Closely linked to workflow design and management, business process management software helps users with the design, visualization, automation and implementation of business processes. Applications help analyse bottlenecks, redundancies and other problems within existing processes and optimize new processes to fit into a work environment with the lowest integrational cost. Read the full software guide...
Business process management, or BPM, is a category in operations management wherein individuals and teams utilize a variety of methods in an effort to invent, gauge, enhance, and automate core business processes.
BPM, as a discipline, emphasizes on enhancing business performance through efficient and on-point management of business processes. As such, assessing and improving business processes in order to develop a more efficient and profitable business is the ultimate goal of business process management.
BPM is not the same as project management or task management, although it may fall within the context of a project. Instead, BPM is tailored more towards repetitive and ongoing processes that entail a more predictable pattern.
In order to get the results companies and organizations expect from business process management, they rely on BPM software solutions. BPM software is delivered in the form of advanced systems designed for creating and optimizing workflows within an organization.
BPM software solutions allow users to easily monitor their business processes, thus providing them with the opportunity to easily discover core aspects of their day-to-day operations and processes that may need improving. The main purpose of BPM software is to minimize human errors, inefficiencies, and miscommunication among employees and teams.
There are many different types of business process management software solutions available in terms of what they are designed to do, which aspects in BPM they are focused on, and how they are deployed and implemented.
BPM software solutions may be categorized into three main types, based on the purpose or objective they are designed to serve: integration-centric BPM, personnel-centric BPM, and document-centric BPM.
BPM software solutions that are focused on integration are the systems that are actually designed to integrate seamlessly with existing third-party platforms that most businesses and organizations are already using, such as CRM (customer relationship management) systems, ERP (enterprise resource planning) software, and HRMS’ (human resources management systems).
Human- or personnel-centric BPM solutions are software systems of which the main purpose is to assign or route important tasks in a particular business process to the right personnel who are qualified to perform and complete the given task. The main focus of these types of BPM solutions lies in getting the core tasks done by the stakeholders at the right moment.
Document-centric BPM software, on the other hand, is the type of solution that is typically used when the business process itself involves processing documents and files. These systems allow for the formatting, routing, verifying, and retrieving of important documents that are signed and passed along to the appropriate personnel in the workflow chain.
In addition to the focus or emphasis of BPM software solutions, they may also be differentiated by their frameworks, with which there are three basic types: horizontal frameworks, vertical BPM frameworks, and full-service suites.
Horizontal BPM frameworks are specifically tailored to address the design and development aspects of business processes. BPM solutions in this particular category are essentially focused on technology and reuse. Vertical frameworks, on the other hand, are focused more on key sets of coordinated tasks, utilizing pre-built templates designed for easy configuration and deployment.
Full-service BPM suites are a different breed as they are often more comprehensive in terms of features and functionality. This type of BPM software offers five basic components: process design and modelling, project scoping and process discovery, simulation and testing, a workflow engine, and a business rules engine.
Finally, BPM software solutions can also be differentiated by the way they are deployed or implemented. There are two main types of BPM software solutions when it comes to deployment—on-premise BPM and web-based or software as a service (SaaS) BPM.
On-premise deployment is a common deployment practice for most businesses and organizations, while the web-based option, or SaaS BPM, relies on cloud computing to deliver a more secure and efficient software-on-demand solution.
So, what should a business or an organization consider when choosing a business process management software solution? How do they decide on a system when they’re in the market for BPM software to implement in their day-to-day operations?
Here are a few key factors to consider when comparing the various BPM software solutions available in the market:
Your goals or objectives as a business/organization largely determine what type of software solution you should go for. This is the first step decision makers and stakeholders take when in the process of choosing a software solution.
Identify what you and your organization want to achieve with the BPM software and you can start researching systems that actually offer the features and capabilities you specifically need in order to achieve your short-term and long-term goals.
Investing in BPM software solutions can be expensive. Investing in the wrong kind of BPM system can be devastating to any organization, especially when the organization has limited financial resources. This is why, regardless of what type of software solution is being acquired, the spending budget of the individual or organization is always a constant presence in any checklist of things to consider before buying.
When choosing BPM software, you have to consider not just the initial cost of the system, but also the associated expenses generally associated with its implementation and maintenance. You will have to figure out whether or not the software solution and the features and capabilities it offers are worth the investment.
Choosing the right BPM software solution is just like buying any other product. You have to consider the brand, vendor, or service provider and their integrity and reputation within the industry.
Keep in mind that when utilizing a software solution, regardless of its purpose or what it’s designed for, working with the service provider or vendor is going to be a major part of the ongoing process of implementing and managing that particular system. As such, you have to make sure whether or not the vendor or the product makes a good fit for your company and the standards you’ve set for your brand.
How the BPM solution is deployed is just as important as any other aspect of the product. As previously mentioned, there are two basic types of deployment options when it comes to BPM software—on-premise and cloud-based or SaaS.
To make an effective, reliable purchasing decision you need to understand the pros and cons of each type of deployment method and determine which option suits your company best. Once the deployment method is set and you’ve chosen which avenue to go, you can start researching BPM solutions that offer the type of deployment method you and your organization prefer.
How easy the software solution is to use and scale as your company grows are both crucial factors in determining whether or not the system fits your organization. As such, you should make sure the BPM software is easy to use, manage, and maintain. Identify the learning curve of the platform and see whether people will be able to use it effortlessly out of the box.
Having the ability to scale back or forward the software solution is a huge advantage and an excellent way to get maximum return on investment. You may even want to scale the solution in order to cover a wider range of business processes throughout your company. A BPM software solution capable of doing that is clearly the better investment.
Business process management software solutions are crucial to the company’s needs when it comes to identifying and accomplishing their short- and long-term business goals. An organization founded on solid BPM has a clear eye toward the future of the company and toward creating real value through process change initiatives.
BPM software solutions help to reduce operational costs, minimize inefficiencies, improve accountability, ensure regulatory compliance, and boost customer engagement. These systems also help to enhance business agility as well as providing competitive benefits.
|API||Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.|
|Batch Permissions & Access||Control user or group access and permission settings for software or other systems.|
|Contact Management||Manage large amounts of personal or business contacts in a centralized system.|
|Customer Management||Manage customer databases and/or track outstanding shipments, payments and more.|
|Data Export||Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.|
|Data Import||Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.|
|External Integrations||Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.|
|Inventory Tracking||Stay on top of inventory levels, to manage the storing, reordering or production of stock items.|
|Multi-User||Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.|
|Notifications||Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.|
|Password & Access Management||Manage passwords or access to systems for yourself or your organisation.|
|Project Management||Manage projects from conception through the planning stage to delivery and post-project reporting phases. This allows organisation teams to organise resources, plan budgets and improve efficiency in the delivery of project objectives.|
|Supplier Management||Manage suppliers and purchases required in the day-to-day operation of a business.|
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