How an organization operates can be captured through things like org charts and project timelines. In fact, there is no end to the kind of tools available to give all of us those important “business insights.” These tools, no matter how good or thorough they appear to be, do not, however, always capture the things that ultimately dictate business outcomes.
For businesses to perform optimally, organizations need both the tools and the resulting behaviors that encourage efficiency and optimize operations. That foundation is not something that is packaged and downloaded. Instead, it is created when there is a pairing of great tools and a willingness to adapt. At BP Logix, we recognize that dynamic can only happen when we understand what our customers actually do – and where they are trying to go.
Our first job, to borrow from Stephen Covey, is to “seek to understand.” Listening to our customers is, for us, the most critical part of working with them. Learning about their goals and how they operate provides the foundation for discovery and collaboration. From there we can recognize the “if and where” we can partner.
Our customers do not talk as much about projects and implementations as they do about organizational changes and behavioral shifts. They are not just responding to a new technology. Instead, they have made it their business to cultivate a new approach to their operations.
To put this into context, let us consider a customer that manufactures widgets. BP Logix does not have any particular expertise in the manufacture, shipment, use or maintenance of widgets. It IS, however, helpful for us to talk about how workflow management software can help streamline processes for manufacturing widgets and provide better ways of capturing and routing data captured in the forms that are the basis for moving the widgets across and within the company. Workflow software and eforms software are only solutions if they can be used in a relevant and useful way within the organization. Finding that spot is what we listen for – and, when we can help, it is where we thrive.
A widgets manufacturer thinks that the heart of their business is, well, widgets. That makes sense, and it is true. We think that the heart of the business is the underlying structure of how widgets (or jeans, coffee, medical equipment, or any product or service) are made and how that widgets company realizes a profit.
There comes a point where our message has to find harmony with customers’ goals. A PowerPoint that just says, “Workflow, workflow, workflow” does not provide any indication that we know how that workflow maps to customer needs. One might think that workflow for widgets is pretty straightforward, but that widget maker, just like any company, is complex and requires solutions that meet its unique requirements.
We hear stories of warehouses filled with paper files and approval queues that are backlogged; this used to be the stuff of “BPM solutions”. Today we look to at where, within the organization, there are bottlenecks that impact decision-making. These are problems that workflow, smart forms and document management systems can (and do) address. When the customer, provider, and users are in synch with the issue, a more efficient way of doing things can, and will, unfold.
Will an organization become more efficient as a result of implementing BP Logix smart forms and workflow solutions? Ask our customers and there will be a resounding “yes”. With Process Director, is it possible to recognize, fix and adapt to business issues? Certainly. The stories our customers tell us are about embracing change and pushing through the discomfort that comes from disruption. That is an enlightened approach; in fact we find that thinking that way helps promote more and better change over time.
Multi-Chem, for instance, rolled out a document tracking, electronic notification, and electronic signature solution with Process Director. The company is now looking to use the same business process mindset to provide better processes in other parts of the organization. Members of the Data Analytics and Software Integration team at Memphis Light, Gas and Water told us about issues related to approvals and signatures. Process Director was put to the task, and because of its success, will be used for other issues.
These companies, like so many others that we work with; have come to realize the need to continuously innovate, and to use the resources at their disposal to be able to do this. They are using the intelligence and skills of their employees, and are deploying resources and data appropriately and intelligently.
The outcome of applying smart, long-term vision to business process improvement is, well, it’s an improved business. More engaged employees, better business insight, greater efficiency; these things make for a great business story. For us at BP Logix, there is no benefit to just selling a product. We want to sell a product only when it provides demonstrative value.