Gaining a Competitive Advantage With BPM
Processes are at the heart of most business, no matter how large or how small. Effectively managing those processes is what separates the winners from the losers; a concept that is predicted to become increasingly critical for businesses of all sizes. While creating an innovative, optimized business process is less visible than developing a new product or investing in new facilities, which may cause management to initially view it as less important, research repeatedly shows it is actually more important to a company’s success. Business Process Management (BPM) drives the intangible process capital that is changing the way companies operate and the capabilities they possess. As a result, it also is changing the way they compete.
Key to power behind BPM is the fact that is raises the management focus as it views processes across business units, across product and service offerings, as well as across regions and departments. It involves the deliberate and collaborative definition, endless optimization, innovation, and management of end-to-end business processes; all focused on achieving the goal of agility. In addition, it enables business to invent a new or improved way of doing business, embed it in internal software, and deploy it very rapidly across as many locations, divisions and departments as desired while ensuring consistency and compliance with the new process to gain an advantage. Businesses that rely on functional silos simply cannot win the race because they can’t optimize those business processes that naturally span departments and functions and even continue outside an organization’s boundaries through business partners, such as clients and suppliers in B2B processes, leaving easily detectible process defects unaddressed and slowing the implementation of change, thus giving more agile competitors using BPM a natural competitive advantage.
In fact, Gartner predicts that by the end of 2014, “overlooked but easily detectable business process defects will topple 10 Global 2000 companies.” By “toppling,” the researchers mean that a company will be hit with one or more of the following crises:
- Irreparable harm to its corporate reputation
- Massive backlash from customers
- Significant intervention or sanctions from regulators
- And, in extreme cases, “destruction of the company as a going concern”
Gartner called its 10-company damage estimate “conservative.”
The majority of major business embarrassments, messes, and fiascos are the result of broken business processes and henceforth, could have been avoided if BPM practices and technologies were in place. Here’s how:
- Process modeling helps a business achieve process visibility.
- Business rule management helps a business achieve compliance and consistency.
- Process optimization and/or simulation helps a business discover process problems and test “what if” scenarios.
- Process visibility and business activity monitoring clearly identifies process-related problems.
The first steps to gaining a competitive advantage from BPM involve starting to look at processes from end to end, rather than focusing on the relatively narrow functional areas looking for gaps and other defects, and then start a conversation with a qualified BPM vendor, such as QAT to get the technology put in place that will allow you to manage them effectively.
Start the conversation today. Contact Chuck Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-391-9200.
For more information about the Gartner research included, please see the Gartner report, “Predicts 2011: Business Process Management Competencies Will Expose the ‘Haves’ and ‘Have-Nots.'”