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BPM vs. Workflow Automation | Which is Best for Your Business?

Aarti Krishnakumar

Nov 09 2022
BPM vs Workflow Automation

Introduction to BPM & Workflow

BPM is a discipline to optimize processes, manage, and monitor process performance using specially designed IT applications. Today, many companies are offering BPM software (BPMS) to automate processes and build workflows. BPMS provides an environment where business users can change the methods based on “pre-built” components without needing “hard coding.” Therefore, before selecting the vendor for BPMS implementation, a thorough pre-assessment of what the system is supposed to achieve is required. 

BPM relies on the logic of “work packages” that are transferred from one location to another with the aid of a system, minimizing the need for manual intervention. Routing is carried out either by pre-defined systems’ “programmed decision logic” or pre-determined processes (workflows) (rules). The process is made substantially more efficient by automating workflows and regulations. Why does this matter? Systems carry out the steps of the process by converting business decisions into rules that allow systems to make decisions automatically.

Workflow refers to the pairing of all jobs to work together to achieve a common objective and produce reliable outcomes. Streamlining various tasks will facilitate closing communication gaps, increasing productivity, preventing discrepancies, and improving quality and delivery. A company can use workflow software to support its operational procedures. They help in the timely completion of tasks and deliver messages and alerts if approvals are pending.

Although it is a part of BPM, Workflow focuses primarily on task management and the execution of recurring, more straightforward individual activities. One of the most direct methods to increase productivity, streamline corporate processes, and cut expenses are workflow automation. Workflow management software is one of the automation tools that may be utilized to automate all organizational operations.

In this post, we shall discuss the differences between BPM and Workflow and give you valuable insights to help you decide which one to employ in your business.

Similarities & Differences Between BPM vs. Workflow Automation

The Similarities

  • Workflow and business process management (BPM) are used to streamline business and organization processes.
  • They expedite processes, lessen confusion, and increase effectiveness.

 The Differences

  • In contrast to BPM, which focuses on the complete business process, Workflow relates to a specific activity.
  • There is a sequence to how tasks are completed in Workflow, whereas, in BPM, you have multiple projects running simultaneously. 
  • The main objective of a workflow system is to complete one goal within the shortest time, but BPM is all about managing various processes together.
  • In addition to individual goals, BPM also emphasizes report generation and analytics.
  • Business process management includes Workflow as a subset, but not the other way around.
  • Workflow automation works best when it comes to document reviews & people, while BPM is best suited for strategic company-wide initiatives – integrating systems, processes, & people. 
  • BPM suites (including iBPMS) can easily interact & integrate with various systems (iPaaS, business rules, and so on). 
  • Workflow automation is simple, better organized, and therefore faster but less scalable. This translates to reduced investment and cost. BPM, however, is very different. It is enterprise-ready, highly scalable, and offers specific insight into every business function. The downside is BPM is more expensive.
  • Workflow is a component of BPM, whereas BPM covers workflows. 

Despite these points, both solutions have been designed to help streamline business operations and manage the entire workflow process automation.

Related Article: A Complete Overview of Enterprise Workflow Automation

Battle of BPM vs. Workflow Automation Software

The main objective of workflow management software is to give you alternatives for structuring your workflows. It may have the capacity to build parallel courses for an item to follow, link with other programs, or generate conditional stages.

A much more comprehensive picture of all the processes in your company will be provided by BPM software. Robust workflow features are part of great BPM software, but it also assists with data organization, comprehensive reporting, and process health monitoring from a single dashboard.

Workflow Automation Use Cases

Automation Vehicle finance for a leading lender

Redefining processes to increase productivity, optimize cost and provide seamless integration.

Autonom8 Low code platform ROI

A leading company in vehicle finance faced key issues: low salesforce productivity, poor user experience, compliance issues, and limited ability to make process changes. Apart from these, they also had difficulty processing large volumes of leads and with integration.

Autonom8’s low code platform helped reimagine their internal process to create a single view & execute complex rules – with the ability to manage multiple borrowers & vehicles configured the platform with a weekly review of UX and business rules, with a variety of client stakeholders. The implementation was completed within 60 business days and saw lower IT dependencies. Read the whole case study here

Related article: Beyond RPA | Exploring the Future of Intelligent Automation

Field Operations Automation for a Telecom enterprise:

The client was a well-known business with 25 years of experience in the IT and telecom industries. It uses machine learning and artificial intelligence tools to automate processes and improve customer experiences. By reducing the number of times, sites had to be visited and closing process gaps, they also wanted to give the field team access to their performance database. 

