700-9a-FormAlmost every business has one or hundreds of forms. Just do a Google Image search for “form” and you will see thousands of paper based forms that companies and governments use to get started on some business process.

Forms were first created as an efficiency step to gather the right information from the person filling out the form so that some task could be performed consistently, efficiently and quickly based on the information captured. Forms are a great thing to create when you want to standardize this step.

When most people think of creating forms, they think about creating a printable form using Word or Excel or PDF. This is good but it focuses only on the start of the process, not the execution of the end to end process where the huge savings can be found.

The problem with simple forms is that there’s no automated execution of the information collected. Someone usually takes the form and begins working on the information whether it be fulfilling an order or on-boarding a new staff member.

The rest of the process is usually manual. This of course provides no automation, no audit abilities, very little visibility or control of the actual process and little consistency or speed. The form is simply a starting point to a mostly manual process.

In small companies that have simple processes it may be manageable but when you are larger and you have more complex processes that span many people, departments and controls, a form is simply not enough.

The solution? Business Process Management software (BPM)

Many large organizations I’ve worked with deal with hundreds of forms. Especially the finance, banking and insurance world where forms used for all sorts of process initiations. Companies have forms for on boarding new clients and staff, setting up and provisioning services and many other tasks that create value for organizations. Generally, these forms tend to originate from paper-based forms where somebody would fill it out and submit the form for execution within the organization, usually by fax or email.

BPM can be used to really take these forms to a whole new level, executing the actual business process rather than just initiating and capturing the data that needs to be used.

BPM software can provide significant benefits for any business or government including lower end to end process execution costs, increased efficiency and consistency and complete process visibility and audit ability.

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If you’ve never heard of the BPM or business process management as a business leader, it’s  something you should seriously consider if you’re in charge of a large or enterprise or have many at silo business processes.

BPM software when developed and executed properly can provide huge advantages to an organization.

Read more on how to get started with BPM at BPM.com.