There are a number of conclusions about the industry that we can make from this year’s WfMC Awards for Excellence in BPM. Thirteen submissions won awards this year across a number of industries and practices. First a summary of the cases:
The details of the winners can best be explored by reading the individual cases which will be available in a book later next year. But across all of the winners, I saw these distinct trends:
- BPM together with Case Management – in almost every study, the system was a hybrid that included both BPMN style pre-defined processes, as well as non-modeled goal-oriented cases that are structured while you work. Predictable and unpredictable are implemented together.
- No longer just Finance – While banking and insurance are still large users of BPM, they are no longer alone in the field. This year cases were from retail, utility, internet provider, two examples of management consulting, construction, facility management, two examples of government, telecom, automotive, medical devices, and health care plans.
- Avoid Big Bang – half of the studies pointed out that processes should not be perfected before use, but that such perfection is a waste. Work in smaller chunks, but where each chunk is still a viable minimal process.
- Agile Incremental Development – Implement part of the process and let it evolve as everyone learns what works and does not work. Clearly, ability to change on the fly is critical. In several cases this was identified as the single most important ingredient of success.
- Still Manual Work to be Automated – we are far from completely automated: most of the cases were fresh automation of manual processes, but a couple were re-work from earlier automation attempts.
- South America – this region showed up remarkable strong this year, winning 6 of the 13 awards, followed by Europe 3 and USA 3, and one in Mexico. This seems to show that the South America market is maturing.
- No Sign of Shakeout – the technology was from a variety of sources, some open source, some new to the field. There is no evidence that all the cases are settling down to a few dominant vendors.
- Digital Transformation Included – in every case we saw signs of attempts to fundamentally redesign the business using internet technologies. The destiny of workflow, which became BPM, is to find its full fruition in digital transformation platforms.
BPM Award Winners
- DIA is a multinational retail company with more than 7000 stores across Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Brazil and China. They had grown by acquisition and merging and naturally their different product lines were being handled differently, and this was causing delays. They focused on standardizing new product introduction, decreasing the amount of time product managers devote to this by 70%, eliminating 50% of the purely administrative work, and reducing errors by 80%.
- EPM is a public utility providing energy, gas and water in Colombia. They were able to reduce service costs by 50% and measure a 60% increase in service level agreements.
- FiberCorp offers cloud, internet, data, and video services in Argentina. They wanted to reduce their time to market for new products and services, in the most extreme case reducing delay from 2 weeks down to 10 minutes.
- Groupo A offers project management and education services in Brazil. They have been on a 10 year journey to transform the way their 200 employees generate and deliver content.
- Hilti AG is a construction industry leader supported by a very savvy team from the University of Liechtenstein. They point out that BPM is used two distinct ways: (1) to optimize existing processes, and (2) to innovate and bring about transformations in organizations. They made a strong adoption of case management techniques along with reduction in the number of separate ERP systems from 50 to 1.
- ISS Facility Services operates facilities for private and public sector across Europe, Asia, Pacific, North, and South America. Again, it involves a combination of automation (process) with flexibility (case management).
- New York State Backoffice Operations was challenged by Governor Cuomo to streamline their systems, and be ready to handle all invoices in less than 22 days. Their 57 agencies had 57 different billing systems handling 700,000 invoices per year. They reduced or eliminated the differences, reduced the number of data centers from 53 down to 10, and by doing everything on-line dramatically reduced the paper usage.
- Pret Communications in Mexico wants to be the most competitive vendor in the telecom space through automation and case management. Their most important lesson is to avoid building too much, because it is all going to change, so use an incremental agile approach.
- Rio de Janeiro City Hall needed to streamline the granting of permits for businesses and building. They saved 1,230,000 sheets of paper, while allowing 45% of the permits to be completed in less than 30 minutes. 72% of the applicants are handled automatically, but the exceptions still get the full review and handling by people who are freed from the drudgery of the simple cases. Interestingly, 40% of submissions can be automatically rejected, and when done within 30 minutes the applicant does not pay any fees. Even though rejections happen more effectively, overall they increased the number of successful applications by 25%.
- Solix offers program and process management to both public and private sectors integrated several separate systems to reduce the time and effort for supporting their processes.
- Valeo is a French automotive automotive supplier, 106,000 employees, and 500 existing BPM applications. By cutting the time for one step by 80% to a minute or so, they were able to save the company 3-4000 hours per month.
- Vincula is a Brazilian is a medical device supplier with, for example, implants for knee, hip, back, and jaw. They used BPM to implement the ability to change from indirect sales, to direct sales, cutting out a step and improving their ability to know the customer and respond to needs.
- WellCare Healthcare Plans is a Florida based health care service provider. They implemented an adaptive case management system which reduced cycle time by 20%, reduced rework by 20% and eliminated 70% of the paper use.
I will link the recording of the awards ceremony when it becomes available.