The concept of business process management (BPM for short) has been around for a number of years now, but just what does it entail? What are the major activities and decisions surrounding BPM? And where can an interested reader go to get more information on related topics?
The purpose of this article is to provide readers with a quick introduction to the domain of BPM and to point out some excellent readings on BPM and related topics.
What is (BPM) Business Process Management?
BPM involves the design, implementation and management of the business processes that carry out an organization’s work. APICS defines business processes as “logically related tasks or activities performed to achieve a desired outcome.” What makes BPM so challenging is that, in many cases, the activities that make up a business process cross traditional functional boundaries in an organization.
Lenovo BPM Example
Consider, for example, what takes place when a customer uses the Web to order a laptop computer from Lenovo. Lenovo’s website (“sales”) takes the customer’s order information and sends it to production, which fills a production slot with the order and updates components’ inventory levels. At the same time, the accounting system takes the customer’s credit card information, verifies that sufficient credit exists, and charges the customer the correct amount. When production of the laptop is complete, production notifies logistics (handled by a third-party firm), who picks up and delivers the computer. Note how this business process crosses at least four functional areas.
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