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Company’s background information
Agility Logistics originated in Kuwait in 1979. By the year 2004, the company was the largest logistic company in UAE. The company uses merger strategies in acquiring global brands for its competitive advantage through a provision of a seamless global network.
Agility has developed efficiency in its supply chains in a tough environment through the provision of personal and customised solutions to its customers. These approaches reflect the company’s mission and vision statements, which strive to meet the global trade challenges and use innovative systems in its supply chain.
Agility Logistics thrives on customer management and satisfaction. The company believes that its customer support department can tackle customers’ challenges and uncertainties in today’s market. Agility Logistics has established a reputable personal service as a value proposition for their customers. The company staffs assume personal responsibility for their customers’ jobs.
Agility Logistics coordinate all its supply chains through tracking systems. Management of supply chain processes in Agility Logistics has contributed to the company’s success and repeat businesses. The company’s strength lies in its concentration on areas that support a modern supply chain system, such as knowledge of emerging markets, personalised services, social responsibility and environmental sustainability, services in specialised industries, among others.
Business Process Management (BPM) refers to comprehending, visibility and taking management and controlling business processes. Business processes have a long discrete chain of activities that cut across individuals, applications, business procedures and organisations. BPM concerns itself with the improvement of the organisations’ processes.
Firms that use BPM rely on a framework of prescriptive methods and tools. This framework includes information technologies (BPM Platforms) for controlling, modelling, measuring and improving methodologies such as TQM, Six Sigma and Lean for analysing and understanding applications in the processes and principles of business.
Change management and IT
Managing change in an organisation is not a simple task. The fundamental change management principle states that “things are the way they are because they got that way” (Smith 2). This means that it is essential to comprehend how current conditions evolved in order to be effective in changing the existing situation.
Changes in the onset of a BPM process create more roles and responsibilities. Therefore, organisations should be able to adapt quickly and exploit the benefits of BPM. However, IT department does not want business leaders to test a new BPM system on their own. Likewise, business department does not want to leave their IT counterparts to run their businesses.
Therefore, before an organisation starts the process of implementing BPM, there should be some established guidelines separating the roles and responsibilities of departments involved in the project. As such, is critical that business and IT department share responsibilities in the project.
Agility Logistics believe in best practices. The new roles of the executives changes with the IT. Senior executives lead large-scale BPM by interchanging roles/job rotations, where the IT executives and finance people work together to drive business-cases and approval processes.
The combination of these departments aims at aligning the company with its IT adoptions. Combination of IT language into business processes changes as more employees begin to understand the value of business. Lack of a common language between IT department and business units have been a stumbling block in implementation of BPM.
There are terms used in business units and IT departments, but they have different meanings. Leading software vendors in BPM have noted the need to focus on the business unit of the firm as an essential end user of the application. This approach enables the business team to understand IT vocabulary in a business-oriented manner.
IT professionals in the BPM have straightforward roles. They need to enhance the performances of BPM suites to work better in order to drive business goals and customers’ satisfaction. At the same, business unit must also figure out how to align themselves with IT adoption in the organisation.
Agility Logistics identified the need to improve its supply chain and operations in constantly changing world of logistics. Some of the factors that influenced the management decisions were both internal and external. The company applied deliberate, quantifiable, goal-oriented, principled and tightly scoped changes to compete globally. The company implemented changes slowly in a timely manner in its global supply chain management.
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One of the core values of Agility Logistics is to be efficient and scalable. Implementation of the BPM system has enabled the company to collect complex data for decision-making logic. The rule engine enables the company to make complex decision quickly, repeatedly and reliably. Elimination of manual processes has improved efficiency to produce facts for business actions. A rule engine scales works well and linearly with increased rules and facts.
Complex interplay in logistics chain operates to influence the outcomes of crucial company’s decisions. The aim is to improve productivity and maintainability. In most cases, the decisions are difficult and seem impossible to make and implement. IT techniques in BPM look at logic separation to make the process easy and manage complex decision making processes.
IT systems in BPM have created centralised knowledge repositories. The systems facilitate knowledge-transfer and help to eliminate the loss of crucial decision-makers and other executives due to turnovers or aging employees. Therefore, the use BPM prevents crippling of business as a result of knowledge loss.
Implementing business solution
Implementation of new processes in the organisation involves several employees, facilities, organisations, capital, and materials. BPM ensures that the system and human elements involved in the process are individually and collectively integrated to avoid conflicts and frequencies of human errors.
Agility Logistics has optimised business processes through BPM. Managers have gained insights in the successful implementation of new processes and management. IT departments have learnt to take advantages of BPM conferences in order to learn new technological innovations and how implementing them can benefit the company.
BPM and new technological instruments are significant in scientific management. Agility Logistics management has moved with the current management practices. Knowledge and skills upgrade have enabled management to play a decisive function in relations to consolidating and elevating the best practices of BPM in technologies and other methods.
BPM requires that the implementation process is consultative in order to strengthen the understanding of the management team to the whole business process. Implementation processes must unite the perspectives of each member of the team to the business process in order to avoid misunderstanding and wasteful process of implementations in the company plan.
Implementation tools should capture relevant data and information on the company’s current business processes in the supply chain and logistics management practices. Modelling process must create alternatives to be able to accommodate the existing procedures and be flexible enough for existing processes. There should be a standard requirement for revision in cases of exceptions in the implementation process.
This ensures that there is vitality in BPM implementation process and the stages do not experience stifling due to rigid and dogmatic implementation required. However, the exceptions should be deemphasised. The implementation process should just focus on the required business process model.
