A Beginners Guide to Business Process Management

A Beginners Guide to Business Process Management

A Short Guide to Business Process Management

MAY 2018 | 6 MIN READ

What is BPM and why is it’s important

 

Imagin being inside a coffee shop in the morning, you order a coffee, pay and sit down. The barista comes to serve your coffee at the table. This all sounds simple but in reality, there are numerous steps from the start to finish. The same could be said about the different workflow processes within your HME such as rentals, sales, trials, and service. Each business process has many activities to support its execution whether the employee knows it or not. These activities often involve interaction between work, people, and technology. As an employee, it’s important to understand the end goal and the techniques in the activity in order to improve effectiveness, efficiency and productivity. BPM is the science of building, identifying and managing processes so they can be improved for maximum efficiency. BPM deals with identifying all the processes associated with your HME organization, analyzing them for efficiency and effectiveness and measuring the results over a period of time. By improving processes over time you can become more efficient, less costly and more productive as an organization.
Why BPM?

 

BPM offers a scalable solution for managing various processes including person to person, system to system, and person to system communications.

Simply put it creates actionable business intelligence in real time and helps organizations respond to change.

 

BPM Areas
Function Analysis

Used to assess the functions performed by your HME at the macro level. Identifying growth opportunities and providing guidance for strategic planning.

Example – Looking to regular add additional services for your customers.

Service Analysis

Used to identify manual processes for automation and helps prepare them for integration with IT platforms.

Example – Filling out printed forms and faxing. The use of emails or using fillable PDF’s.

Process Analysis

An assessment of end-to-end processes that aids process analysts to identify process improvements and optimize business performance.

Example – Flowcharts.

Information Analysis

Used to define and assess the flow of information between various stakeholders, identify any gaps, and optimize those channels.

Example – How work orders are assessed, written up, and completed.

Workflow Analysis

Used to define and assess data workflow between applications, networks, and systems.

Example – Integrations between different departments software.

Key Drivers for adopting BPM

 

Enterprise
  • A requirement for processes and tools to support organic growth such as new product launches and mergers
  • Changes in organizational structure, both strategic and operational
  • Change in business strategy
  • ISO requirements
  • Need for business agility to respond to market opportunities and treats

Management
  • Need for reducing go to market time
  • Improvement of development of a reliable performance measurement system
  • Develop end to end visibility of process
  • Need for centralization of process controls
  • Need for process standardization to reduce duplication and unnecessary effort
  • Need for the ability to produce more from less

Employees
  • Improvement of low employee motivation due to duplicate processes, resulting in unnecessary tasks
  • Encouragement for improvement of employee skills
  • Optimization of individual productivity
  • Increase in employee empowerment
  • Clarification of employee’s roles and responsibilities
  • Provision for clear communications and understanding of the processes between employees

Customers/Suppliers/Partners
  • Improve service quality to customers
  • Improve of delivery time
  • Ability to follow actionable steps
  • Reduce costs associated with a process, resulting in savings for the customer
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The Benefits of BPM

 

1) BPM saves an organization time and money

By identifying redundant processes and eliminating duplication of work tasks. By standardizing business process your HME would be able to reduce it’s operating costs by creating repeatable processes that achieve the same result every time. Standardized processes then become strong candidates for automation, reducing waste and enhancing efficiency.

Think of the number of times that your administration has to write something down when they get a phone call, only to pass it on to a salesperson, who then types it into a customer database. Later on, the service person needs information related to the customer but cannot find it as only the salesperson has access to the customer database. What if all employees could work on one system, but only see the information that they were allowed to see.

 

2) Improved business agility

Enhancing the ability to sense potential opportunities or threats helps prioritize your response strategy. By adopting BPM can help in economic times or with employee turnover. Business agility provides visibility, control, and flexibility to respond to customers needs and expectations.

 

3) Enhanced business intelligence

Use data to record and monitor business process. Insight into the performance of processes allows for the breakdown of information and data in a timely manner, and in turn, improving the reliability of the information necessary to make decisions.

 

4) Improved operational accountability

High accountability to all departments within an organization by providing the ability to monitor budgets and deliverables. Documentation of business process activity helps organizations to achieve a system of checks and balances, thereby minimizing the potential for errors or loss.

 

5) Continuous improvement

Not only does BPM allow for continuous process improvements but the ability to implement those improvements as well. By automating processes through technology, you can reduce the manual work, decrease information errors, lead times, and increase processing rates such as trials, rentals and quoting to invoice. These are seen by phasing out pen and paper systems, spreadsheets, and legacy systems.

 

6) Good compliance and regulatory governance

Government and regulation can often dictate how business processes are done, such as in assistive device programs or the coverage of equipment. By planning to achieve effective controls involving tools, procedures, and policies you can be sure to avoid repercussions on non-compliance.

