Whatever activity you undertake in your business, there is a step-by-step process to it. Business process management software is used to organize and streamline these activities to ensure better achievement of business goals. by helping businesses operate more efficiently, this technology cuts down on waste, reduces error, and enhances customer satisfaction.
For small businesses, the steps and processes may be fewer, but there is still much to be gained by investing in this software. Let's look at the specific ways BPM technology makes for a worthwhile choice.
Why Invest in BPM Software?
- More flexible and customizable processes – Business process management software aids businesses to modify their processes as and when needed. This flexibility in design is achieved at minimal cost and will match the ebb and flow of your business.
- Improved productivity thanks to automation – All businesses have repetitive tasks that consume a lot of time, but are still necessary. BPM aids in the automation of these tasks so that employees are freed up to attend to other more crucial tasks.
- Fewer errors and micromanagement – BPM software provides greater accountability. If errors are made, it is easy to trace the source. This makes employees more careful about how they execute their tasks before the process moves on to another person. And because they better adhere to operating procedures, there is less need for direct supervision by superiors.
- Better compliance and Transparency of processes – Being able to get a good overview of processes allows for easy modifying to ensure compliance with industry and legal policies. Businesses can better set guidelines as they streamline processes and ensure that every step is transparent to all relevant parties.
- Improved employee productivity – With the elimination or reduction of repetitive tasks, employees are better able to focus on more profitable tasks for the business. Streamlining business processes also gives the benefit of removing bottlenecks that may be otherwise hindering productivity.
- Customer satisfaction – an efficiently run business process means that delivery of products or services to customers is done faster. Removal of repetitive tasks also means employees can better focus on what will make the customer happy.
- Safer data storage and access – Data is a valuable commodity in business. And different employees have different needs. Rather than provide open access to all data, business process management software allows management to control access such that users are restricted to just what is pertinent to their tasks. This safeguards data integrity while still providing a safe space for storage.
- Digital evolution - Business process management software enables businesses to develop processes that are best suited to helping the organization meet its goals. This fosters a digital transformation as users contribute towards identifying and developing solutions that have the most relevance to the business.
- Better defining of business strengths and weaknesses – being able to more comprehensively monitor business processes from start to end makes it easier to pinpoint weaknesses and strengths. Whether it is the lack of a tool or an employee that is inadequately trained, it helps to improve the process by fixing the problem.
Tips To Using BPM Software
1.Match Your Software to Your Needs
This begins by taking stock of how your small business operates. Identify the processes you undertake and the areas that require upgrading. Depending on what your business does and how it does it, you will likely have a list of needs to be met.
From poor customer service responses to delays in the acquisition of raw materials for products, there are many tasks that may need an overhaul for the business to flourish. Breaking down these processes and areas that need improvement will help in finding suitable options for business process management software. Consider bringing in a consultant to assist. An outsider is often more impartial and better able to identify the weaknesses and strengths of a business.
2. Do A Test Run
After you have done an assessment to determine what areas require the most help, then you can look for business process management software that meets these needs. Chances are you will find multiple options that seem a good fit. Performing a test run is a good way to gauge how well the software will work for you and your team.
It is advisable to involve some of your team in this testing as they will be the ones to make day-to-day use of it. They can give valuable feedback that will help determine your final choice of software. Many software vendors offer free trial periods. Try to make use of as many features as possible to get a good feel for the system and to help in ensuring you are deriving the results you desired.
3. Make The Dashboard Key
They say that first impressions count. This applies also to software use. The dashboard is the first page from which people navigate to access different features and tools. If its presentation is complex or confusing, it can discourage use.
Users should not find it hard to explore the software and understand how to use it. Choose a suite that features low-code or no-coding for customization. When choosing your BPM software, it helps to have a centralized UI from which you can get a clear overview of all the processes and important functions and features.
4. Customization Matters
With so many different types and sizes of businesses, there is no one-size-fits-all BPM software. Luckily, there are many highly recommended business process management software made for small businesses. Or you can opt for customizable options like Bpmapp.com that let you access what you need when you need it.
The main benefit of these options is that it makes this investment more affordable. Besides free trials, some options can be entirely free if certain limits are not achieved like the number of users. You may still be able to enjoy multiple useful BPM tools and continuous updates.
