand, further actions can be deduced for sales staff and other processes, which can use employees’ additional free time.


Real case examples are rare, as many companies do not apply simulations. This paper is the first to analyse the impact of introducing electronic documents in service processes using BPS. The paper provides an approach how to conceptualise such settings.



Leyer, M. and Hollmann, M. (2014), "Introduction of electronic documents: how business process simulation can help", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 20 No. 6, pp. 950-970.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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