Unless you’re already using business process management, you might be lagging behind your competition. Companies around the globe have been recognizing the importance of process management, planning on investing in workflow or BPM software within the next few years. Which is understandable – the benefits of business process management are unquestionable; according to Gartner, even with the most basic commitment to BPM work can lead to around a 12% productivity improvement. This, in turn, directly correlates with company profits & inevitably beat the competition.
What is Business Process Management (BPM)?
Business Process Management (BPM) is a methodology of constant process re-evaluation and improvement. It is, more or less, the same thing as Business Process Improvement (BPI) or Re-engineering (BPR). The main differentiator is that BPM is something you do on an ongoing basis, while the other two are one-time initiatives.
So for example, you could use BPI to improve a lagging process on a one-time basis, or even re-engineer it completely. While this temporarily makes the process more efficient, it doesn’t necessarily last. There’s always the chances of some sort of new technology, for example, allowing for a completely new way of doing the process, something significantly more efficient.
Top 7 Benefits of Business Process Management
The benefits of business process management are pretty wide-ranging. It can be beneficial both in the short-term (productivity, profits), as well as the long-term (ability to withstand competition, agility to make changes).
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One of the most obvious benefits of business process management is the increased productivity. It allows you to streamline business processes by cutting out redundant or inefficient tasks, as well as automating any sort of menial work.
This, in turn, allows your processes to yield higher output (that is, higher product quality, process running faster, etc.), since the employees focus on spending time on more important core functions.
A direct result of higher productivity within an organization is the lowered expenses. With the efficiency you’ve gained from streamlining business processes, you’ll eventually end up with a lower output-to-expenses ratio. Meaning, you’ll either have a bigger output for the same process costs, or the same output for lower costs.
In fact, according to AIIM research, companies that implemented business process management increased their ROI by as much as 41 percent within the first year.
The deadliest enemy of any business is the failure to innovate and change. In fact, that exact thing has been the grave of all too many businesses.
As you could have guessed, change isn’t easy. Unless your organization is used to changing and adapting on a regular basis, you’ll have a hard time doing it when your business is on the line. On one hand, BPM allows you to create processes that are flexible and easier to change. On the other hand, it develops a culture of innovation within the business, making change something common and welcome within the organization, and not something to be feared.
With business process management, you’ll end up quantifying all of your processes, as a way of measuring efficiency. This, used alongside the BPM software, will allow you to routinely evaluate the efficiency of your processes over time, as well as identifying potential improvements.
Depending on your industry, you might have to follow certain rules and regulations. This can be anything, such as financial, safety, ISO standards, etc. By using BPM, you’ll be making your processes completely transparent, both for the regulatory bodies, as well as your management. This can mitigate any risk of human error since you’ll be constantly aware of whatever’s going on in this company. This, in turn, can save you from huge fines incurred from accidentally violating regulations.
In most jobs, there are times where you just have to do some really menial work. This, of course, no one likes – especially for a position that requires high skill or expertise.
BPM, however, allows you to automate a big chunk of the menial work, allowing your employees to focus on the work that’s actually engaging and enjoyable. This, in turn, leads to higher employee satisfaction.
Without BPM, there usually isn’t the “best way” to carry out a process. While the general idea and end-result are usually the same, the means of doing it tends to vary. This might lead to lowered efficiency since one way of carrying out the process can be significantly better than the rest.
BPM helps with process standardization – creating the one way of doing things that better than the rest. This also makes the employees more accountable (if you deviate from the process model, you’re doing something wrong), and process results less likely to vary. Which, in turn, leads to…
The risk of human error is something ever-present in most organizations. Business process management can help, in part, mitigate this.
By following a standardized process, your employees are significantly less likely to make mistakes. Even if they do, your BPM software’s analytics will let you see it coming in advance.
Getting Started with Business Process Management
Now that you’re aware of numerous benefits of business process management, you might be wondering where to get started. To learn more about the methodology itself, and how you can implement it, you can read our comprehensive guide to Business Process Management.
Are there any other ways you’ve benefited from BPM? Do you have any personal stories about the implementation? Let us know down in the comments!