Business Process Management: Mandatory or optional for RPA?

An interview with Stefan Hessenbruch, Director Customer Success EMEA at BPM specialist iGrafx.

Why is Business Process Management (BPM) so important for Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?
RPA automates tasks and business processes by software robots that are normally performed by humans, so underlying Business Process Management (BPM) is essential. Before processes are automated using RPA, they should first be captured and managed in a BPM system. The better a business process is documented and modelled, the more successful and effective its automation will be. BPM and RPA in combination offer the perfect opportunity to automate end-to-end and manage all business processes and ultimately achieve the best results. The iGrafx RPA Accelerator with our partner Servicetrace’s RPA bots is one such end-to-end solution that enables companies to identify, evaluate, prioritize, execute and control robotic process automation projects. 

Stefan Hessenbruch | iGrafx speaking at Servicetrace Robotic Days 2019

Stefan Hessenbruch | iGrafx speaking at Servicetrace Robotic Days 2019

What do companies that operate BPM benefit from?
With the help of BPM, companies can digitize their business processes, i.e. modernize them, and introduce an agile way of working. This enables them to flexibly design, implement, optimize and then automate productive processes for the entire company with RPA – and thus tailor business functions to customer needs. Used correctly, BPM, as a preliminary stage of automation, increases efficiency and productivity, enabling organizations to reduce costs, reduce errors, and increase customer satisfaction.

Everyone is talking about RPA. What are the current hot topics in business process management and how does iGrafx address them?
Anyone who deals with process management or business process optimization today cannot avoid the term “process mining. With the iGrafx RPA Accelerator’s Process Mining component, business processes are analyzed and reconstructed using digital traces in IT systems. The individual process steps are combined, the process is visualized and evaluated. Process Mining is thus an innovative method of deriving process knowledge from human behavior on the computer and thus generating process flows from everyday life.

Another important topic is the “Customer Journey”. So-called “Customer Journey Maps” help to recognize where the customer has contact with the company, whether these points trigger positive or negative feelings and how such interactions can be improved. With Business Process Management it is possible to model this customer journey, but also the systems, processes and risks required for it, and thus strengthen customer orientation and improve customer experience and satisfaction. Of course, such a journey can also be mapped for employees, products, partners, suppliers, etc.

How can large corporations that already have a mature BPM improve in terms of BPM and RPA?
The ability to innovate and transform is becoming increasingly important in the face of extreme market developments and intensified competition. A sophisticated BPM concept and process automation as the main initiative help companies to generate business value and competitive advantages through optimization and innovation. Used correctly, automation can significantly increase operational effectiveness and efficiency while driving digital transformation and customer satisfaction. The first step in this direction and for a successful RPA project should be to prioritize the appropriate projects.

Our experience shows, however, that even in large corporations a truly central end-to-end process management is rarely established. The prerequisite for competitive processes is first of all the holistic implementation of a BPM, the establishment of a systematic and continuous improvement process and, of course, the anchoring of the process culture in the organization.

iGrafx is a leading provider of software in the area of Business Process Management (BPM) and Digital Business Transformation and a partner of Servicetrace.

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