In my blog post last month I covered a few of the lessons learned by early BPM adopters on how to begin a business process management (BPM) initiative. Based on many early BPM successes, we have seen the focus of BPM projects shift from just streamlining and improving a few key processes within their organization tonow turning to BPM to help them understand, visualize and optimize their operating model and business practices. However, to fully reap the rewards that BPM has to offer, organizations have had to stop looking at BPM as a tool to improve a handful of easy, high ROI projects and start thinking about BPM as change agent to instill agility into the enterprise.
From my experience working with our customers, the companies who have embraced BPM practices as essential to their management approach have had far greater success than those who have leveraged BPM to solve a few problem processes.
How AmerisourceBergen Transformed Their Business with BPM
For example, at last month’s User Summit, our customer AmerisourceBergen showed us just how far their “BPM way of thinking” has transformed their business. Their first BPM initiative was to implement an automated, collaborative Contract & Chargeback process which was not supported by their SAP application. The Contract & Chargeback process is used to manage the established pricing and terms for each of AmerisourceBergen’s manufactures and then controls compliance with pricing terms and payment of rebates from the manufacturer if the company is forced to sell at a lower price to compete- a multi-billion dollar exercise for the company. The project was a huge success and delivered a high return on investment through lower headcount, fewer and faster dispute resolution, and more accurate pricing information. AmerisourceBergen identified many additional processes for BPM and expanded its use of Metastorm BPM to support an enterprise-wide business transformation initiative. More specifically, the company created six new processes in Metastorm BPM that extend and augment SAP’s capabilities around managing and automating high volume, highly-specialized supplier credit processes. Today AmerisourceBergen has over 3,000 users and almost 300 processes automated in Metastorm BPM. They have also established a Process Center of Excellence (COE) consisting of key business and IT people to access new processes for automation, build business cases for BPM and oversee BPM projects.
Rather than taking the one project at a time approach, AmerisourceBergen and other cutting edge BPM adopters have seen a significant pay-off from adopting an enterprise-wide, business transformation approach to BPM. By building a Process Center of Excellence, your organization can bring together both IT and business people and resources to start thinking about how to deploy BPM across your entire organization.
If you’re interested in learning how to extend your BPM implementation beyond a few projects, or have any thoughts on this subject, feel free to leave a comment below!
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