Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Process excellence in Manufacturing with BPM Technology

Manufacturing houses the world over have to deal with production and supply chain related issues, and this often calls for quick responses and timely intervention clubbed with innovative approaches. Not only does a manufacturing house have to deal with customers, but also with an array of distributors, suppliers, vendors, and its own workforce. While there have been various attempts in the past to streamline production processes through the use of various enterprise solutions, the results have been quite mixed. This is mainly because the focus doesn’t always remain on the business’ individual process requirements. Business units are broken down into smaller assembly units and each use stripped down process modeling with limited interaction. Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) typically only support production routing, production processes, and instructions for the work to be done. Hence, MES systems are focused only on production and are unable to execute processes, integrate multivendor applications or play a role in the planning, designing and building phase of manufacturing.

BPM to the Rescue

Business Process Management tools cure this exact pain. It gives businesses the ability to fine tune processes while eliminating any shortcomings, while also automating production processes in order to minimize errors and maximize reliability. Through effective BPM implementation a production house can also utilize its assets to the fullest, thereby getting the most out of its existing manpower and equipment. Besides, in going the BPM way a production house would have the ability to extend its channels of revenue, and this would also give the business an opportunity to gather pertinent customer data from various points of sale.

Managing the Supply Chain:

Since this fast paced technological world that we now live in calls for quick fire and accurate decision making while also maintaining visibility, it is important that businesses and their respective supply chain collaborators work in tandem by quickly adapting to changing market needs and scenarios. Using a BPM solution to streamline a business’ entire supply chain network would help the business adapt to the latest trends, minimize wastage, and run on decreased operating costs.


When it comes to the operational aspect of any manufacturing business, one of the most common complaints involves the lack of synchronized data. If the operations part of a manufacturing house is not adequately integrated, it could very well lead to inaccurate reporting of data, loss of man hours, unnecessary inventories, inappropriate planning and decision making, etc. With the help of an integrated BPM solution, one can expect to have access to all information in real time.

Apart from the positives mentioned above, here are some more reasons why a production house would benefit by employing a BPM strategy.

  • Collaboration: In keeping common goals and running a unified platform a production house gives its ‘people’ network a place where they can interact and collaborate.
  • Workflow: Integrating a business’ technological aspects with the processes and the people behind the processes keeps a due check on prioritization, thereby ensuring a smooth workflow.
  • Transparency: Using a BPM solution would tell a business exactly where and how its resources are being used, and to what effect.

Other benefits of using BPM solutions in production industries include the ability to run processes in accordance to specific business needs; reducing the possibility of delays in the supply of materials; using automatic notifications to correspond within various internal departments and with external sources like customers, vendors, and suppliers; as well as the ability to integrate one’s existing range of applications like SCM and ERP.

So do I see more manufacturing houses embrace this technology in the time to come? Of course!

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