When you break any business down into its elements, it’s really just a set of processes. Whether you’re manufacturing products or providing services, there are defined sets of steps that must be completed in all areas of your business—operations, administration, etc.—in order for your company to function correctly.
And while those procedures tend to develop more or less organically over time, the businesses that thrive are the ones that take a proactive approach to what’s called business process management, or BPM for short.
Business Process Management (BPM) Defined
Research and advisory leader Gartner defines BPM as “a discipline that uses various methods to discover, model, analyze, measure, improve and optimize business processes. A business process coordinates the behavior of people, systems, information and things to produce business outcomes in support of a business strategy.”
Companies are increasingly recognizing that assessing and fine-tuning (or overhauling, in some cases) their business processes can produce some remarkable improvements in their results. Whether they’re evaluating one essential business process or a long list of them, most companies today are doing some degree of internal analysis. In fact, it’s rare today to find an organization that feels its current processes are 100% optimized.
Business Process Automation (BPA)
One of the ways businesses improve their operational procedures is through what’s called business process automation (BPA). This type of initiative is also known as digital transformation, typically focused on making manual processes more digital in nature, and digital processes are more autonomous and efficient.
Too often, companies stick to outdated, labor-intensive methods for everything from processing incoming forms to transferring data between repositories like spreadsheets, software programs, and databases. With BPA, these activities are digitized and automated—in whole or in part—with the results being faster and more accurate processing and more time for employees to focus on higher-level tasks.
The People Side of Process Improvements: Who Benefits From BPM and BPA?
One of the first questions people ask us when they’re considering a BPM or BPA initiative is, “Who will benefit from this project and the changes we’re looking to make?” The short answer is, “Everyone.”
- Workers are freed from tedious, repetitive tasks and empowered to tackle bigger projects.
- IT departments have fewer “fire drills” to address since carefully crafted digital processes are much more resilient than random, disparate legacy procedures.
- Managers benefit from their departments getting more done with the same headcount.
- Executives can hit strategic objectives more reliably when they can count on the consistent output of automated processes.
Of course, all of these benefits add up to a tremendous boost for the company in general.
BPM and BPA: Easier to Pursue Than You May Have Imagined
Some technology initiatives are all-encompassing and consequently can be a little overwhelming. That’s not the case with business process management and business process automation. The beauty of these types of projects is that it’s effortless to “dip your toes” initially and ease into more significant undertakings as time and resources permit.
For example, let’s say you determine that the manual scanning of client application forms takes much longer than it should. You can launch a small project explicitly focused on automating the process of running records through a scanner. Then, when you’re ready, you can expand on that project to digitize the contents of those forms, categorize the data and route it to the appropriate repositories. From there, you can streamline how that data flows into the approval process and so on.
How could BPM and BPA be leveraged in your environment? We’re happy to talk with you about your business goals and ways to achieve them faster, more accurately, and more efficiently in a free, 60-minute exploratory phone conversation.
Schedule some time with one of our automation experts by calling 303-807-6528 or contacting us online. There’s no obligation to work with us and tremendous value in the knowledge you gain.
About the Author
Charles Weidman is the President and CTO of Buddha Logic. Charlie has over two decades of experience in the design, development and implementation of content services and business process management solutions. He is also an expert in robotic process automation. Charlie founded Buddha Logic with the idea that well-architected digital document capture and management processes are both beautifully simple and powerfully logical. Find and connect with Charlie on LinkedIn.