All companies rely on business processes to function. Business processes are the blueprint through which business activities are achieved. In short, business processes break down common business activities into a series of distinct, repeatable tasks in hopes of achieving greater consistency and reliability. Thus, the need for business processes to be clear, efficient and adaptable cannot be overstated. However, oftentimes, managers and employees develop business processes without a clear sense of forethought or a real understanding of how each process fits into the larger organizational structure of the company.
Business Process Management (BPM) software offers solutions to these problems. The goal of BPM is to align the development of business processes with the goals of the company. BPM software helps companies identify and define the steps required to complete each business task. It then maps these steps onto existing processes, streamlining the processes where possible to create a more efficient and consistent whole.
With the help of business process management, managers can more easily:
- Measure and adjust operational processes to suit business needs
- Improve staff productivity by coordinating workforce demands and business
- Apply IT developments to the challenges of business processes
- Respond quickly to changes in projects or emerging opportunities
Below, we’ve outlined six additional ways in which BPM can help improve your company.
Benefits of Business Process Management
1) Improved Business Agility
Companies must have the ability to react to change. These changes may come from advancements in technology, an upstart competitor or a new regulation affecting an aspect of the organization’s business activity. Whatever the source, changes demand a quick response in order for the company to remain competitive.
Adopting BPM can give companies the speed and ability to meet these demands. A well-integrated BPM allows a company to pause its business processes at the first sign of a problem, make adjustments to the process and then bring it back on track quickly and with minimal lost time. BPM’s flexible designs enable users to track these changes in business processes and refine them to suit the company’s needs. As the processes evolve, precise documentation gives managers the ability to see and predict the effect of changes on the overall business process.
2) Increased Efficiency
All companies face the challenge of making their business processes function more
smoothly and efficiently. Inefficient processes waste valuable time and money, but are often difficult to identify and hard to change.
BPM practices are designed to pinpoint these inefficiencies and to eliminate the slowdowns they create. BPM allows managers and workers a greater understanding of each step of the business process. This enhanced knowledge can lead to new process solutions that avoid the bottlenecking of workflow and other needless redundancies. Ideally, BPM can help determine how the process might work under optimal conditions, allowing users to make alterations to the process with that goal in mind. BPM can also automate manual tasks to increase productivity and cut down on the chance of human error.
3) More Complete Visibility
BPM uses refined software to track and monitor business processes from initiation to completion. BPM allows for an ongoing register of automated processes, gauging the effectiveness of each step in real time. Automated monitoring reveals the performance of each business process without relying on labor-intensive manual techniques. By studying the performance of each step in the process, management can gain a better understanding of the overall business activity, further enabling them to adapt or modify the flow of each business process.
4) Ensured Compliance and Security
Rules and regulations affecting business productivity can create unnecessary complications and result in costly fines. A company using BPM has a greater ability to create a workplace that is compliant with changing regulations and secure against the threats of fraud or theft. Because each phase of the process is mapped out with a detailed workflow, managers and users can ensure that all necessary documentation is in place to meet compliance standards. In addition to assisting with compliance, the thoroughly documented workflow can provide a framework for greater security. The organizational structure inherent in BPM practices foregrounds the importance of business assets, private information and physical resources, safeguarding these from theft or loss.
5) Easier Transfer of Business Knowledge
As a company’s workforce shifts and expands, the need for a reliable way to transfer business knowledge grows. Too often, companies rely on an individual employee to have a thorough understanding of any particular process. But changes in workforce make this an inefficient, and potentially costly, model. As employees retire, transfer or take employment elsewhere, the knowledge they’ve gained goes with them, leaving the company with a significant gap.
BPM practices offer a solution to this problem. Because BPM encourages a well-documented process map of each workflow, company knowledge can be recorded, archived and shared with other members of the workforce. This knowledge can then be used in the training and orientation of successive employees, with the hope of reducing the level of disruption that shifts in workforce can create.
6) Increased Opportunities for Continuous Improvement
Continuous improvement initiatives operate on the assumption that businesses can be more successful by making a series of small, ongoing improvements rather than a sudden, top-to-bottom change. The information that BPM gives a company with regard to its various business processes encourages process refinement and adaptation. BPM can ensure that the decisions governing these incremental changes are backed by the evidence and data needed to assure success.
Business process management software allows managers the ability to look inside their company and understand how each business process works. This greater understanding can lead to savings in costs, increases in revenues and improvements in company efficiency. Considering all of these benefits, it is no wonder more and more companies are turning to BPM software to help their companies succeed.