Business processes are the foundation in which organizations run. They define how certain tasks are done, and because businesses are constantly changing, how those tasks respond to internal and external pressures. According to digital marketing analyst, Dominique Sy, unclear and inefficient systems can lead to losses of up to a third of a company’s revenue. Luckily, business process improvement is achievable and within everyone’s reach — no matter the company size or industry.
Process improvement can enable organizations to make small, incremental changes that will provide greater value in the long run. With a few simple steps, your business can become even more effective and impactful. Sarah Berkowski, senior director, marketing at Nintex Promapp, argues a growing number of companies are changing the way they capture, share and review their business processes. They make processes part of their organizations’ day-to-day conversations at every level, and thereby hope to foster an environment of continual improvement — one where processes and their outcomes can be tracked and regularly reviewed and updated.
Where do I start?
First, pick a business process and map it. This is where you visualize your current process from end to end. Sy explains that process mapping enables you to clearly see what your business is doing now. When you look up the definition, process mapping is the act of creating a workflow diagram with the goal of gaining a clearer understanding of how a process and its parallel processes work. Mapping out business processes is a great way to understand all the steps needed to complete a workflow. For each stage, it is important to consider the suppliers, the input, the process, the output, and the customers.
“Even preliminary outlining may already give you a lot of ideas on how to improve your operations. But without a high-level view of your processes, you will never know precisely which aspects of your business model need to be changed.” explains Sy. Automating your business processes will not necessarily improve efficiency if there are still multiple redundant steps in the actual process.
System improvement. After identifying what needs to change, Sy suggests its time to start designing, mapping, implementing, and documenting the changes. Many companies use Business Process Management (BPM) software in order to do so.
When most people think of BPM software, they most likely refer to it as a tool that automates important business processes, however, it is much more than that. BPM software can help organizations gain a competitive advantage by assisting business leaders to improve organizational performance by analyzing, designing, implementing, controlling and modifying operational business processes.
BPM solutions also help coordinate the improvement of staff productivity by automating the daily workforce tasks they would be doing manually if a BPM system wasn’t in place. By implementing a BPM solution into your organization, it helps to put into effect quick responses to challenges and opportunities, at the same time helping business leaders make the right decisions for overall company growth.
Process improvement is a key feature of many BPM software products, as they serve to automate and optimize processes that are added into the software suite. For example, once the processes are run via the software, process managers, end users, and executives can then see where improvements need to be made within the process by looking at the data provided (like completion times or status info).
Business process improvement that BPM software can provide supports organizations with increased profits and productivity, improved quality, enhanced customer satisfaction, reduced costs, more consistent data entry and so much more. In some ways, BPM software gives off the impression that it’s not software at all, but instead, is a process improvement method.
Looking for more? Download our Business Process Management Buyer’s Guide for free to compare the top-24 products available on the market with full page vendor profiles. The guide includes four key capabilities to look for in a BPM platform, plus questions to ask before purchasing. It’s truly the perfect resource for anyone looking to find the right BPM for their business/organization, or those looking to replace an existing one.