IT in Manufacturing

AI and BPM for process innovation

March 2021 IT in Manufacturing

“Any attempt to become more competitive can be fraught with risks and challenges, but it can also pose opportunities,” says Dilley Naidoo, director at Rifle-Shot Performance Holdings (RSPH). “To stay competitive, companies need to be fast. They need flexibility and agility to change their practices and mature their business processes.”

Innovative businesses are deploying new business models, through standardised processes which deliver superior value for customers, employees and stakeholders. A process can be defined as a set of activities and transactions that an organisation executes day-to-day to produce an output or reach an objective. Standardised business processes allow companies to work smarter, innovate faster and respond to new market demands in a timely manner.

Even if it is not structured, there is always a process being followed. Regardless of the department you work in, the industry you work in, or whether your job is aimed at generating profit or not, each activity is part of a process. Business Process Management (BPM) is the discipline of managing and improving a business process from end to end by analysing it, modelling how it works in different scenarios, executing improvements, monitoring the improved process, and continually optimising it. Improving business processes is therefore a crucial aspect for creating value, allowing for cross-functional collaboration, achieving better outcomes, and delivering a high-quality customer experience.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies are now being applied alongside BPM to take process innovation to another level. One of the industries that has already benefitted greatly from this union is healthcare.

SoftExpert’s Excellence Suite

An example of this is SoftExpert’s Excellence Suite (SE Suite) – a software solution that streamlines day-to-day routines for healthcare professionals. SE Suite is capable of automating the entire process of patient care, from reception and screening, through consultation, diagnosis and determination of a course of action, supporting clinical decision-making.

Pre-Covid research indicated that health-related data would double in volume every 73 days. With the advent of Covid-19 and the additional burden it has imposed on the entire healthcare system, it has become critical that healthcare professionals are able to manage not just the tasks associated with patient care, but are now able to stay abreast of the availability of new drugs, new types of treatment, their efficacy and the abundance of concomitant data.

Through cognitive computing capabilities, the system is capable of cross-referencing scientific literature with patients’ clinical data such as age, symptoms, prior illnesses, and test results. This helps to more precisely diagnose diseases, while also recommending the most appropriate medicines and treatments according to the clinical condition of each patient.

The solution is fully aligned with the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). Standardisation prevents errors and rework throughout the process, allowing patients’ medical records to be safely reused by other health professionals.

This was made possible due to an innovative approach that integrates IBM Watson’s AI technology with SE BPM, a comprehensive business process management suite that is able to empower organisations in all industries to increase business performance at all levels, and to maximise industry-mandated compliance and corporate governance programmes.

SE BPM improves the visibility and control of business processes with its human-centric and user-friendly interface. The solution promotes continuous improvement of processes across the entire organisation by managing every step of the process lifecycle, from modelling and optimisation, to automation, execution, and monitoring.

By delivering improved business understanding, faster processes, and greater business impact on strategic planning, SoftExpert’s solution allows people to work more efficiently while improving the orchestration of complex processes and supporting business goals with real-time business information.

SE BPM also includes enterprise-level capabilities such as monitoring for business activities and metrics, decision management, document management, quality assurance, system integration tools, and dashboards. It is able to store process models in a native process repository with full version control, hierarchical categorisation, search capability, and role-based security for controlled access to each model.

In short, SE BPM delivers the complete management of business processes aligned to organisational strategies, allowing IT to shift its focus from purely maintenance to driving innovation.

Since Covid-19 is top of mind right now, the medical industry has been used as an example, but these process modelling principles can be applied to any industry sector.

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