What exactly is business process management? Imagine for a moment that your company is a chocolate factory with different production lines running simultaneously. They are dependent on each other, as chocolate coming off one belt is transferred to another that decorates. Sometimes you also need to synchronize the operation of several assembly lines to efficiently arrange different types of chocolates in a box.
Business process management (BPM) - table of contents
Production assembly lines are your company’s business processes. Business process management, or BPM, is a discipline that helps optimize these lines and synchronize their operation, i.e. streamline the company’s workflow. With BPM, companies analyze their key business processes, identify bottlenecks or waste and then design improvements. With such help, they can operate more efficiently and achieve strategic goals. After all, who could waste any chocolate?
What is business process management (BPM)?
Examples of business processes include:
- Customer ordering of the product – consists of all steps from adding the product to the cart to payment to shipping and after-sales service,
- Invoice issuance and payment collection – invoice issuance, verification, posting, dispatch to the customer, and collection of receivables,
- Recruitment and training of employees – advertisement, selection of candidates, screening, contracting, implementation and development of the employee,
- Troubleshooting technical problems – accepting requests, diagnosing, repairing, testing and informing the customer.
The first task of BPM is always to collect data, analyze the existing process followed by identifying all the necessary steps needed to perform it. The second is to identify moments that hinder such execution. And the third, to design a change to improve its efficiency. With more complex processes, this is often a task beyond human capabilities. Artificial intelligence can help in their implementation.
The role of AI in business process management
Modern BPM solutions employ artificial intelligence (AI) to provide entirely new capabilities. Here are 4 major applications of AI in business process management.
- Process mapping
- Increase process flexibility
- Analysis of patterns in data
- Automation of repetitive tasks
AI-based bots autonomously perform routine process steps – issuing invoices, updating customer data, and transferring documents between systems. This allows employees to focus on tasks that require creativity and strategic thinking.
AI can support a variety of business processes – from automation to advanced analytics. Its use allows companies to dramatically increase the efficiency and flexibility of key processes. But what tools should you use to streamline your company’s processes and implement AI-based BPM?
The key to the success of BPM, also known as “process optimization,” is the predictability of all the steps to take to achieve the goal. The basis for implementing an effective process is therefore the creation of a process map, or process visualization.
The process map most often comes in the form of a graph with all stages and the transitions between them. Its role is also to take into account the bifurcating possibilities, that is, to map the various eventualities that may arise at the following stages of the process.
Traditional process mapping methods can be time-consuming and prone to human error. AI, on the other hand, can automate process mapping, making it faster and more accurate. `
A significant advantage of AI-based process mining is the ability to monitor processes in real-time, not just analyze them after they are completed. With real-time monitoring, companies can get up-to-the-minute information on the status of a process and immediately intervene as needed to solve problems or take advantage of opportunities.
By continuously analyzing data on the go, AI can also dynamically adapt processes to changing conditions. For example, in an order handling process, it can automatically reorder steps or introduce new paths when workloads increase.
AI instantly detects hidden patterns in data, for example, recurring reasons for delays in processes. In recruitment, it can indicate at what stage candidates are most likely to drop out.
Meanwhile, one of the most interesting applications of artificial intelligence in BMPs is automatic process discovery. AI can help automatically identify and model processes by analyzing data from various source systems (e.g., CRM or ERP). By analyzing log or event data from these sources. AI also identifies patterns and relationships to visualize the process flow and identify individual steps.
AI-assisted BPM tools
When looking for BPM tools, you should first consider what kind of software will work best for your company.
- Support of a specific stage of BPM – for example, for visualization of processes it is worth trying Flowster or Lucidchart, while for automation of various types of tasks – Kissflow. The undoubted advantage of choosing such solutions is their lower price and well-designed user experience.
- A holistic BPM platform – to manage and optimize a company’s full business processes with a single tool. Here we enter the realm of tools that are more complex and more difficult to handle, but which give a great deal of control over processes. These are most often employed by larger companies.
ADONIS, an AI-supported business process management tool.
The most commonly used BPM tools include:
- Appian BPM Suite – features artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize and automate business processes. Appian offers an AI Skill Designer tool that enables secure large-scale content processing using artificial intelligence,
- ADONIS BPM Suite – provides Ella’s chatbot from the very beginning of running the program when mapping processes, and
- Nintex Workflow Cloud – to manage and automate business processes. Among other things, it gives support for repetitive data, i.e. generating interactive document templates that contain tables and sections dynamically created from data and object collections.
Workflows such as submitting vacation requests, processing invoices, preparing employee onboarding and reviewing purchase requests can be automated with AI-assisted business process management (BPM). Thanks to continued advances and developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning, not only simple, one-dimensional processes but also complex tasks involving multiple stakeholders, departments and different systems can get analyzed, optimized and even automated with the help of AI.
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