How Document Management Helps Automation, Workflow, and Efficient Business Operations
There are common terms that are typically part of any conversation about business process management (BPM): business process automation, workflow automation, document management solutions and efficiency are among them. These are natural outcomes of BPM and drive the exploration and evaluation phases organizations go through in their quest to operate more effectively. After learning more about how and where BPM software is used, it often becomes clear to these organizations that the advantages they stand to gain go far beyond “only” measurable business goals. With business process management software, they come to realize they can become more responsive and agile— and ultimately gain a significant advantage over their competitors.
The Connection Between Document Management Solutions and BPM Solutions
We believe that BPM software is a necessity for any business seeking to deliver demonstrable and sustainable results. In addition to improving processes (the immediate goal), organizations have come to realize that the benefits of BPM in being better equipped to identify, capture, evaluate, retrieve, and share all of an enterprise’s information assets. Irrespective of the company’s business, having an accessible and integrated repository of key information (document management) is essential to adequately govern and grow the company. It is also smart business. When we talk with managers, business architects and CIOs, they may not always speak specifically of effective document management solutions as a goal. As we get to know their business more thoroughly we and they generally realize that BPM solutions and document management solutions are appropriate bedfellows. The BPM and document management connection is pivotal to achieving the ongoing task of automating and monitoring both the content and processes that move and change within and across the organization. As we learn what these customers want to do, we realize the challenge is one of management, manipulation, change and modification of knowledge. There is huge value in having the information — but unless it can be acted on, it provides no value.
As corporate managers, we are steeped in the mindset of looking for document management solutions to improve ‘inefficiency.’ Our foundation in document management translates into a deep and broad understanding of how to integrate workflows, electronic forms, reusable business rules and predictive analytics into existing systems (like ERP and CRM) to run the business in a smarter — and more productively. When a company eliminates bottlenecks and unnecessary actions, what results is a more sane and intelligent way to work. Once that happens, no one wants to go back to the “old way.”
Another reason why we see shifts in the culture of an organization has to do with BPM facilitating deeper insights into the details and behaviors of every business process. Process owners get smarter, which subsequently enables them to refine processes and ultimately optimize them. Our flagship BPM platform product, Process Director, learns about an organization’s processes as it manages them. By introducing the dimension of time to predict the impact of changing business conditions on a running process — and by then applying the resulting business process intelligence to decisions about those processes, more effective and appropriate outcomes result. That makes for a smarter organization.
Stewart Brand famously noted that “information wants to be free.” Information is knowledge, and knowledge IS an organization. Nothing is built, serviced, shipped or fixed without complex amounts of information being applied to make it happen. Each day and with every action, more knowledge is acquired. When that knowledge is then captured and managed, it can be used to its greatest advantage. The possibilities for an organization that does that are endless.