How to Manage Your Business Processes Better
How many file folders are sitting on your desk? How many post-it notes are stuck on your computer monitor? How many spreadsheets does it take for you to get through the day?
Too many businesses are still conducting business “on the fly.”
“Ad-hoc decision making and figuring out processes as we go keeps us agile,” says one small business manager, who worries that his competition is gaining on him. “We’d fall further behind if we had to stop and figure out formal processes.”
Ad-hoc solutions may provide immediate customer response when you’re a small business with a few customers and a few employees. But if you haven’t thought ahead to how you’ll scale your business processes as you grow, you’ll soon be like our friend above – working over-time to “figure out things as you go” and falling further behind.
If your business is growing and you’re not making changes to the way you manage the increasing numbers of tasks and the dissemination of information, sooner or later, your business is going to suffer.
If you want your business to thrive, you need to establish clear processes, optimize them and scale them as you grow. That’s where Business Process Management (BPM) comes into play.
What is Business Process Management?
BPM enables you to maximize the impact of inputs (time, money, resources, etc.) by optimizing their outputs. Or, putting this another way, Business Process Management lets your organization service more clients and process more work without spending more money or hiring additional employees. What business owner wouldn’t want an outcome like that?
How does BPM work?
The first step is analyzing and honestly evaluating the way you do things now and identifying opportunities for improvement.
For example, invoicing, human resources and data extraction are three of the most common opportunities for BPM improvement. By reducing paperwork, digitally automating workflow and using remote workers, processes are streamlined, efficiency increases and overhead costs go down.
How BPM Helps Decision Makers
BPM offers decision makers a systematic approach that provides a transparent look at processes in action, so you can see how decisions affect your bottom line. This top-level view of day-to-day processes puts you in a place to act, rather than react. When you use BPM tools, you can improve processes quickly, make decisions proactively, and determine the financial benefit of the decisions you make.
By creating processes that can be quantified in terms of financial results, decision makers can maximize financial returns by minimizing time spent, maximizing the use of resources, and reducing waste to an absolute minimum. Management is able to see the big picture in real time.
How BPM Helps Employees and Customers
When processes improve, employee interactions with customers and each other are easier. The information needed for employees to do their jobs is readily available. Business processes can be matched to customer needs, making it easier for them to do business with your company.
So back to our friend that we quoted at the beginning of this post…
After seeing a demonstration of real-time process improvement, he’s decided that Business Process Management is for him! He realizes that when BPM is applied correctly, it enhances productivity, decreases costs and keeps errors to a minimum. He’s busy analyzing his existing processes and getting ready to make the leap into a new way of doing business.