The Importance of Business Process Management (BPM) System

Many multi unit outlets struggle to structure their Business Process Management (BPM) system to share core processes with the entire organisation but also give each business unit access to their own specific process information

The importance of being able to do a deep dive and do an accurate analysis on the business’s needs and key areas of improvement cannot be emphasised enough.  In fact if this isn’t done, the end-to end core functions, such as HR, have to be repeated for each business unit. This is obviously inefficient (repetition of the same information several times) and also easily leads to inconsistencies between the business areas – even for core functions, which should be standardised to best practice.

In addition, your BPM system will be of most benefit if it is structured so that the cross functional relationship between business units is represented, thereby modelling the end-to-end process across the company. This is because customers and suppliers generally don’t have a relationship with just one business unit, but the entire organisation.

As such, it is important to structure your BPM system to share core processes with the entire organisation, but still give each business unit access to their own specific business operations.

A combination of a powerful POS on the front end and a ERP that operates in the back ground would allow you to:

  • Link front-end functionality with a back-end enterprise system through an intermediary outlet/store local server which provides off-line capability.
  • Multiple outlet/stores with unlimited expandability, all communicating securely over the public internet, synchronising with a HQ server for centralised administration and reporting.
  • Allow for variations/modifiers, real-time price changes, real-time data and analysis. Comprehensive built-in reporting allows for a wide range of reports and therefore, analysis.
  • Streamline your business processes and ease your back-office burden
  • Integrating different streams of data
  • Get access anywhere internet access is available.

Building a Strong Core and having multiple unit access will ready your company for growth. Getting access to these business growth tools are now affordable and can be readily configured to fit your business processes. Do not think that Business Excellence Process Tools are reserved for the large enterprises. It is available for your business today, in simple, affordable and are readily configured.

Using Flow Charts to communicate Processes

Flow charts are a useful tool in project management as they make processes easy to understand at a glance. Flow charts can quickly express what you are trying to say using just a few words and some simple symbols.

What Is a Flow Chart?

Flow charts are easy-to-understand, simple diagrams that maps out a procee to show how the steps of a process fit together.  It is used to define and analize a process that clearly shows a step by step visual. Flow charts tend to consist of four main symbols, linked with arrows that show the direction of flow:

  1. Elongated circles, which signify the start or end of a process.

 

  1. Rectangles, which show instructions or actions.

 

  1. Diamonds, which highlight where you must make a decision.

 

  1. Parallelograms, which show input and output. This can include materials, services or people.

 

When to Use a Flow Chart

All manner of organizations use flow charts to:

  • Define a process
  • Standardize process.
  • Communicate a process.
  • Improve a process.

How to Create a Flow Chart

Follow these four steps:

Step 1: Identify Tasks

The most effective way to use a flow chart is to begin by listing all of the tasks in a process in chronological order. Ask questions such as, “What happens next in the process?” or, “Do you need to make a decision before the next step?” or, “What kind of approvals are required before you move on to the next task?”

Talk to team members who work with the process directly, and understand their work flow. get their opinions on where improvements could be made. Visualize the procedure and think about the practicalities of each stage.

Step 2: Organize and Document Tasks

Usually, the elongated circle shape represents “Start.”

Then, work  your processes, and show the actions and decisions in the order that they happen. Link them with arrows to illustrate the flow of the process.

Where you need to make a decision, draw arrows from the decision diamond to each possible solution, and then label each arrow with the decision made. Remember to show the end of the process by using an elongated circle labeled “Finish.”

Step 3: Double-Check the Process

After you complete your flow chart, go back to the start and try it out to ascertain that the steps and processes are in the right sequence. Ausit the effectiveness of your flowchart by getting other people to test that it works and to tell you if there are any problems or omissions.

Step 4: Challenge the Flow Chart

Finally, you see if you can improve the process. Are there any of the steps that  described unnecessary or overly complicated?

Are the steps complete? After checking with the people involved in the process, make any changes and then challenge the chart again.

What is open source ERP

January 12, 2017 

There is a general notion that ERP systems (enterprise resource planning) are overly complex, very costly to implement and maintain. For small, medium enterprises or businesses (SMEs/SMBs) this is deterrent enough to keep away. This is where open source ERP is increasingly becoming more popular.

So what exactly is open source ERP? First we need to understand what is meant by the term open source. Taking a definition right from the “sources” mouth (boom boom); it refers to something people can modify and share because its design is publicly accessible. For open source ERP this allows developers to gain access to their source code and create, improve or enhance the software. Wikipedia is arguably the best example of an open source concept.

So what does this mean for SMEs/SMBs? Quite a lot and it’s predominantly good.

  1. ERP software is now within reach of all businesses with a number of products selling subscription based services (usually out of the box functionality).
  2. Fixes and new versions can be delivered faster and more frequently with communities of developers.
  3. The ability to customize the software to cater for specific business requirements.
  4. More integration options with any existing software.
  5. Rapid deployment model with the flexibility to activate modules as and when the business needs it.
  6. Not being locked-in to one vendor.
  7. Reduce the risk of being stuck with a product that won’t be supported in the long run.

Some open source ERP software to consider are ERPNext, Odoo, OpenBravo ERP, opentaps and Dolibarr.

Open source ERP isn’t for every business (yet) as she hasn’t been around as long as her older brother proprietary ERP. The behemoths of ERP still dominate the MNC market having spent decades building their ERP software to meet the complexities of the corporate world. The gap is closing and closing rapidly though and within the next 3-5 years we could see a big shift in popularity. Who knows…

Written by Tony Ta | Cheerleader and Connector at Cloude8 | www.cloude8.com