Businesses are always looking to the next digital technology that will help them operate more efficiently.
But business that are typically early adopters need to be wary, and use the technology with a realistic approach - as new technology is never a complete panacea.
Any business planning to invest in the latest process management technology should be convinced that the expected benefits will be realised, according to Amin Manji, Bosch Australia sales and marketing manager for the Software Innovations Division.
Manji, a software solutions expert, says business people must understand that Business Process Management (BPM) technology achieves nothing by itself.
“BPM's ability to improve business performance is entirely dependent on a clear understanding of what an individual business wants to achieve and how effectively solutions are designed and implemented to deliver those results,” he explained.
“Thus the quality of results from Business Process Management is directly related to the quality of the process design.
“By using this sophisticated technology to model and optimise a company's operational processes, BPM makes processes more productive and ensures higher quality.
“It enables continuous improvement which drives efficiency and effectiveness. But business must understand that proper modelling is the key to maximising the benefits."
In layman's terms, take a realistic view and know how to apply the program first to ensure it's effective.
“The concept of continuous improvement and business agility is fundamental to effective BPM. In fact, the ability to continuously improve a company's processes and deliver a return on investment on a consistent basis is one of the system's greatest appeals.”
Manji said BPM is a major part of helping manufacturers implement lean manufacturing, and identifying unnecessary or overcomplicated processes that involve significant waste – in both time and resources.
“BPM technology offers the capacity to identify areas of waste and to provide operational solutions to minimise and ultimately eliminate them,” he said.
Manji added that in line with lean manufacturing principles, it also helps to automate certain processes.
“It also highlights opportunities to automate and optimise operations – driving efficiencies, saving time, money and resources.
“Importantly, it offers process agility, which enables business to respond quickly and efficiently to changes in market needs and circumstances.”
Bosch is currently bringing a range of BPM technologies to the Australian and New Zealand markets that are changing traditional approaches to business operations.
One of the technologies – a predictive machine maintenance solution – uses sensors to monitor the condition of machines by constantly reviewing operational data and detecting patterns in performance that indicate a potential fault.
This makes it possible to prevent unplanned outages by taking corrective action ahead of time.
In this way, companies can avoid the high cost of unplanned "down time" and its impact on both plant and staff.
Manji says the predictive technology is also a "learning system", which uses information on past problems to predict future events, and can also help identify potential bottlenecks or manufacturing choke points.
It also means the technology becomes progressively smarter and increasingly cost effective.