13 years, 3 months ago

The Dynamic Side of BPM

One goal of business process management (BPM) is to automate and streamline human-centric business processes with the intent of benefiting from lower costs, increased productivity, greater control and better response times.  However, not all processes are easily automated and governed.  Many organizational processes are often unstructured in their nature and simply cannot be mapped out by a specific set of rules.  These ad hoc processes require collaboration and knowledge from multiple users within various departments that are located across several geographic locations.

For these unpredictable and difficult to model processes, workflow and basic BPM will not do – organizations need a dynamic BPM solution that helps them improve, manage and monitor both their structured and unstructured processes.   In contrast to a more traditional, rigid workflow offering, dynamic BPM offers the ability to handle these unstructured, rapidly changing processes that require collaborative interaction from people.   Supply chain management and case management are both great examples of how organizations leverage dynamic BPM capabilities to track and audit processes that require a great deal of ad hoc collaboration and flexibility.

Supply Chain Management
Modeling, analyzing, understanding, and optimizing the activities and processes within a supply chain is crucial to the growth and success of companies in the manufacturing, retail and distribution industries.  For example, Blue Rhino, a division of Ferrellgas, distributes and refills propane cylinders to over 27,000 retail locations in 48 states and Puerto Rico.  Given the nature of its products and industry, Blue Rhino has a very seasonal business, with multiple locations across the United States, and a huge customer base. They needed a BPM technology suite that was designed to support constant change.  Challenges include fluctuations in supply and demand for propane tanks, unpredicted disruption within the supply chain, regulatory compliance shifts, and changing customer service demands.  These challenges necessitated that Blue Rhino implement a BPM offering dynamic enough to allow them collaborate with distributors and retailers and restructure process models based on changing conditions.  By investing in Metastorm’s BPM offering, Blue Rhino was able to increase its collaborative interactions with distributors to gain greater visibility and more accurate information, while also achieving better structure and automation across these dynamic business processes.   

Case Management
Legal case management is another scenario where an organization needs to respond to unpredictable events and adapt to a changing business environment.  To be more specific, the Department of Justice, Office of the Federal Detention Trustee (OFDT) is responsible for providing safe, secure and humane confinement of persons in federal custody awaiting trial or immigration proceedings.  With a population of some 55,000 detainees across 94 federal judicial districts, collaborative and dynamic interactions must occur.  While the process of detaining a prisoner is modeled out to the specific requirements of the federal government, there are numerous documents controlled by several federal agencies needed for each step of the process and unexpected events can occur for individual prisoners depending on their case.  The OFDT turned to Metastorm BPM because of its security and flexibility, which allowed them to break away from the structured process of detaining prisoners, respond to the situational change, and go back and complete the process.  Now, they can easily receive and process or check on the status of any prisoner’s detention designation document in real-time. 

Unstructured processes exist throughout organizations.   To gain better control and grow effectively, organizations need the flexibility to easily collaborate on and adjust business models and processes.  BPM is not just about workflow. Dynamic BPM offers the ability for organizations to track, manage and audit not only structured, well-defined processes but also the unruly, unstructured, ad hoc processes – the processes that are often the most critical to organizational success.

Contact us to learn more about Metastorm and our dynamic BPM capabilities.

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