Business Process Management (BPM) tends to change and develop as a business organically changes, develops and grows over time. Through the development process business owners, managers etc. may find that processes are not adapted in line with the changing business or market place. This will lead to a simple process, for example logging complaints, to become an arduous and time consuming one.
Business Process Management is defined as an activity or set of activities that will accomplish a specific organisational goal. It should be a systematic approach to making an organisation’s workflow more effective, more efficient and more capable of adapting to an ever changing environment1. If BPM within an organisation is actually the opposite of systematic and in fact not efficient or time saving, then the process itself can cost the organisation considerable time and money in man power.
The use of numerous spread sheets, documents in multiple locations or, worse, paper piling up and record holders over flowing is a clear indicator of a process in need of updating. In the instance of a customer facing process, the client would have expectations that would be in line with what competitors offer; this often means a quick, clear and proactive communication throughout the process, in the case of claims handling for example.
So why should businesses care, when the system they already have in place gets the job done in the end?
Many organisations will be put off reviewing their BPM because that would involve the use of the word ‘change’, however ‘the ability to embrace and master continuous change will define competitive advantage’2. Without change businesses would likely lose their competitive edge, fail to grow within the market place and lose loyal customers.
Change in this era usually results in the early adoption of new technology and, through the use of customised BPM Software, development and change of a process can be enabled rapidly without the daunting task of having to create personalised software that might be difficult to update in the future.
A driver of technology adoption will save money and evolve to meet the demands of the market place, customers and shareholders. With technological advances comes the benefit of report data and analytics. By 2016 70% of the most profitable companies will manage their business processes using real-time predictive analytics or extreme collaboration (Gartner research). These analytics are provided through the use of BPM software and enables managers to not only make real time decisions, but also to identify where in the process time and subsequently cost are being wasted. Access to key data can help an organisation keep pulse on thousands of customers, enhance existing practises for maximum outcome and continuous improvement of operational efficiency.
Through the application of quality business processes, companies can compete within an ever changing market place, look to improve customer retention, reduce costs and save time. BPM Software should enable flexibility to adapt, integrate with all systems in place and not cost the earth.