Jim Rudden, in his January 2007 BP Trends publication, reveals that in 2006 and 2007, more than 1,400 CIOs identified business process improvement as a top business priority.
Today, as BPM Institute and Gartner outline in a webcast, companies are “rethinking their business models and reinventing their processes to transform business operations for the digital age.”
These are precisely the reasons why more and more companies turn to business process management (BPM) software in large numbers to stay profitable and relevant, and to keep up with the digital times. When done right, the benefits to be had with BPM software implementation are manifold, namely:
The cost of losing profitable business transactions or appeasing disgruntled customers can be disastrous, particularly for businesses still finding their footing.
One obvious advantage of BPM solutions is that they maximise cost savings by enhancing collaboration within teams, bringing successful project completion within budget, and with reported cost savings of anywhere between 30 per cent to 50 per cent.
The prevalence of smart applications in handheld devices has spawned a new breed of customers – those that expect businesses to resolve their issues as speedily as native mobile phone apps address their needs.
Cloud-based BPM solutions afford organisations relevant information that enables their teams, particularly those on the front lines, to make timely decisions and satisfactorily serve their customers. BPM solutions that can be as nimble as the processes that power them are a clear advantage.
One way to engender visibility within a company is through a platform that allows people to collaborate effectively, share project updates, files and documents in real time, and access status reports that paint the real picture, so people are never left to guess what exactly is going on with a task or project.
- Customer focus
Having a centralised depository to host customer information and communication, which can then be retrieved by authorised users as needed, allows a company to focus on servicing their customers’ needs in the best way possible.
This way, data integrity is kept intact, and people need not waste precious time looking for information in various locations.
- Employee satisfaction
As an HBR article by Vincent Flowers and Charles Hughes relates, employees stay because of “inertia,” which is affected by two factors: (1) job satisfaction, and (2) the comfort level the company environment affords them.
BPM solutions contribute to employee satisfaction in that they greatly help with job clarity, transparency, visibility, communication, collaboration, and ultimately, successful project execution.
Employees who know what they’re doing, who aren’t confronted with unwanted work surprises every now and then, are those that rank high on the happiness scale. Happy employees are productive employees, and productive employees are definitely an asset to a company.
When employees know what they should be doing, what is expected of them, and how the tasks they’ve been assigned are contributing to the overall project’s goals, tasks and projects are carried out effectively and seamlessly, and issues that arise are immediately identified before they turn into full-scale process catastrophes.
Further, productive individuals and team players who believe their efforts are valued tend to stay with a company longer than those who feel otherwise.
- Continuous process improvement
Having a BPM solution allows organisations to proactively identify process bottlenecks for continuous business process improvement, as reports can be immediately retrieved and analysed to pinpoint processes and skills gaps that may be holding the company back.
A centralised platform for communication and essential collaboration fosters consistency in the way employees deal with their customers. Nothing frustrates a customer faster than two different people from the same company saying different things about the same problem, or worse, giving completely opposing recommendations.
BPM solutions empower employees with the right amount of knowledge and information at the right time and circumstance, as process knowledge can be collectively stored in the software for immediate authorized user access.
- Better performance tracking and reporting
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
To continually improve organizational performance, performance tracking and reporting must be foolproof.
Reporting and analytics features are built into most BPM platforms so that success monitoring and gaps determination can be done much faster than relying on spreadsheets and numerous files and documents, which, if done manually, can be riddled with errors, errors that can be fatal to the company’s overall health.
A BPM solution, particularly that which is hosted in the cloud, allows managers and department heads a level of control that can essentially keep a project (or company) from falling apart.
With control comes agility, and with agility comes exceptional customer experience that every conceivable for-profit company aspires to achieve.
The digital age is here and not going anywhere any time soon, which goes to show that companies must adapt to stay relevant.
To that end, BPM solutions are, no doubt, becoming more and more vital for businesses, not just in the process improvement arena but in companies’ bid to drive change and further their growth. Will you be left behind?
Maricel Rivera is a freelance business and technology writer currently managing content for Comindware, a global enterprise software company delivering Business Operations Management solutions.