Business Process Management Software (BPMS) can be an essential tool for any business, big or small. BPM tools allow you to get the very best benefits out of process management, such as increased productivity, lower costs, and so on
BPM has bloomed into an accepted management discipline and its significance in the automation-centric corporate economy of today is undeniable. Without an able BPM software to apply to your business, processes become chaotic and can lead to disastrous consequences.
The problem with BPM tools is that it can be difficult to find something suited for your use. Online BPM tools are a dime a dozen, and it’s no easy feat to find something that fit your use case.
What Should You Look for in Business Process Management (BPM) Tools?
The shopping list for BPM tools can be long and varied, depending on the needs of a business.
When BPM tools first emerged, the requirements were largely on how robust the platform was and if it could handle the complexities of a workflow engine. However, needs have changed. Now, most BPM systems can handle the complexity you need, and the new key features for business process management tools involve being user-friendly, built on the cloud, and well-integrated with other applications.
3 Must-Have Features For Modern BPM Tools
Today, BPM software solutions are dime a dozen. Most of them offer the same features – BPMN 2 modeling, training on how to use the software, cloud-based system, etc.
The following 3 features, however, are much rarer – they’re what sets apart the great BPMS from the good.
Drag & Drop Process Design
For the past decade, BPMN was the norm for process design. It’s a standardized method for modeling your processes – instead of everyone creating different workflow diagrams, you just follow this one specific methodology.
The reason for this is to have everyone on the same page – your employees, the management, process consultants, etc.
Hence, most BPM tools started using BPMN for the process design part of the software.
Theirs is, however, one big downside with the entire methodology. Namely, it’s very hard to learn. A lot of BPM providers offer specialized training to address the issue. This, however, only adds to the time required to really learn how to use the software.
If you’re mainly using Enterprise software, BPMN is unavoidable. Most Enterprise BPM software solutions, the ones that offer integrations with other enterprise solutions, are based on the standard.
On the other hand, if you’re using regular SaaS software, then there’s really no point in picking a BPM solution that’s based on BPMS.
Modern process management software companies are moving away from BPMN & developing their own proprietary methods for process design.
This allows you to start using the software right after registration, with zero training or prior experience required.
To get the most out of BPM tools, you should integrate them with all the other software you use.
By having all of your systems work together, you’re allowing for a lot more automation.
With integration, you can do…
- Process Triggers – Even happening in a certain system triggers the process in your BPM. So for example, an applicant hired through HRM software can trigger the employee’s onboarding process.
- Data Pull – Data transfer from another system to BPMS, allowing for process participants to use it in a given step.
- Data Push – Once the process is completed, you might want to record certain data on a third party platform. The “push” function allows this to be done automatically once the process is finished.
Depending on the software provider, this can be either extremely simple or complicated.
There are 3 different options for BPM integration.
- InBuilt – The software allows for integrations with specific 3rd party apps. The downside with this is that the options are usually very limited.
- Integration-Friendly – Certain BPMS can be used with Integration-as-a-Service providers, such as Zapier. This allows you to integrate it with most other SaaS solutions.
- REST API – This is the most common option for Enterprise BPM software. There’s no inbuilt integration, so you have to manually use the software API to make the software work with other systems.
Reasonable Price Tag
While this one’s not exactly a feature, it’s something that really differentiates most BPM tools.
The price for the software can range from anything between 15 to- 1,000 USD / User / Month. The full package of certain tools can cost somewhere in the range of 6 figures if you factor in installation, training, integrations, and so on.
Where Can You Find the Best Business Process Management Tools?
With so many BPM software vendors vying for the buyers’ attention identifying the best BPM tool can be confusing.
From blogs to review sites to infographics, most information on process management tools is sponsored by some BPM vendor. So, do your best to avoid obvious propaganda disguised as objective reviews.
Benefits of Deploying BPM Tools
We’ve told you what BPM tools can do for you. We’ve shown you examples of what they can do. But what we haven’t mentioned are the real world, tangible benefits that BPM tools have.
- Improved Agility – BPM tools let business users add, modify, and delete processes as and when required, dynamically. This lets you become adaptable to unpredictable situations.
- Reduced Cost – Operating costs are reduced. You won’t have to hire as many staff while scaling as well–that’s lesser resources spent on salaries.
- Higher Efficiency – No one likes emails, because they’re annoying and cumbersome. BPM tools let you operate on tasks that matter, and ignore the noise of your inbox–this improves employee efficiency.
- Better Visibility – BPM tools don’t just streamline processes. They’re also helpful in tracking performance of a specific process or employee. They let you see how these processes are functioning in real time. This lets you get an understanding of which processes are working well, and which need improvement or abandonment.
- Sustainability – Hiring more employees isn’t always the solution. It’s expensive, employees take time to be productive, and it can be confusing when you grow to a huge size. BPM tools let you mitigate some of that through automation. Letting your existing employees be more productive lets them focus on the tasks that matter, and automate the tasks that don’t need active intervention.
Will the Perfect BPM Tool Solve All Problems?
Choosing the right BPM software isn’t a magic bullet. You still need to put in the work of analyzing your processes and getting everyone on board. However, once you have a firm grasp on exactly what your company needs, finding the right fit for a BPM system is crucial. Take a look around, but make sure to check out KiSSFLOW for your BPM needs.