Revisiting the Process-Centric Company

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BPMInstitute's State of Business Process Management study, released 8/2/2004, shows that companies are, indeed, seeking to transform themselves into process-centric organizations and consider this transformation to be critical to the company’s future success. Responding enterprises agreed that effectively architecting and managing a process-driven enterprise requires strategic planning of business goals, identification of mission-critical business processes and specification of desired process improvement outcomes

  • Identify high-value business processes in areas such as compliance and risk management, customer service, and supply chain operations
  • Develop metrics for achieving measurable, quantifiable results through improvements in operational efficiency, process visibility and control, and business agility
  • Establish long-term goals to evolve from process improvement to process excellence
  • As a result, companies that have begun to employ some of the above strategies have realized the following benefits:
  • Reducing product design time by 50% resulting in faster time to market, more competitive products, and increased revenue
  • Reducing order processing time by 80% resulting in cost savings, improved customer satisfaction, and increased revenue
  • Improved call center efficiency by 60% resulting in improved asset management, reduced customer service cost, and improved customer satisfaction

Respondents agreed that today's mission-critical business processes are complex, dynamic, widely distributed and customized across different business units and companies. Their business is supported by hundreds of business applications and they cannot easily change a business process because the process cannot be untangled from the logic of those business applications. Companies are actively exploring the promise of BPM solutions to alleviate the bottlenecks and barriers to modifying the business processes embedded within business applications.

The business and information technology (IT) professionals concurred that in any successful organization they have the same goals: produce the best product for the market, make employees as productive as possible, provide high-quality service and support, and control costs by all means available. The objectives of both line of business and IT professionals depend on IT systems. IT is pushed to get the best possible information to the appropriate people or systems when and where it is needed - at the same time controlling costs by all means available.

BPM as a technology layer resides outside of individual application domains, spanning a reach across organization and business application silos as well as within self-contained business units. As companies look for ways to make operations more dynamic and responsive across organizations and their extended value chain, an emphasis on business process management and process-driven integration rises in significance. The result of this drive is a heightened industry interest in BPM as a comprehensive suite of technology offerings and new business solutions.

Respondents were very interested to understand the capabilities of BPM suites to better marshal the benefits of key technologies into a comprehensive and flexible infrastructure framework for designing, implementing, deploying, and maintaining process management solutions for both the enterprise and the extended enterprise. The technical functions being provided include enterprise process design and execution, application and data integration, automated decision making, business document transformation and exchange; transaction processing and management, cross-application metadata management, and business activity monitoring.

Practitioners by in large feel that BPM represents a natural convergence of technologies providing an architecture that enables faster responses to changes in business strategy. It can enable a holistic, 360 ° approach to process collaboration and management throughout the value chain. When properly implemented it can enable the continuous alignment of processes with business objectives. BPM is about efficiency: Doing more with current investments and economically connecting those investments with the business processes that they support. BPM is also about innovation: providing a structured approach to keep the business constantly engaged in an evolutionary process of exploration, experimentation and education toward business operations excellence.

— and these efforts must be completed before serious investments in technology should be made. That said, the study revealed that one-third of the enterprises had not established a formal business process organization (BPO) and only 19% were involving the BPO at a strategic level of process improvement.The study also identified the following strategies common to enterprises currently achieving the greatest return from their BPM initiatives:


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