Toney Thomas
March 28, 2022

INSIGHTS ARTICLE: National Institute for Aviation Research - Why implement Business Process Management to Overcome Supply Chain Interruption

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Why implement Business Process Management to Overcome Supply Chain Interruption

Since Covid 19 many companies are faced with how to meet customer demands when challenged with supply chain interruptions. As such managing supply level can be complex and the least frustrating when trying to meet customer demands. My organization leverage this challenge by implementing Business Process Management to help streamline processes to sustain work orders and work flow. Once our goal was defined we are able to plan and map critical processes. This BPM approach provided more flexibility to diversify our supplier who had shorter lead time and could deliver product in timely minor. Another key component was having enough stock on hand when demands increased. We constantly survey supplier for stock levels and demand forecasting.
Having a business contingency plan was critical for hard to fill orders. An important part of the plan was avoid overselling and overpromising when known order couldn’t be fulfilled in a reasonable manner. Next, we streamlined inventory level to be more precise as to how much materials needed to produce the customer order. Work flow was also adjusted to reduce waste in actively anticipating and off setting of manufacturing and shipping delays.
Now let’s look closer at a BPM model. First, what is business process management? Although similar to lean manufacturing business process management (BPM) is the discipline of improving a process from begin to end through analyzing, modelling , execution of improvements, continuous monitoring, and optimization of the improved process. BPM should not be confused as a technology, but involves an organization use of intelligent BPM approached to automate workflow or tasks. Next, let’s take a deeper look at what makeup a business process (BP). A BP is an activity or multiple activities carried out to achieve an organizational goal and meet customer demands. Some common examples may include, but not limited to: 
  • Purchasing
  • Order processing
  • Invoicing processing
  • Cost estimating
  • Product development
  • Product assembly
  • Quality assurance
  • Product delivery
  • Engineering change control
To better understand how BPM works, and the importance of it to your organization for this article lets place a little more emphasis on basis steps of BP implementation manually and automation.
Step 1: Define Goals
You must first define the purpose of the process as well as why it is needed.
Step 2: Plan and Map process
Collaborate on effective strategies to be adopted for achieving the target goals.
Step 3: Set action and assign people who will be carrying out the tasks
At this point you will need to decide who the best persons to handle the tasks are. What machines and resources will be needed to execute the plan?
Step 4: Test the process
At this step you will examine the process at low-level and see how it worked.
Step 5: Implement the process
After testing the process and you are convinced with the results, next it is time run it on a large scale. Additionally, during this stage you must properly communicate with all member who will be handling the tasks. These individuals will also need to be trained to achieve better results.
Step 6: Monitor the results
You will need to review the process and check for ongoing threats that may raise later and find ways to mitigate these risks.
Step 7: Repeat
If the target goals were achieved with the process, you must continue to duplicate it, track effectiveness and progress on an ongoing basis.
Types of BPM
There are three types that offer different perspectives include the following:
- Systems-centric
Focus on business processes that work without much human involvement.
- Human-centric
Focus on processes that are handle and designed for human interaction.
- Document-centric
Positioned around documents, to include formatting, signing and contract validation.
Moreover, business processes may be repeated many times at all levels within the organization while some may or may not visible at the customer level. Whether an organization choses to implement BPM manually or automated it should be noted the difference between the two is that automated is more accurate, optimized, and standardized compare to a manual method.
Having talked about the business process, approach methodology, and life cycle it is guaranteed to minimize cost, increase productivity, efficiency, and better customer satisfaction. Some other benefits includes improved workflows, increased product/service quality, increased flexibility within the workplace provided if adequately incorporated into an organization. Now that we all are faced with difficult times and challenging work environments BPM can be achieve digitally through team collaboration and remote application.
Author: Toney Thomas, Research Quality Engineer


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