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Optimising operational excellence through BPM

Business process management (BPM) might not sound like the most exciting topic of discussion, but it’s a deal breaker for the companies that take the time to invest in it properly.

In fact, given the volatile, unexpected nature of the business environment right now, there’s probably never been a better time to implement sound business processes and the tools needed to manage them.

There’s a common misperception that business process management is solely the domain of large corporations. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Getting to grips with your business’s processes and effectively managing them is a necessity for every company pursuing business success, no matter the size.

One of the reasons for this mistaken belief is that identifying and managing business processes appears to be complicated and time consuming and as a result, feels overwhelming. But at its heart, business process management is simply the automated control of all the processes that your business needs to run.

Take the sales process, for instance. In small businesses that might be all the steps from the point of receiving a single order to delivery, and for large businesses, the steps from receiving a bulk order to mass distribution. Both businesses rely on a process to facilitate sales, and both businesses have to manage that process to ensure its efficacy. A breakdown in this process or any functions related to it would be detrimental to the sustainability – and profitability – of the business.

Sales is just one process-led function. Others include administration, operations, procurement, HR, IT and customer service. Effective business process management relies on the automation of the various actions within these processes – a process in and of itself that begins with planning each process to be automated; analysing, modelling, implementing and monitoring these automated processes; and finally, refining the automation to improve efficacy even further.

The benefits of automating business processes in this way are numerous. The most obvious is the increased productivity experienced by staff as a result of more efficient processes. Another major benefit is the agility it offers companies, as teams know and understand their processes well, allowing them to quickly and easily course correct where necessary.

Reduced human errors; internal and external policy and legislative compliance; less micromanagement; improved access to company and customer data; and seamless digital integration across the business are also potent strategic advantages offered up by sound BPM.

However, for all the good BPM does for a business, it’s only as effective as the support it enjoys from the people implementing it. In other words, successful BPM needs employee buy-in. There are still human beings sitting behind these automated processes, and while not all employees care about improving their workflow, it’s essential that they back the idea of process automation – and help facilitate it.

Business process management looks different for all organisations, but ultimately its objective remains the same: to optimise operational performance by enabling all business units to play to their strengths.

In our current business climate, there is probably no greater – or more pressing –strategic imperative than this.

About Rob Fedder

Rob is the Managing Director of Tidy Files and Cleardata, which are Metrofile Group companies. He has been involved in the paper and electronic document management industry since 2006 and is passionate about helping businesses navigate the complex document management landscape.


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