LawsonGuru Blog

Thought-Provoking Commentary for the Lawson Software Community

Are You Process-Driven?


I’ve been thinking and reading a lot lately about “process”.   Michael Hammer, in his latest book “The Agenda” (ISBN 0-609-60966-1), spells out 9 concepts that companies will need to master in order to survive and thrive.   One of them is to transform your organization into a “process enterprise”.

Business Process Management (BPM) software is about to become one of the hot new trends. You probably don’t believe it, but it’s even getting its own dialect of XML: BPML (Business Process Markup Language).   Understand though—“process” is not a technology—it’s a mindset, a philosophy. It’s not XML, or Web Services. It’s PB&J for business.

By the end of the decade, Hammer predicts, organizations that are not process enterprises will be the exception rather than the rule.

And the payoffs are tremendous:

Hammer’s firm surveyed dozens of companies that had adopted a process approach to work and business. In order fulfillment, cycle times decreased by 60 to 90 percent, and “perfect orders” (those delivered on time and with no mistakes) had increased by 25 percent. The cost of performing procurement transactions had been slashed by more than 80 percent, while procurement times had shrunk 90 percent.

One of the keys to becoming process-driven is to use the processes and best practices that you already have—you’ve got Lawson, right?   Hammer says that most ERPs failed because “these companies did not appreciate the nature of ERP. Because its modules are so tightly integrated, an ERP system is, in effect, a tool for supporting end-to-end processes”.

Are you really using Lawson to its fullest potential?  If you’re like most clients I meet, you’re probably only exploiting about 50-60% of Lawson’s functionality.  A lot of the “out-of-the-box” horsepower sits unused. Multi-step and recurring jobs don’t cost anything.  Are you using them?  Implementing value-added options, like BCI and ProcessFlow Professional, costs less than one full-time IT analyst.

Sit back for 5 minutes and think about how you’re using Lawson in your organization?   Do you:

  • Automate routine processes using multi-step jobs and recurring jobs?
  • Route processes using Lawson WorkFlow (or ProcessFlow)?
  • Integrate other systems with Lawson (in real-time) with Lawson Business Component Integrator (BCI)?
  • Harness the power of analytics and dashboards so that you can monitor processes before they blindside you?
  • In Procurement, analyze stock-outs and adjust re-order points?
  • In HR, use personnel actions to leverage your workforce?
  • In Finance, use Allocations to drive costs efficiently?
  • In IT, employ monitoring software so that you’re alerted before an outage becomes a crisis?
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