Why to automate Business Processes ?

14 novembre 2014

Why to automate Business Processes ?

The improvement in performance among the central and recurring organizational concerns. Optimization of business processes is one of the levers to achieve by acting on both the productivity and quality of service while enhancing the traceability of actions.

This optimization is done through projects of Business Process Management (BPM) and business process management. These are to choose one or more important processes for the company, to model and to equip them with suitable to automate all or part of their performance solution.

This automation will be very present in the BPM strategies of firms: a study by the consulting firm CXP in 2013 reveals that automation / orchestration of the process flow is the third activity concerned by the approach process behind analysis, optimization and control business activities.

The penalty automation to generalize

But between the perceived importance of automation and actual practice, there is a significant difference, emphasized by the authors of the study CXP « Companies that project a process approach is only 50% consider automate processes while nearly 78% of companies already involved in a project management process consider automating processes as part of the process approach they have taken. « 

As a result, only 17% of companies have automated tools to manage the flow of business processes, according to figures from CXP. « These tools are even less used as tools of BPA (Business Process Analysis), only 17% of respondents using them; a majority of them prefer the duo Excel / e-mails or software to manage the flow of their processes. This under-utilization seems to illustrate the ignorance of many companies functions and possibilities offered by BPM products, « say the authors of the study CXP. And the question posed by the CXP in its investigation, « Have you during your career regretted that there was no automated process to help you to organize and complete your tasks? « Seven out of ten people said yes.

However, the process can be automation are numerous, such as process control as governance or audits, operational processes as processing a customer order or support processes such as managing requests to the help desk or the validation of an expense.

Efficiency gains

A BPM solution for automating the different steps that do not require manual intervention, thereby accelerating the implementation of the process and reducing the cost to the company. With minimal manual actions, how the process is secure and reliable. The establishment of rules and rights management centralized control also contribute to different actions.

Dashboards focused on processes provide visibility at any time on current actions and the data exchanged. Coupled with an alert system, they can respond quickly in case of problems and identify potential bottlenecks.

This visibility is invaluable for companies wishing to improve their processes, and because they have clear indicators on turnaround times, the amounts involved, the number of applications validated or rejected and they can immediately measure the effect of their actions on improving performance. Besides creating cards process with an automation tool, it is possible in particular to manage the quality of service and set alerts.

Traceability, in turn, is ensured by the conservation of all actions performed by the author in the case of human intervention. If necessary, the companies can trace step by step the progress of each process instance.

Analysts research firm Aberdeen Research has calculated, in a study published in December 2013 (« BP and ERP, the Perfect Pairing for Process Excellence« ), the return on investment of implementing a strategy for BPM for US companies. According to them, BPM, on average, reduced by 14% in one year the number of manual operations in key processes, shortens the time 7% of decision-making, 8% response time to customer demands and improve the delivery time of goods and services. More generally, another study of Aberdeen, published in July 2013 (« BPM Looking at the map in the Mirror« ) compared the most successful companies in relation to others. The former are more likely to have implemented mechanisms simulation to calculate the cost and time of completion of the process (27% against 17%), rules engines to map automatically between logical workflows (35 % against 17%). Similarly, the most successful companies have the ability to update dynamically the process, as new best practices emerge (45% against 25% for the least efficient firms).

This approach will be more automated, more efficient will be the BPM