Monday, May 27, 2013

BPM as Business Competitive Differentiator

What distinguishes one company from another is about people, products, and processes. No question processes are a competitive advantage. Processes are at the core of business. Whether structured, unstructured, sequential, dynamic etc, when defining business processes and using them as a differentiator, it's important to evaluate the relative maturity of the organization & industry, and how an organization might use business processes to its advantage.

1.   BPM to Optimize Customer Experience 

Business process has many characteristics (workflow, people, information, supplies, tools, steering, etc) to make it happen.What customer-centric businesses have the most grips on its processes so they deliver what they promise? Are they competing for best quality, cost advantage or efficient value chain, ..And can their processes do what they promise?

BPM will drive process efficiency by removing repetitive work and automating as required within front end processes which contribute to competitive pricing. Good BPM supporting technology should support these key issues. The end results of the processes which are either producing a product or service of perceived more value to a customer is what that can be later considered competitive advantage. Anything that makes something better, faster, or cheaper provides competitive advantage, and processes help business get there.

2. BPM to Improve Employees’ Productivity 

Every company has processes. Most of them are stored as knowledge in employees’ heads. Those processes get established with a lot of try and error and discussions to resolve how to get things done collaboratively. This results in a lot of small interruptions that quickly add up and prevent longer blocks of time necessary for creative thinking. With an easy to use BPM system, people share those processes resulting in less -interruptions. And if people are equipped with the right information at the right time within the relevant process, then good decisions can be made and implemented

Furthermore, employees spend a lot of time copying information from one app to another manually. Integrating the many systems involved in a process further reduces the hassle that employees have to go through, and the effect of implementing BPM is the telemetry it gives about people and how they use the processes. Now you know how your resources are deployed, you can see how effective they are and you can measure, empirically, the impact of your management.

3. BPM to Enforce Business Agility

 Business Agility is not just the ability to change. It is a cultivated capability that enables an organization to respond in a timely, effective, and sustainable way when changing circumstances require it. .Knowing where you are, what direction you are going and how fast, beats, guessing where you are, assuming it's the right direction and holding up a wet finger to calculate your speed. Good processes are company assets but must remain “adaptive” to changing circumstances such as reacting to a competitor’s actions.

And the BPM project selection is based upon that understanding which business process optimization and innovations will be most effective to create and sustain a competitive advantage.

There are particular stages where business process becomes more as differentiator. So much depends upon the product/service maturity of an industry as to how an organization might use business processes to its advantage. Business processes that are dynamic and nimble can make a competitive difference for a company that is in a "disrupter" stage from the perspective of product/market lifecycle. However, if the company is in a more mature stage, business process innovations may be the primary means for achieving a competitive advantage.

Therefore, process, or more precisely, how a process is executed is the differentiator. Further, what enables a process? People, technology, etc. and how it behaves in situations determines differentiation and innovation


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