You would be hard-pressed to find someone to argue against the idea that controlling your spending is one of the most important aspects of running a business – regardless of whether you are talking about a small business or a major organization. Having efficient business processes is one of the best ways of saving money because it is a long-term fix. Even if you cut the amount you spend on a given process by a small margin, the fact that the process will be repeated in the future means that you will continue to save money through the single initial effort to make the process efficient. Of course, one of the key reasons for the existence of business process management as an industry is precisely to target regular business processes in order to make them more efficient and to give organizations the ability to maximize their profit.
When it comes to saving money by making processes more efficient, not all processes are created equal. An obvious process to target first is account management. Depending on the complexity of your business, managing accounts is likely a full-time occupation for one of your employees; but it does not need to be this way. By having an automated, or semi-automated, process for handling accounting using a BPM suite, having someone solely responsible for accounts becomes unnecessary as their duties can be transferred to someone else. An added bonus of automating accounting is that these duties will likely become less technical and able to be handled by any employee. If an accounts process is done manually, the potential for mistakes is high – which should certainly be a concern for a company attempting to minimize spending. Automation in this case provides the greatest potential for long-term savings.
Another aspect of an organization that might be targeted in order to help make processes more efficient and less costly is support inquiry. Though it is prudent to be careful with processes that relate to dealing with clients, there are certainly some common requests that need not take too much of a customer support specialist’s time. Automatic responses to frequently asked questions or common requests can be handled using BPM, but they will likely need frequent human input in order to work effectively and prove the best customer service. However, there are other processes which could be fully automated without running the risk of being considered neglectful because of the lack of real human input. For example, having a way for clients to automatically reset their passwords is a good way to free up some of support staff’s time and is not likely to require any human interaction whatsoever. In fact, in this case, it might even be preferable for the client who might feel more secure in resetting their password through a system and need not feel embarrassed explaining to anyone that they forgot their password.
As mentioned, streamlining processes through BPM has a manifold effect on the potential for your company to save money. At its most basic, automating certain processes, especially in some important areas such as accounting, will have the effect of minimizing mistakes and wasteful allocation of resources. Automating processes may also limit the need for employees to be solely responsible for one aspect of running your business and may even make certain occupations obsolete. Going one step further, automating processes also allows employees to focus on other duties making them more effective. Taking into account the potential for even small changes to have a profound impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of your business, there are few reasons to hesitate with implementing BPM – at least in some aspects of your business which will have the long-term effect of making your company more profitable.