 

7) Effective measurement

‘You can’t control what you can’t measure’. BPM quantifies the outcomes of operational activities such as cost, throughput, cycle time, quality, and customer satisfaction. By closing the feedback loop in the process management cycle, and providing a manager with the information they can leverage to make further improvements.

 

8) Effective risk management

Risk management is critical in creating effective BPM. By implementing controls and processes the less error should be involved in the overall process.

 

9) Effective operational management

Operational efficiency can be seen through shorter sales, service, or project completion times. The ability to handles a larger workflow with fewer employees can also be seen as process improvements have taken place. Business leaders can maintain a comprehensive understanding of their own processes, measurements, and decisions on how to move the business forward.

 

10) Performance visibility

BPM enhances the end to end visibility of a process that makes performance transparent to the employees responsible for it. By monitoring the performance of a process, a staff member can react accordingly and correct the process in a quick fashion. Managment reports and dashboards are used to visually show the results, corrected by delving into the root cause and bottlenecks.

 

Critical success factors for BPM implementation

 

1) Development of strategy

Creating a starting point for implementation with a finishing goal in mind is key. Aligning the HME’s business goals and monitoring the critical success factors with a structured and systematic approach to implementation. Look into the current processes, mirrored to the proposed processes. What will changes are needed to achieve the process? Focus on clear benefits from the start of the process to the end to provide relevant information to build the strategy.

 

2) Stakeholders commitment and empowerment

Buy in from the top down is needed. Who is the system going to effect, from the employees that use BMP to accomplish the task every day to the management and the customer. Attention, support, funding, and commitment is all needed from the organization as roles and responsibilities may change along with employee structure. Managment should create the environment where everyone has the flexibility to perform at their best.

 

3) Facilitation of Process Architecture

Classify processes that would help ensure maximum benefit over an extended period of time.

 

4) Effective change management

Processes and people go together alongside technology. Employees need to be onboard to support the project. Human change management can take up to 35 percent of project time if the business does not plan and implement properly.

 

5) Governance

Set up a neutral body to prioritize activities and set effective monitoring. Some organizations choose a steering group that represents the CEO or VP of Operations.

 

Mistakes to avoid in implementing BPM

 

1) Not getting an executive endorsement

A top-down endorsement is needed before bottoms-up approach. A precise mandate from top management allows for the justification of the project and the organization of parties to be involved with the project such as the: CEO, COO, CIO or IT Director and managers. Without the executive endorsement, the financial justification for a return on investment will not be seen.

 

2) Not establishing a business case

Not starting with a business case on the expected benefits, efforts, expenses required, and how success will be measured is bound for failure. Clarity is needed before implementing a tool and infrastructure. Without proper business justification, the purpose of the project might not grasp the purpose as it’s not articulated to the implementing source.

 

3) Not investing in staff

The lack of investment made in human resources can lead to failure as you require people with specialized skills, knowledge, and experience. People that can pinpoint the errors and think of cost-effective improvements is key to investing in your staff and your staff investing back into the company. Skill gaps and adequate training often help in the gap of staff investment.

 

4) Lack of communication channels

Communication is needed for the success of the project. Lack of visibility to stakeholders can be a blow to the project’s overall health and working environment. Reports and measures that can be easily digested by management and decision makers is kept. Project updates on statuses, concerns, risks, and performance metrics are also needed.

 

5) Not appointing process stewards

The employees and managers selected oversee that the processes being put in place are being acted in the manner they were planned in through BPM. Don’t allow employees to break these models as the deviation may throughout the ability to clearly analyze the processes results.

 

6) Not developing a roadmap

Start with the planned benefits. From there plan backward with tasks and timelines. Each activity should have an affected stakeholder. Roadmaps help establish the ownership and structure required to measure and improve the effectiveness of a process over time.

 

7) Getting distracted by advice, projects, fads

Think of BPM like organizing a wedding, everyone has an opinion on how things should be done. When implemented, managers and employees alike should focus on the strategy and processes put into place. If there are changes to be made they should be brought out the controller of the processes workflow.

Without proper process flow, data and feedback the efforts to implement will not be used to it’s full potential.

 

The bottom line

Implementing new business management processes takes a considerable amount of effort in time, but is very rewarding when done correctly.

From the front office to the service technicians and salespeople, all of your HME processes need to be documented. Only they can you see the entire process. If you follow along with the recommendations made in this short guide you will be well on your way to business process management success.

If you need some help with your business process management, don’t hesitate, reach out to our team at MEHD and we will help create new efficient workflows in all areas of your business!

 

MEHD helps manage, streamline, and grow your HME/DME business
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