As a business evolves it creates common practices or process to standardize how it carries out day to day activities. Over time, these companies implement software systems such as ERP to manage many aspects of their business. Even with these systems in place they find that they have many manual processes that are inefficient, time consuming and costly to the organization. However, many people are unaware or do not fully understand what business process management is and if they should invest in automating their current process.
So what is a business process?
First, let’s define a business process: A business process is an order of activities that a company follows. Here is an example of what a business process may look like:
• One employee submits a requisition (electronic or paper)
• Another enters the data into your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system
• A manager or supervisor will then review the data and give their approval
• The requisition is converted to a purchase order
• The purchase order is sent to your vendor
• The receipt of goods is matched to the original purchase order
• Finally, the vendor invoice is released to accounts payable
As you can see, there can be a great deal of steps to follow in a business process, especially if they are applied manually, but this is where an automated business process management system comes in.
How does Business Process Management (BPM) Software help?
Business process management software, such as TaskCentre works behind the scenes with your existing ERP software and will operate based on the set rules that the company has established internally. For example, if one of the rules that a company follows is for a purchase order approval notice to be reviewed by a manager or supervisor, it will trigger TaskCentre to send a notification to them for authorization.
This notification is part of the automated process and in BPM terms is called a workflow. As the workflows work in the background, all employee will see either actions they need to take or the final results.
It is important for a company to have established what the rules of their business process are and ensure that the workflow they want to create gives them the desired results before putting them into a BPM and creating any automated process. Working with a good BPM will enable you to create automated processes according to the business rules you set.
The benefits of an automated process can be seen very quickly. Procedures that are automated follow uniform steps, ensuring improved efficiency, eliminating human error, saving costs and increasing revenue/profits.
Do you have a manual business process that would benefit from a review? To see if it would be a candidate to automate, call us for a free 15 minute consultation!
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Editor's Note: This post was originally published in April 2014 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.