The concept of business process management (BPM) is simple. BPM focuses on standardizing the various business processes that go into running your company. It maps out the activities, from start to finish, required to accomplish the end product or service that you provide.
This goal tends to focus on providing a stellar customer experience. It also aims to reduce the operating costs, effort, and resources needed to do so. This is done by creating a solid level of consistency and efficiency throughout an organization’s activities. It starts by identifying each department’s place in the larger business model. From there, everything is knit together into a competent and productive whole.
If a company’s BPM is, in and of itself, unstable, it can undermine this goal of effective constancy. Disconnects between departments can lead to missed deadlines. Failures in communication can leave both individuals and even entire portions of a company in the dust. If your organization needs a business process upgrade, here are four steps to make your BPM more seamless.
1. Integrate Your Entire Enterprise
Proper integration is an essential part of business process management. If a company’s various elements operate independent of one another or, even worse, don’t work together at all, it can lead to serious issues.
With that said, start your improvement efforts with a simple evaluation: are the various elements of your enterprise well integrated? If not, you may need to take steps to improve your company’s internal communication and collaboration. This can be done by improving on current processes as well as the use of technology.
BPM feels like a modern “techy” term. However, it’s a discipline that has been around since the beginning of civilization. The ancient Egyptians needed to ensure that manual labor, transports, and even ropes and tools were in place when building the pyramids. This required a thoroughly vetted business process — with nary a piece of technology in site.
However, just because BPM can be a manual process doesn’t mean it can’t benefit from technology. On the contrary, if you want to boost your BPM utilize an Integration Platform as a Service solution.
An IPaaS is a cloud-based service that provides a platform allowing you to tie together all of the moving parts of your company. It helps to connect your cloud and on-site applications.
From there, you can establish a proper exchange of data amongst these various apps to keep everything in sync.
Using an IPaaS is an excellent initial step in creating a seamless internal experience. It can bring remote and on-site workforces together on a single, unified platform. You may even consider taking things one step further by utilizing an Enterprise Automation Platform. This is the cutting-edge “big brother” solution to a traditional IPaaS.
2. Analyse Existing Success or Failure
Once you know that your company is integrated, it’s time to assess how well your current business process management efforts are going. BPM is a continuous discipline that requires monitoring, collecting data, and evaluating output.
As such, you need to take the time to gauge your current productivity. Start by reviewing your entire BPM system. Consider how your business process should function in an ideal setting.
As you do so, look for key areas that you should focus on during your assessment. For instance, on one hand, you may find a back office activity like payroll comparatively unimportant to your business process. On the other hand, managing your warehouse could be a top priority.
From there, you can begin to look for ways to improve your workflow. Some of this will be no more than adjusting current activity. In other cases, you can look for brand new solutions, such as introducing automation.
3. Look for Areas to Automate or Otherwise Optimize
The 21st-century business world is always evolving. New tech offers a perpetual cycle of increased efficiency. As you review your company’s BPM, look for areas where you can introduce automation or other tech-driven solutions. A few suggestions include:
- Going paperless to keep your records in an easy-to-access digital format.
- Setting up an online workflow platform or document sharing for remote collaboration.
- Creating or updating your employee handbook to match current operations and procedures.
Employees are a great source of help when it comes to brainstorming potential improvements. You may want to create a virtual idea board to house suggestions. This can enable departments and staff members, both remote and on-site, to provide ideas and suggestions in one location.
4. Maintain a Growth Mindset Toward Business Process Management
Even if you find ways to improve your processes in the here and now, your work isn’t finished. Before you rest on your laurels, make plans to continue to improve your BPM in the future.
Constant evaluation and improvement are essential aspects of optimization. What may be efficient today could be woefully inept tomorrow. Even core aspects of BPM can change over time.
For instance, the focus of the discipline used to revolve around things like efficiency and time-management. While these are both still essential aspects of BPM, it has recently shifted to focus more on the customer experience.
With that said, you must make an effort to evolve your business process (along with your entire enterprise) to keep up with the times. This is key to maintaining greater collaboration and innovation as you seek to deliver a superior customer experience that remains consistent over time.
Business process management is an essential part of sustained success. It enables your organization to remain tight-knit and pinpoint-focused on your value proposition. It also keeps you from slipping into inefficiencies and stagnation.
Of course, an ineffective or dated BPM won’t be able to perform this function well. Instead, take the time to keep your business process up to date. Make sure everything is integrated. Assess current successes and failures. Look for new automations and other optimizations that can be added to your system. Then continue to cultivate a mindset of continual learning that keeps your processes above the competition and your brand at the forefront of your industry.