BPM software and Why Your Company *Really* Needs It
Business process management, or BPM, is defined by Gartner as the discipline of managing processes for improving performance outcomes. In other words, instead of managing tasks, an organization should manage processes, which may cross organizational boundaries and systems. The goal of good BPM is optimized processes that minimize resource use while maximizing productivity. Proponents of BPM say it makes organizations much more effective and efficient than the traditional, hierarchical management process.
While BPM doesn’t have to involve software, it usually does. Regardless of industry or process, the basic approach to BPM includes several steps:
• Designing a business process
• Modeling the process to maximize chances it will do what it should
• Executing the process
• Monitoring the process to see if it works better than what it replaces
• Optimizing and fine-tuning the process to make it as effective and efficient as possible
What Are the Benefits of Using BPM Software?
BPM software that works with your existing business apps is preferable for most organizations, because nobody wants to tear out existing processes and replace them if it’s not necessary. When BPM software integrates with existing processes and applications, it can really shine. By automating and accelerating parts of complex processes, BPM software produces many benefits:
• Increased accuracy – by eliminating redundant processes that increase the probability of errors
• Speed – when repetitive manual processes are automated
• Cost savings – when resources can be taken from repetitive, manual tasks and reallocated to core business processes
• Increased revenues – because you can do more in less time, make fewer errors, and serve more customers better
In short, business process management software puts technology to work for you, so you can devote time to more important things than the necessary, but mundane tasks that have to be taken care of.
Some Examples of BPM Software Uses
BPM software is flexible enough to be applied to just about any business process you can think of. For example, if your company spends too much time processing employee expense reports, BPM software could help you create and automate a standard process with online forms. Rather than dealing with paper forms, employees can be stepped through the expense reporting procedure online, with appropriate personnel notified at applicable stages in the process. There are no papers to lose, and no worries about deciphering someone’s handwriting. With no manual handoffs, the entire process happens much faster.
Some companies use BPM software to ensure regulatory compliance. When a process has to comply with industry or government regulations, you have to have consistent compliance, and often you have to have a paper trail. By using BPM software to create a step-by-step process for ensuring regulatory compliance, you can be confident employees are following the required steps, and that any necessary documentation is created along the way. You can even use BPM software to generate periodic reports on compliance activities.
Purchase management is another popular use for BPM software. The approval process can be complicated, but BPM software puts forms conveniently online and performs handoffs electronically so there’s far less chance of skipped steps or mistakes than there would be with a manual, paper-based process. And BPM software will ensure that everyone follows the same procedure for consistency and predictability.
How to Bring BPM Software Into Your Organization
Back in the day, you might have to initiate a major IT project to implement business process management. Today, that’s not the case. In fact, you can automate BPM processes without knowing the first thing about programming. BPM software with a drag-and-drop, visual interface allows the people who know the processes inside and out to create automated processes, rather than having to get a programmer to do it. With trusted products like PerfectForms, all you have to do is drag and drop objects onto a virtual canvas to build your user interface and define the workflow. You tailor your automated workflows to the exact needs of your organization.
If you’re not using BPM software, you could be missing out on some major efficiency gains. Maybe you’re worried that BPM software would require major expense, planning, and a painful rollout, but that’s simply not the case. With PerfectForms’ workflow application, you have an intuitive, graphical interface that allows you to envision processes and create workflows that suit them exactly. The result is business process management that’s custom fit to your needs, and that you can fine-tune as circumstances demand. Why not try PerfectForms out for yourself? You can sign up for a free trial and start learning how to automate cumbersome and slow work processes starting today.
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