BPM: The haute couture for organisations

Lessons from the fashion world that will allow organisations to be flexible with their work processes, more competent and achieve greater customer satisfaction

Published: 24, Jan 2017

The author is senior vice president, technology, Newgen Software, which is a pioneer in the Digital Transformation space. For over two decades organizations have relied on Newgen’s innovative technologies and solutions to drive smarter business decisions. Newgen through its proven Business Process Management, Enterprise Content Management, Customer Communications Management and Case Management platforms brings about the perfect amalgamation of information / content, technology and processes; the building blocks of Digital Transformation. Newgen’s commitment is towards enabling clients achieve greater agility when it comes to transforming processes, managing information, enhancing overall customer satisfaction and driving enterprise profitability. This philosophy and commitment forms the guiding fundamentals of the organization’ and the basis of its Mission and Vision. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Newgen Software Inc. was incorporated in 1997 with a view to grow business in the North America market. The company is credited with large, mission-critical deployments at the world’s leading banks, insurance firms, BPOs, healthcare organizations, government agencies, telecom companies, and shared service centers. Newgen Software Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Newgen Software Technologies Ltd. – Leader in ECM, BPM, CCM and Case Management space. Newgen is certified /appraised for ISO 9001:2008, ISO 27001:2013, CMMi Development (v1.3) Level 3 and CMMi Services (v1.3) Level 3. The organization has a global footprint with over 1300 installations in more than 61 countries.

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

You might ask me why I am comparing the world of glitz and glamour with the world of logic and reasoning. For, what could be the possible similarities between a chic outfit and a BPM suite? While, one belongs in the closet of a high street lady and the other relegated to back offices of Wall Street organisations!

So, here’s the deal. Just as one great piece of clothing until matched with the right footwear and accessories does not make for an admirable outfit; similarly, seemingly efficient systems operating in silos do not make for a world-class customer-centric business.

Vogue or Passé? It takes a good fabric, great design and an outstanding workman to fashion a marvellous gown in all its finesse. Now, imagine a scenario where the couturier was given a red silk fabric, cutout in an A-line cut, to design a ballerina tulle skirt in blue chiffon, for a customer. I am no Ralph Lauren but even a fashion amateur like me can understand that no number of exceptionally skilled seamstresses can tailor blue chiffon – tulle skirt from an A-line cut red silk fabric. Even if the designer was world renowned, the couturier created with utmost precision, and the fabric was of the highest quality, the final outcome would be off the expectation by a pole.

The said example discomforts us as it obviously results in an unhappy customer. However, for long, we have been turning a blind eye to similar instances in our organisations where we have disappointed our customers because of lack of flexibility in our processes.

In the world of fashion, ‘vogue or passé’ changes every four months; designers across the globe are burning the midnight oil to launch new collections to keep their customers intrigued. What was considered to be du jour becomes démodé in a blink of an eye! The scenario is not very different in our organisations as well. Today customers' needs are changing faster than ever and so are their expectations. Businesses can no longer afford long lead times; processes need to be flexible and responsive to be able to change, and fast. To bring about these changes, organisations need robust system and technology which are innovative and state-of-the-art, so that their king – the customer – is always happy.

Be Runway Ready, Always!
An experienced tailor can change a skirt piece into a shirt or even a dress on the request of a customer and this flexibility in servicing the customer makes all the difference. Businesses too need an element of flexibility in their processes to make happy customers. This is how BPM can optimise business processes and help them be runway ready, always!

•    The Designing – Each beautiful outfit that you see on the runaway began as a well thought-out design, keeping in mind the needs and expectations of its customer. Blend of different patterns, colours, materials, and even fabric was considered to give shape to a harmonious design. Organisations too need the same detailing and synchronisation of its processes to meet customer expectations. And, that's what a robust BPM platform does for a business. BPM provides a collaborative platform that allows business users to design processes tailor-made to their business needs, on easy-to-use graphical interface. The process design takes into consideration sequential process flow, stakeholder roles, notifications at each process step, escalations, SOP, and SLA mechanism. A smart process definition forms the backbone of efficient processes.

•    The Making – Once the designer has created the blueprint of the dress, the couturier and the tailor springs into action to bring it to life. The fabric is dyed, printed and cut, the beads are strung together, the laces and buttons are picked, and then they are stitched together to make the final piece. Similarly, in the business world, BPM allows users to stitch the processes and execute them with precision. Processes flow in the proper stitched pattern to the right business user, at the right time to deliver service as per your customer expectations.

•    The Trial – The finished dress is then presented to the designer for his careful examination, to confirm that the outfit is in-line with the original design with quality standards in place. In organisations, BPM facilitates centralisation of processes and ensures adherence to set internal standards and external regulations. BPM also gives greater monitoring power to the management for evaluation of employee performance.

•    The Aggrandising–  Just the way the designer and his entourage of styling expert add pearls to a black dress or gold sequenced laces to a red gown to make the outfit more impressive and attain the best possible look, BPM too enables organisations to quickly identify the gap between the target and actual performances, thus enabling determination and elimination of bottlenecks. Post trial, a workman can alter the dress, similarly, close monitoring of processes with BPM enables optimisation of both human and non-human resources, thus capturing potential opportunity of cost saving and exponential growth.

•    The Alterations – At times, the designer finds that his designs are not as trendy as he was hoping them to be. As being the second best is not an option, necessary alterations, re-tailoring or even re-designing must be done. The same liberty to re-engineer the complete processes is provided by BPM. It allows organisations to be flexible with their work processes to be more competent and achieve greater customer satisfaction.

Take a Bow!
Imagine the haute couture organisation, with a magic tool in BPM that provides the ability not only to design processes, analyse and deploy, but also to re-engineer processes if the desired outcome is not obtained. Organisations across the globe need to realise that the magic lies in managing business processes competently. BPM enables organisations to not only reduce the cost, but also to enhance productivity by maintaining greater process visibility. It also allows them to implement control and achieve the best performance by aiding in tracking of outcomes. Business Process Management enables your company to be a Chanel- timeless, classy, and indispensable.

- By Ashok Kapoor, Vice President - Marketing, COE & Product Management, Newgen Software Inc.

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