Competitive advantage through business process

Achieving new levels of business improvements such as better customer services, greater employee efficiency and greater competitive advantage is not possible without overcoming serious inefficiencies embedded in the business processes. Business Process Management (BPM) system is a concept and technology that addresses these inefficiencies effectively and at a higly reduced cost .

Leverage opportunities embeded in processes

Most of the improvements that companies are aiming to achieve depend on the makeup and performance of business processes. The diagram demonstrates a sample business process. It is complex, requires many human-to-human and human-to-machine interactions and spans many organisational departments.
Because of these complexities, business processes are intrinsically inefficient. Here are some examples:

  • Processes are carried out through a mixture of human and system activities
  • They are managed in a fragmented, smoke-stack fashion, usually around the organisational structure or enterprise applications
  • They involve a vast amount of repetitive manual work often carried out by overqualified people
  • Process activities, mainly those carried out by humans are not documented and therefore not enforceable and repeatable
  • Parts of processes are embedded in packaged applications and therefore do not provide competitive advantage for companies using similar applications
  • They are not easily adaptable to a changing business model

These inefficiencies impact on performance and effectiveness of processes and therefore inhibit achieving greater improvements.

BPM platform provides mechanisms that can deal effectively with many of these inefficiencies, creating enormous possibilities for delivering improvements and benefits to the organisation.

Another important characteristic of processes which BPM takes advantage of is the frequency of execution and impact (value) they have on the organisation:

BPM systems excel in improving processes belonging to three of those categories – this represents about 80% of all process improvements opportunities.

Further reading …

The next section presents main functional components of a BPM system and demonstrates how they may help tackling process inefficiencies. Please read on …