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Business Process Management in a Manufacturing Enterprise - page 8 / 10





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A modern BPM system is typically made up of these modules.

Process modeling The new business process is modeled and developed through the use of graphical tools that define steps and events in the process. By using 30 to 40 drag and drop modeling icons available from a palette the process can be outlined and reviewed.

Process connectors BPM packages come with a library of software components that form the links with the new process and the various connect points of the process such as ERP systems or MES systems. This could include existing processes and procedures from existing process sources. The connectors are frequently based on web access to various systems but connecters can be provided to legacy systems without web access.

Process manager One of the more significant impacts of a BPM system is the ability to manage processes and make changes easily and quickly. It is possible to simulate a process using real data prior to actual use to identify potential problems and make changes. Measurement of the performance of a process to see frequency, cycle time, and process histories is common. Process lifecycle management provides the ability to trace the full development and history of the process much like reviewing the revision levels on a product design. It is possible to use instances of the process with variations to suit specific business needs. One example is a shipping process that is tailored to fit individual customers.

Process system server This is the core system component that provides the transactional execution of the processes.

There are many (over 100 at last count) system vendors in this area. Some have grown from ideas based on workflow. Others have built their product on very new modeling technologies and standards. IBM, Microsoft, and SAP are significant players in this market but smaller companies such as Fuego and Intalio may have better answers depending on your specific requirements. Like other major system investments, choosing the vendor is important as this is likely to be a long term arrangement.

Begin by assessing where you are and how the technology might affect your company over the next few years. Examine your ability to make changes to processes or even understand how the existing processes work and/or were developed. Think in terms of cross functional requirements that begin with the customer and conclude as a satisfying financial return. If the vision is adequately holistic and seen from the highest level, lower level processes and their intersection with departments and infor- mation sources will be somewhat self-evident.

This is a rapidly growing area of manufacturing enterprise management progress with major analyst firms estimating growth as high as 30% or more per year. After some initial assessment it would be surprising if you could not see major opportunities for improvement by using this tool. Initial demon- stration and proof of concept can be very inexpensive and frequently done in a matter of days. Review other areas of the Collaboration Synergies Inc website to go over our manufacturing information technology system strategies, needs assessments, and implementation methods. You will also find information on application suitability assessment, executive overview presentations, and user level training. Call if you have any questions.


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