Business Process Management (BPM) is the methodology IWCO Direct uses to document current-state process flows that identify pain points, waste, and handoff issues in our processes. We then use these diagrams to create optimal future-state processes. At its core, BPM is a Continuous Improvement (CI) initiative designed to streamline processes, hasten learning, and solidify stronger practices on a project-by-project basis.
Of course, even a process improvement initiative like BPM needs to be updated to remain effective and up-to-date. When looking for ways to improve, we focus on teams that need standardized procedures for training purposes. We also investigate quality issues to identify root causes and make sure we structure and update specific processes to avoid future errors.
How BPM Works and What It Gave Us in 2017
The diagrams created through BPM get shared with relevant members of our teams through our company intranet, and each step of the process is linked to a detailed procedure that explains the task for smooth workflow transitions. This interactive map of processes is often used to train new employees, but it has also been proven invaluable as a reference for experienced employees and project teams to make improvements.
In 2017, we created detailed process flow diagrams for our Purchasing and Outsourcing departments, giving them a robust online training guide and new-hire training curriculum. These process flow diagrams, along with the diagrams we created for Client Services in 2016, helped our Continuous Improvement teams implement new processes and systems. In one instance, we were able to combine three postage-related request forms into one online form with automated email notifications to inform the appropriate people. This is just one example of how we’re striving to be more efficient and productive.
How We Measure BPM Success
The standards of quality for each process improvement initiative differ by the process itself as well as the department in which it’s carried out. Generally, though, we can judge the efficacy of a BPM project by analyzing three distinct outcomes:
- Quality performance in the project area is enhanced.
- Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) with firsthand knowledge in their area of responsibility continuously build online resources for use by others.
- New employees are trained faster than before the BPM resources were available.
If a process shows these three characteristics after completion of a BPM project, we can conclude that the project was a success and the new practices will ensure better performance, less waste, and faster handoffs.
Where We’re Taking BPM in 2018, and Where It Can Take Us
In 2018, we will map the processes for our Content Development department, focusing on managing content, data processing, quality control, and driving effective marketing solutions for clients. The processes we undertake with BPM in the Content Development department will be available online, connected to detailed procedures, and even linked to eLearning courses. We are also evaluating improvements to other areas of IWCO Direct, including our Job Alert process, the way we manage inkjet audits, and how we handle aged inventory. Whether big or small, these process improvements will ensure the strategizing, production, and storage of our clients’ campaigns are executed flawlessly, effectively, and on time.
The online process and procedural resources created through BPM are leveraged by employees, new learners, and project teams that want to improve our processes. They also help us provide value to our clients through quicker response—and we can’t wait to share the results of these efforts with our clients in 2018.
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