Agility Logistics has focused on its customer’s well-being and satisfaction through its BPM. The application of IT in its operations has led to the creation of customised products and services. For instance, Agility Logistics has used its rules in IT systems to help design customised services such as freight forwarding, specialty services like chemicals and project logistics.
This focus on the individual basis, has distinguished the company in global logistics. The company has been able to centralise the behavioural, and execution logic in its commercial processes in order to tailor its products and services to meet the demands of the ever-changing markets (Clark 198).
Organisations have realised the value of customers. Modern customers are demanding value. Markets have decreased tolerance for defects and wastes, wasted efforts and lost time, services and products that do not satisfy their needs. BPM helps the company to align itself with the demands of diverse customers and markets. Customer value occurs as a result of appropriate changes happening in processes in order to achieve desirable results. Customer satisfaction has become key in the success or failure of business ventures.
Organisations’ measurement procedures should focus on the customer, and not on the organisation. Successful companies must relate their processes through customers’ satisfactions. Measurements that look into internal company’s operation might be misleading. Measurements should focus on both internal and external processes for it to give a true account of the company’s success. The final measurement of success must measure the overall objectives of the company.
BPM must address all the common areas and understand different aspects of business processes. Agility Logistics has been able to experience robust business because of its ability to use business software in the supply chain. As a result, the company has experienced increased customer satisfaction, which has contributed to its competitive advantage in the global logistics industry.
Companies have adopted the use of software, such as supply chain management systems (SCM) and customer relationship management systems (CRM). The management has realised the basic functionality in the SCM systems and incorporated them in its resource planning systems.
There are also new challenges emerging due to ever-increasing market dynamics, which have led to the creation of dedicated supply chain management systems in most organisations. The primary aim of these software applications is to support operations, planning, and command of supply chains, which covers inventory management, warehouse, suppliers and distributors’ management, and planning demands all for the ultimate benefit and satisfaction of customers.
Implementation in the organization and outcomes
BPM focuses on the concept of organisation’s continuous improvement as its value proposition. The fundamental ability of BPM system is to improve continuously processes and get incremental return on investment (ROI) on a consistent basis. This is what defines and sets apart BPM systems from other processes of driving business improvement.
Consequently, any case of BPM must consider the iterations of processes and the value that the process will bring to the company. Companies must focus on incremental value, which will accrue overtime rather than short-term values (Menken 191).
Agility Logistics process analysis in its implementation of the BPM systems confirmed several changes needed in many areas. BPM had to consider improvements in both internal units and external partners that were part of the process. The implementation process noted that a full account of the process as it progressed through various processes was difficult to obtain. Agility Logistics have had short window of opportunities to save logistics process.
Therefore, task completion, work priorities and problem escalations were crucial for successful resolutions. The company had little data and often too late on its processes. Agility Logistics needed real-time alerts in order to save shipments and other movements. The impacts of the implementation of the current process give outstanding results. The company has been able to move its key metric of percentages on saving, which has enabled it to continue experiencing global growth and competitiveness.
Agility Logistics noted efficiency before deploying the BPM systems. Initially, the company experienced significant wastes due to manual procedures, uncoordinated hand-offs between business units, and general inability to monitor overall progress. Agility Logistics eliminated these challenges with initial deployment of a BPM solution. The company experienced benefits in terms of full-time equivalent time saved in supply chain processes.
Agility Logistics experienced the benefit of agility in implementing BPM system. Service-oriented and on-demand processes have created the concept of agility in BPM. Agility Logistics is able to change quickly on its process management. This depends on the changing needs of the customers.
The company identified the drivers of change to be both internal and external factors. Agility Logistics saw new opportunities in emerging markets, new partners and customers, which needed it to support them in different ways of conducting business. For instance, the company’s exposure to international markets must be aligned with the regulations of different countries. BPM has platforms to enable the company change its process fast and in a controlled manner.
Change management in adoption of IT systems to support BPM must start from the top. However, some key business executives do not want to adapt to changing business environment. Therefore, organisation must identify key participants for a given process to ensure that these participants carry out changes and tasks.
IT units and business units are in constant squabble during the implementation of the BPM systems. Business units do not want IT department to experiment their procedures with their job. Likewise, IT department does not want to leave the process to business units. The point is that both departments should learn to share responsibilities.
Another challenge is the lack of common language to support both the IT and business departments. This has been a stumbling block for BPM implementations. The changing business environment and IT innovations create new terms that apply both to business and IT but with different meanings. BPM suites vendors have noted the need to incorporate business-oriented vocabulary in their applications.
BPM works better in an organisation where executives understand the need to share responsibilities between IT department and business units. At the same, both business units and IT department should learn the vocabularies in both environments. Business units must also create new roles to meet the challenges of technology.
Before taking any BPM initiative, a company should establish guidelines delineating responsibilities for members participating in the project. That is, both business units and IT personnel, must share responsibilities.
A company must consistently train its new recruits to learn how the entire system of BPM works. The process must ensure that the recruits master the key terms for smooth operation of the company. The recruits must also learn how to use the BPM systems to lead the company to success.
Clark, George J. Quality Matters: The Decade of Quality 1989-2000. London: Spire City Publishing, 2000. Print.
Menken, Ivanka. The Business Process Management Guide:Practical Methodology and Guidelines to Successful BPM Implementation and Improvement. Brisbane : Emereo Publishing, 2009. Print.
Smith, Ralph F. Business Process Management and the Balanced Scorecard: Using Processes as Strategic Drivers. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2007. Print.