5. Use Filters
Business process management software like bpmapp.com offers features that allow you to prioritize what activities to view first. You should be able to view all jobs. However, giving active jobs priority makes it easier to see the status of important processes at a glance. The history of previous processes will still matter, but cannot be considered as urgent as current jobs.
Choose software that allows you to set up such an arrangement so you do not waste time having to go through even ended processes to check on what matters now. It should however provide a means to preserving this history as it can be valuable in such areas as generating reports.
6. Keep Fine-Tuning Processes
Reporting is a good way to track the performance of your processes. As your business goes on and you make adjustments to processes every now and then, it is advisable to check on the effect of such changes. You can rarely predict the outcome of a change to a process until it is completed.
Business process management software allows you to regularly generate reports that you can use to inform future adjustments of your processes. It can also inform you if a process may need to be ended and a new one introduced. The range and intensity of changes will carry, whether the business is big or small. The responsiveness of the software should also be considered here. If the changes are not bringing about the desired effect, you may want to consider even changing the software entirely.
7. Always Use Costing Features
Whenever you are considering making a change to your business, it is always prudent to get an estimate of the cost. Budgets are naturally limited, especially when you are a small business. It is helpful when your business process management software has costing features and tools that can tell you if your business can afford an expense.
These tools can help gauge how much an improvement exercise will cost all down the line of a process. As you make changes, be sure to keep an eye on this expense to have better control over resources.
8. Consider Professional Assessment
We have previously mentioned the use of a consultant. Even for small businesses, this expense can be worthwhile. Having a specialist come in to assess your processes and the quality of your software can ensure you are getting value for money.
If you have not adopted the use of business process management software yet, this professional may be best placed to guide you to the right choice. They will already have taken stock of your business needs and the budget you are working with. They can also better inform you of your weaknesses and strengths and indicate how certain systems are best suited to your case.
9. Make Training A Priority
Whenever you introduce unfamiliar technology into the workplace, training is a must. You cannot simply pay for the software and tell your team to get to it. Proper groundwork needs to be laid ahead of time. Have them be involved in choosing the final software. This can help make them more inclined to cooperate. Keep reinforcing the need to adopt this new technology for the benefit of the business. And choose a vendor that offers good training.
Depending on the computer literacy of your team, this could mean in-house sessions, video tutorials, infographics, or FAQs. There is no use introducing technology that you do not take full advantage of. It can be a big waste of time and money.
Your organization will experience a cascading positive effect because as you put in the effort to activate your employees through training, supporting, mentoring, and mobilizing, you're also aligning their work with the purpose and mission of the business. You're making their job more meaningful.
10.Ensure Full Adoption
Despite encouragement, some employees can prove resistant to change. This is not unusual and should not be grounds for dismissal. You can try to push them in the right direction by making the use of these systems mandatory.
Cutting off access to legacy systems can also force them to make use of the only alternative. Often this resistance is due to a lack of knowledge and fear they may not be able to catch up to more tech-savvy colleagues. Try to address their concerns one-on-one and provide whatever support is needed to help them adapt. Remember that if they do not adopt the full use of this software, it can lead to gaps. Gaps can then lead to a shortfall in vital information and consequently poor decision making.
11. Partner with Your Vendor
When choosing a vendor for your business process management software, go for someone that views your association as a relationship rather than just a transaction. You do not want to feel abandoned after you have just paid for the service.
They should be able to assist you in organizing training for your users. They should also provide ample material to assist in this process. Going forward, there will likely be times when you need further assistance. The vendor should provide easy channels of communication so you can quickly get in touch and be sorted. Email, phone numbers, and social media handles are popular options. This relationship should be ongoing, as long as you continue to make use of the software, or it becomes obsolete.
Small businesses can derive as many benefits from business process management software as larger organizations. But it can be tricky to figure out if you have found the right match. Keep tweaking your usage to see if the software is actually benefitting your operations. If there is no impact, consider if you are making proper use of the tools availed, or if you have just made the wrong choice of software.
Also, ensure you establish rules for use of this software. You can define such issues as what data is allowed to be collected here and where it should be saved. Maintaining control over the level of access and the number of users can also safeguard the proprietary information of the business. You do not want an intern to learn so much they leak private information on your processes to competitors.