Business process management is the starting point for an enterprise looking to improve efficiency and add value to the end consumer. There are several options in creating a robust business process management strategy, and knowing what is best for you will depend entirely on your goals, budget, culture, and leadership.
What is Business Process Management?
In general, business process management is an system of activities that seek to discover inefficiencies and create automation, systems, and processes to close the gap between what is happening and what the desired result is. Several strategies can be implemented to reach this goal including:
There are several software solutions on the market designed to address a variety of needs. Cloud-based technology has allowed more connectivity then ever before, streamlining connections between departments, locations, vendors, and even customers.
Application development has made it easier to integrate with legacy systems and don’t require heavy programming requiring significant IT support or coders. Easier to understand and use, and faster to implement, BPM software solutions are a great tool.
Complete software packages are available, or they can be implemented on a smaller scale for specific business work flows such as HR, AP/AR, Inventory, Customer Management, or Manufacturing Processes, among others.
Business Process Management Consultants can work in a variety of ways to support an organization’s needs. Sometimes when a software solution is implemented, a consultant from the software company is assigned and works through the integration process. This can be very robust and time consuming, or, it can be quick and minimal, and it’s important to know what you need, and what you are paying for.
Other consultants are “software agnostic”, meaning they aren’t tied to a specific software, but may offer a methodology that discovers what business processes exist and how to best manage them.
BPM Consultants who specialize in Lean Manufacturing Concepts (ie. Six Sigma, Kaizen, TPS), are specially trained in strategies that reduce waste while maintaining high standards of production, safety, and morale.
A Combination of Software and a Business Process Management Consultant
While some industries may need only software, or only a consultant, most businesses will benefit from a combination of both. A Lean BPM consultant helps in uncovering, understanding and documenting business processes in ways that reduce waste and add value. Implementing software solutions without first getting Â clear Â the processes on paper will result in an ineffective fix and unforeseen errors that will have to be corrected.
Outside eyes, or the objectivity of a consultant, allows for adoption of new solutions that those within the organization have likely gone “blind” to. This objectivity allows for changes without the sometimes messy emotions, history, politics, or other behaviors that have halted progress in the past.
This also allows for the best decision-making as the entire strategy is pre-planned, implemented, tested and revisited. In essence, the support of a consultant makes the software options cleaner and more effective.
Looking for business process management from a skilled, lean consultant? Ready to dig in and really understand your processes and prepare them for a software implementation? Contact PBEX, LLC today to learn more or to get started.