Business process management (BPM) is a comprehensive approach to business management, which consists of multiple phases of operation. To be effective, BPM implementation requires several elements like design, modeling, execution, monitoring and finally process optimization. In today’s world, the use of business process management is a necessity to be able to effectively solve business problems. In this article, we will focus on the final stage of the business process management lifecycle – business process optimization, which in many cases is forgotten, yet contributes to eliminating redundancy, streamlining workflows, improving communication and supporting changes.
Why is business process optimization so important?
With the development of technology, changing customer expectations, new business needs or expansion, existing processes need to be modified. For this reason, the process optimization stage is particularly important and determines the right action to execute a chosen strategy. A better optimized process directly contributes to lower operating costs, or improved efficiency.
What to focus on when optimizing a business process?
Business process optimization is a high-return investment that can help a company stay on the wave of change, but only if done correctly. Here are some cases to consider when optimizing workflows.
Concentrate on improving efficiency rather than cutting costs
Many managers, when looking to reduce costs, choose to cut overtime or layoffs. This approach, if not a last resort, is simply wrong. Reducing human resources when the extra time was needed anyway to get the job done translates into more errors, late handovers and costly waste. This in turn hinders the entire workflow and results in lower customer satisfaction.
There is a much better, however initially very challenging solution, that would streamline processes. Analyzing and describing current operations and then developing improvements takes a lot of time and does not deliver results in the blink of an eye. However, just as any business flourishes slowly, so process optimization takes time, but brings tangible benefits.
One of our clients decided to carry out process optimization for more than 20 internal workflows, which resulted in 40% savings in employee time spent on administrative tasks.
Reduce workload with automation
Automation is one of the best ways for business process optimization. Although it is another investment, the return on it can be significant.
Let me use the example of automation of a process based on self-service. Such a solution will work great in many different industries, among others insurance (purchasing policies, claim processing), banking (payments) or telecom (adding additional services). By implementing an automated process for purchasing, let’s say travel policies, customers will gain more independence and information without the need for agent assistance. Agents, in turn, will save time solving individual problems, allowing them to focus more attention on long-term profitable customers. This automation reduces the cost of processing each policy and increases service availability.
Eliminate costly errors
By optimizing processes, after critically examining the action steps, it is possible to eliminate problems that affect the effectiveness of the activities being performed. Continuous review, optimization and updating of business processes remove inconsistencies and inaccuracies that lead to errors.
Don’t stand still – redesign process steps to support change
Ensure periodically that processes meet established business objectives and market conditions. Collect stakeholders’ and users feedback and streamline the process for any new concerns and challenges that need to be resolved. Make adjustments that will noticeably affect process performance, resource savings and ROI.
How business process optimization can be done?
To get the most out of business process optimization, it is useful to divide it into several steps.
- Identification – Choose a process that is troublesome and needs to be optimized
- Analysis – Find out the bottlenecks of current processes
- Implementation – Set up new processes with modifications
- Monitoring – Observe the performance of the process and check periodically for improvements
The success behind business process optimization depends very much on the software in which you perform business process management. In my opinion, one of the best tools that can be leveraged to design, automate and improve processes is Camunda.
With help of this software, you can have access to:
- Reports and alerts to monitor and analyze processes in real time
- Analyze business processes that are performed by Camunda or by other systems
- Data filtering, heatmaps and performance visualization of business processes
Special tools for business process optimization and management like Camunda Optimize can provide insight into process performance and allows you to pinpoint areas for improvement. More about the tool you can read in our article here.
At Devapo, we can enable effective collaboration, driving processes towards maximum efficiency. If you need help: