Business process management is an absolutely essential tool needed, so that your business does not turn out to be the proverbial white elephant over a period of time. It's similar to having typists and stenographers in this time of touch input or SIRI like personal assistants who is ever ready to note your dictation directly in the notes application.
Absolutely, I would say. Young brains trying to execute a fresh idea or a fresh approach to an existing business is the primary characteristic of an start-up. Secondly, it's either crowd funded or funded by an angel investor believing in their fresh approach. In other words, the supply of money is limited and the capital would dry up if the idea does not produce tangible results within a given period. It's not like the proverbial PSU where the government normally goes on infusing funds and make up for the loss suffered owing to mismanagement, insufficient controls, inefficient or grossly overpaid manpower.
New business from traditional big houses, when launching a new product, assume that they have to incur a certain period of losses and go on providing the working capital till the product captures a certain percentage of market share. For that to occur, the traditional business initially prices the product so low, that it barely covers the cost of production but on other hand gobbles up the market share of the well set competitors in the same field. In short, these traditional new companies have the luxury to keep on spending money in present for a permanent bigger space in future . Check out the telecom sector. But does the start-up have that luxury ! Mostly not. Because either they are crowdfunded or supported by an angel investor, who at the end of the day is an investor. He believes in that start up, but will have a finite supply of money or patience. So start ups have to uniquely, quickly position their products. Check out the recent number of e wallets start-ups which have withered, because they were not able to differentiate their service from Pay TM. So start ups need their business to be extra efficient, eliminate all the superfluous expenses from the very start and concentrate solely on the product and it's USP rather than on how the organization is running.
It is precisely here that the need of BPM and IT starts. Firstly a lean efficient organization with streamlined workforce will need the helping hand of IT. Data assimilation is the most important thing here. Also, here it must be stated that all the data of that organization, from all the fields it encompasses, has to be regularly, religiously and honestly input & updated into the BPM software. If the data input is wrong or insufficient the BPM will simply be ineffective for the organization.
By the help of sensors taking in data automatically via manufacturing software, or by manually inputting data at proper stages of the process via the software suites of BPM by the personal responsible for each process in the process flow, the business process management software is able to suggest and sometimes auto adjust or rectify your business in an unparalleled way. However without IT, we would not be able to aggregate the data into the BPM software, because IT provides the interface between data and the BPM software, which relies on this and historical data, to run as it is expected to.
At the very onset of a start-up, full manpower streamlining is needed for efficiency in start-ups. For this, a proper workflow or flowchart is absolutely needed because only when you draw the flow chart from the macro to the micro level, will you be able to reduce the redundancy of your manpower. Otherwise, there will be overlapping of manpower with two processes i.e. manpower responsible for different processes, giving the same output.
Next, comes the designing of the flow of job process. While drawing the process flow, it becomes evident when and where additional controls have to be added or reduced (e.g. decision box, adding extra task modules or integrating multiple tasks boxes into one ). This makes the process flow of the entire job and hence the total organization to be more error free, lesser expenditure consuming and capable of producing better quality output at lower costs.
A start up is based on a novel concept, a fresh idea which has not been tested by many in the market. Here the founders are meant to be solely engaged in executing their idea successfully, keep a keen look on how their ideas are being taken up in the market and nimbly adjust or modify them as the need be. What they are not expected, is to get bogged down by day to day petty matters of the company. Here BPM becomes indispensable. Because, if properly designed, it incorporates in itself many controls which keeps the running of the organization within fixed pre determined rules. By dint of the data and embedded controls, on encountering errors in process it immediately alerts proper levels, which if not rectified is then escalated to the founder level. The founders have the luxury of being alerted about the problem in their organization and where the problem lies by the BPM with pin point accuracy automatically. This essentially leaves the founders to concentrate solely in their main job of improving the quality of product and increasing their market share and chip in the process only when the problem is escalated to their level by BPM software.
Some BPM suites also create executable codes automatically once process charting is done, thus saving expenses in hiring a team to execute the BPM software and also allows the process heads themselves to alter the process flow parameters without the need for a external company to do it for them at a considerable cost.
BPM software is capable of using real world data from other companies in the same domain and can also have historical data stored in them. So, in case of the company lagging in the sales or production, in traditional cases without BPM it may not be evident in the initial stages to the founders, but by BPM the downtrend is caught early in real time and the founders can react to it swiftly.
However, one cannot overlook the fact that India being a labour intensive country and also among the cheapest in terms of costs, is better suited for a cohesion and harmony between BPM and physical manpower. We can first take the advantage of streamlining the business process flow by BPM. This is always advisable because for any start-up to succeed, optimising manpower is absolutely essential. So finding out the total processes to cover the whole business and then calculating the optimal manpower to be allotted for each process is the best method. After this the best would be to use a intelligent mix of human manpower and BPM HMI interface. Say the sign in form which we find whenever we want to register ourselves for any website. Doesn't it look almost identical for all the websites ! And you are right. Because now a days, nobody codes and BPM creates it automatically depending on process flow thus, saving programming cost. Now a days most of the start-ups take advantage of this auto creation. But in case you face any problems in filling this form, the BPM or the chat bots do not possess so much AI that they can satisfy the queries of the customers. They are only programmed to respond to routine queries. Here physical manpower would be the best. But the equipments needed for this process, the process and hierarchy of handling the call would be again be best designed by BPM.
However advanced the BPM software is, but its main job is to optimise the process between the output and input so that each process can have an unique output, the process itself becomes as much robust as possible with check boxes at all points wherever necessary and the whole architecture of the process flow is available before the company to modify quickly if necessary. Also BPM can process the output data of each process instantaneously for better troubleshooting and early trend picking. However to execute these processes and to execute the jobs which are not routine, in our country it's better to use human resources because AI of BPM has not reached the level of humans where thinking is required.
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