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Friday, August 5, 2016

BPM for Energy

By Amira Chugunova

Business Process Management is being used by energy companies to help increase efficiency, improve customer interaction, manage resources, and reduce risks. More energy companies are starting to adopt BPM solutions as they realize these benefits.

BPM solutions integrate with energy companies’ current legacy systems to help them process orders more efficiently and provide better communication with customers. While these processes are likely already digital for most energy companies, completing them through a BPM tool allows a more thorough integration throughout the different departments within the energy companies. For instance, a request can be submitted by a customer through a portal, which will trigger an action in the customer request workflow. This request can be set up to trigger actions from different departments such as customer service. By utilizing an efficient workflow model, the BPM system can then direct the request to automatically deploy the energy solution for the customer.

This can also help with asset management for energy companies. They can better manage and track resources in a centralized location that can also be linked to different departments and directly to customers. Reports can be run to help optimize resource utilization as everything is in once place. This kind of efficiency can translate to huge savings to the bottom line if done correctly.

Using BPM solutions and tools such as an event driven business process chain also helps with customer satisfaction as communication can be more streamlined and transparent. When a customer submits a request, they want immediate and thorough feedback and to know their concern is being dealt with. Ideally, they want confirmation that action is being taken. Through workflows in a BPM system, their request can trigger actions such as payments or energy account setups that have been automated. Increased customer satisfaction of course leads to happier customers and hopefully a strong impact on the bottom line as well for a company.

                                         EVENT DRIVEN BUSINESS PROCESS CHAIN

Business Process Management event chain
Process chains are used with integration of legacy systems and new BPMS
Another way that BPM solutions can benefit energy companies is through more thorough documentation of processes that can help avoid risks and identify potential issues. By having processes set up in workflows through BPM, companies can easily notice trends and make adjustments to processes. This is particularly helpful if there are regulation changes or other disruptions to the industry. In this way, BPM adoption makes energy companies much more flexible and able to adapt to changing conditions. Risks can further be avoided by setting up triggers in workflows that can alert supervisors or the necessary personnel of issues that may arise. Future issues can be avoided as well through modeling and following evident trends.

With the number of processes and regulations energy companies have to manage, Business Process Management solutions are an easy and obvious choice. In the near future, we will hopefully continue to see more organizations in the energy field embracing BPM tools. In turn, this will help them to increase their efficiency particularly, as well as improve customer communication and responsiveness. Further, it will help reduce risks within the industry and the increased efficiency will lead to cost savings.

About the author: Amira Chugunova is a business and technology blogger, with an interest in process excellence and universal work platforms. She writes at www.lowcodebpm.com.

Images: 1. Aleksander Blomskold,  CC BY SA-3.0, 2. US-PD