Businesses are striving to grow and remain ahead of the competition, whilst remaining agile enough to adapt to ever-changing markets, and increasing expectations from consumer demands. Never before have consumers been able to express themselves so freely and openly through the far reaching realms of social media, and it is this consumer power that makes businesses who do not embrace change at risk of being hung out to dry by those who not only welcome it, but make it their own.
It raises the question therefore, why do so many businesses shy away from improving their organisations, and operational efficiency? Well, I can tell you from our own experience at Touchstone, that in some cases, it’s the perception that adopting a BPM (business process management) strategy is just too much to swallow. That BPM is an IT “buzzword”, which requires a six figure software solution designed for “techies”, and that you have to transform the entire organisation for it to be effective. Like your favourite pair of old slippers, it’s more comfortable to stay with what you know than to challenge yourself and try something new. Essentially what it comes down to is many lack the courage to act.
Even with our own project, we too felt under pressure from a seemingly daunting task which needed to radicalise the business. However, we asked ourselves one very important question that raised far greater concern: what would be the impact on the business if we did nothing? Have you ever asked yourself that question? If you have, and you don’t hear any alarm bells, then I would challenge how well you know your own organisation and your competition.
We essentially had the “lightbulb” moment, and realised we needed our business processes to be flexible enough to change to rapidly respond to customers’ needs and wants, and provide a positive experience in doing business with us, delivering on our promise to provide a first class service, and implementing BPM has made that possible. In real terms, this means we’ve seemingly integrated our core business applications to reduce time re-keying customer information into multiple systems, and can produce and electronically issue invoices within an hour of receiving an order… and that is just the beginning.
So, don’t fall foul to the BPM myths, as if ever there was a time to consider business process management and embrace its ability to effectively manage change in an ever changing business world – the time to act is now.