In an increasingly competitive landscape businesses must constantly optimise their processes in order to survive. When businesses soldier on with old, outdated and inefficient processes, as well as processes that have not been documented, the long-term result is often less revenue, higher operating costs and significantly lower customer satisfaction rates, not to mention a higher turnover of employees.
Business process management (BPM) is the art and science of analysing, measuring and optimising business processes, in order to keep the business as a whole running smoothly. Process improvement is an essential part of every successful business toolbox and BPM tools can make it much easier to visualise and manage.
Business process management is primarily a discipline that aims to optimise operational excellence and business agility. If you think of your business as a car, BPM is the diagnostics scanner that ensures the engine, electrics and all moving parts are working at peak efficiency.
In recent years BPM has garnered an ill-deserved reputation for being ‘clunky’ and ‘outdated’ but new intelligent BPM solutions (iBPMS) - leveraging cloud computing, machine learning, business rules, big data, and powered by low code delivery - have made it more practical and viable than ever.
Gartner defines intelligent BPM software as a ‘process-centric model-driven application development platform’. By combining both process data and operational intelligence you allow the business unit to make valuable decisions faster, while removing the strain of repetitive task execution. The end result is faster processes, the removal of bottlenecks, and a renewed ability to scale.
Every business is similar in that they all use processes to meet set objectives. It doesn’t matter how simple a business model might look - processes are (and always will be) king.
Not all businesses document their processes, however. Outdated tech and infrastructure might lead to unreliable, redundant processes that are inconvenient to work with. Inefficient processes can also be costly and unreliable, causing internal and external issues with customers and vendors. BPM takes all of these processes and puts them under the microscope for a closer look. Using cutting-edge data and modelling tools, BPM software evaluates and identifies opportunities for performance improvement, as well as limiting the operational disruption of new integrations.
An intelligent BPM system, deployed in a low code application, can empower businesses to create more value with less waste and less resources - quickly.
Often a business will continue with outdated and wasteful processes because “it has always been done that way”. Change can be painful so the reluctance to transform is justified, if not also incorrect. A properly implemented BPM system can help shine the light on inefficiencies and give visibility on where the main challenges are. By analysing and re-designing processes objectively we can build a robust engine from within that will perform optimally for years (maybe even decades) to come.
One of the main benefits of an effective process is the ability to handle exceptions faster and with less error, with less time between decision and execution. This increased speed and consistency contributes to a far better customer experience, not to mention a more enjoyable working environment for internal employees. Think of it this way: if your business was a human body your processes would be the vital organs. When those organs are malfunctioning we are severely limited in what we can do and accomplish. When they are working optimally we hardly notice them and accomplish far more with less effort. With fully optimised processes that are not hobbled by inefficiencies we can quickly become more competitive and, ultimately, more profitable.
The business world of today is faster and more competitive than ever before. Because the landscape is changing so quickly a built-in agility is a necessary safeguard. Change can come from anywhere; from sudden technology advancements to cultural shifts and changes in regulations. By building flexible, measurable and malleable processes using BPM you create a stronger, antifragile organisation capable of withstanding the pressures of constant evolution.
People and businesses demand unprecedented transparency and compliance with regulations. Along with these demands comes a thick layer of complexity. Intelligent BPM tools make it far easier for large organisations to meet regulatory requirements quickly, allowing you to integrate compliance into the life cycle of your business processes. This transparency will also be visible to employees and, along with cutting down on repetitive tasks, will result in an increase in productivity and staff satisfaction.
When processes are firing on all cylinders and productivity is up, there is a natural refocusing on the customer experience. With internal complexity minimised, employees can respond to customers faster, come up with creative solutions, and improve their relationships with the people that buy and use your products and services every day.
Intelligent BPM software allows companies to change and improve their existing processes without disrupting the larger business. The adoption of low code provides an element of flexibility to workflow design that has never existed previously, offering a powerful advantage to businesses that take the leap into intelligent BPM solutions.
Hopefully now you have a good idea of what BPM is and how it can help your organisation.