The Whale or the Sardine? Fastest Way to a BPM/BPA ROI
Continuing on the groundwork set by my initial BPM ROI post (ROI and Benefits of BPM/BPA), this post will take a peek at where companies should focus out of the gate to maximize the impact of the BPM/BPA suite they purchase, and where they can find hidden treasure.
In meeting with prospects, it is typically the same story: They have a critical business process that needs to be automated. It is that single core use case that typically drives them to research, seeking to find a way to drive efficiency and automation, and all the key direct and indirect benefits that business process automation can provide. But during discovery, demos and conversations, they quickly find that there are so many ancillary processes within their business that can be automated, and it is in these areas that the trail to ROI can be significantly shortened.
Ah, the critical business process. Usually a cross departmental, fluctuating beast that drives profit and keeps the lights on. Maybe for your organization, it is a complex contract process that touches sales, legal, accounting and execs, and ultimately leads to revenue. For another, maybe the management of the product life-cycle, tying together sales, artwork. legal and production lines to ultimately get a product out the door. These processes are easy to identify, and high on management’s list of targets for improvement. Although in the end, automating these processes can have a huge impact on the bottom line, the road to a positive ROI is typically longer. Take for example this Real Estate Company in California that automated contracting, and estimates $216,000 in savings per year: Real Estate and BPM Case Study
Every business has painful, time-consuming processes that touch many, if not all employees. I was in a meeting with a client, discussing a critical business process, and we started a conversation around justifying the purchase. There was clearly a justification in the core use case, but they wanted more ammunition. We talked about ancillary processes, and it became apparent that vacation/sick day management was a major pain. It was currently a paper process that involved forms that were filled out every month by all employees, and involved management, processing of scanned forms, and manual data input. With 700 employees, and taking into account the time to fill out forms, management approval, etc., this was an easy choice as a first process (in parallel with the larger process project). Many BPM/BPA vendors have realized the power of automating many small processes that touch large users bases, and have built out ROI accelerators. These accelerators are pre-packaged applications, including forms, workflow, reports and data, that can be deployed immediately. K2 has built out a series of these, including leave approval, expense reimbursement, incident management and more. An example would be Kimberly-Clark, who automated hundreds of processes: BPM Process Automation
Combining the quick value of smaller processes in parallel with the core return on automating larger ones can result in a faster return on investment, and all the benefits that can be gleaned from digital processes. Thoughts?