The challenges faced by the customer were –

Wanting to ensure fewer site visits are required due to process gaps.

Give the field team access to reports and control so they may take responsibility for the caliber of their services.

Solution:workflow automation case study

Autonom8 built a complete integrated application that can be hosted on their private or public cloud HW infrastructure for field operations to improve the client’s automation capabilities. With the help of A8’s end-to-end AI-based Workflow Manager, the Field Operations Processes can be scaled and adjusted as desired by the client. Overall 25% boost in efficiency, a 20% operational cost saved, and a 50% increase in skill & headcount resources. 

How Do You Choose Between BPM vs. Workflow?

Workflow software is the way to go if you want to automate your department’s Workflow or organize a specific process. Workflow, as previously said, is simpler to execute and enables you to achieve outcomes at an average pace.

BPM is the way to go if you want to simplify the business operations of a department with numerous interconnected activities. You may manage various procedures, forms, alerts, reports, and other capabilities with it. However, it requires both training and an initial financial commitment.

Workflow software can help your business automate a single workflow, reducing repeated work and boosting efficiency. An automated workflow, for instance, can speed up approvals and minimize processing costs if your accounts payable staff needs help keeping up with the volume of invoices.

There is numerous software out there. How do you pick the best one? Here are some key elements to take into account when selecting a workflow management system for your company:

  • The ability to integrate with other systems that your company has previously put in place. This prevents you from starting from scratch when using the software and ensures that it can blend effortlessly with current technologies and processes.
  • After implementation, the software’s easy customizability or modifiability allows it to be specifically adapted to your needs and requirements. This guarantees that all users can use it effectively and efficiently while carrying out their regular tasks for the company.
  • Access to information relevant to their unique jobs for users at all organizational levels—from CEOs to frontline staff—without having overly broad permissions or default access rights granted (unless they explicitly requested those rights during set-up). This makes it possible to keep track of everyone participating in every process or activity inside a specific organization, such as customers who want their orders processed fast and accurately and staff who require training materials provided in advance to do their tasks.

Related article: A Complete Guide to No-code Development for 2023

Autonom8 Workflow Solutions

RedHat survey discovered that 50% of respondents believed BPM & workflow automation software would help optimize associated costs since they offer better-managed processes. Choose a complete BPM tool like A8Flow without a doubt because it is more robust and has more valuable capabilities than a straightforward workflow tool that can have less functionality. Additionally, any BPM software can design workflows and streamline them to increase efficiency.

A8flow enables you to create powerful enterprise workflows for your customers visually. Adapt and customize your business processes end-to-end without writing a single line of code. Deploy changes on the cloud instantly.

FAQs on BPM vs. Workflow Automation 

What is BPM software?

Business process management software (BPMS) is an enterprise-level solution for managing basic processes, automating repetitive operations, and handling process logic. Processes are accelerated and optimized using BPM systems, enhancing productivity. Business process automation helps staff to concentrate on higher-value work and exceptional circumstances by guaranteeing that activities are done consistently and delivered to the appropriate users in the proper time.

What is workflow automation software?

You can control the movement of the digital processes used by your firm with the aid of workflow software for business process management. Workflow software for business process management aims to assist you in streamlining internal business processes so that they operate more smoothly, with fewer bottlenecks, and with greater efficiency. The result is a better-organized workflow that frees team members to concentrate on what they do best rather than getting sidetracked by pointless duties or bureaucracy.

What are the major differences between BPM & Workflow?

The finest workflow management solutions facilitate employee productivity by arranging people and documents. BPM solutions enable connecting Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and other applications, allowing businesses better to manage their numerous departments, processes, and employees.

How does a good workflow automation platform help the business?

(1) Streamline your workload to increase productivity.
(2) Since you will follow the workflow step by step, you will have fewer things to remember.
(3)Build processes depending on several occasions or circumstances, such as a certain kind of client email, project, or invoice issue.
(4)Reduces task duplication by dividing work into distinct steps.
(5)Removes workers' need to resolve conflicts independently.
(6) Increase efficiency by cutting down on time spent on unnecessary tasks.
(7) With workflow processes, team collaboration moves more quickly.