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Enabling Transformation through BPM for a Logistic Provider

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What is Enterprise Transformation ?

Enterprise Transformation basically refers to tailoring the existing system to meet the customer’s organizationa & departmental objectives. This is not a very straight forward process, where-in we just press a Button and the transformation is done. Its quite challening, considering the fact that a stable system insync with the peripheral legacy systems is tweaked and tampered to a meet the future Business/IT alignment.

Why BPM in Logistics?

Definitely, with most organizations following the SOA(Service Oriented Architecture) based implementations, the complexity is within considerable limits. BPM which also follows the roadmap laid down by the SOA Approach facilitates in improvising and helping the customers for transforming the business and taking it to the next level at ease.

BPM, which was earlier restricted only to workflows has broken barriers to come closer to us, whether it be starting the day with the morning newspaper, travelling by flight on business, the work in the office, the afternoon lunch in a restaurant, the evening shopping at a retail market, or the swiping of the credit card for fine dining — each of these industries demand a process.

In a nutshell, Business Process Management (BPM) is an approach about identifying, defining, executing, controlling, monitoring, improving, optimizing and governing business processes in an organization.

Now, talking about the Logistic Industry at a very high-level, the things that really comes to our mind instantly are FedEx, BlueDart, DHL, Courier Service, Shipment, Despatch, Delivery Tracking and few more related terms.

This will sound very interesting we if consider the latest trends and advancements in the BPM Arena. BPM is no longer a closed in-house application, with the features like, MobileBPM, SocialBPM, BPM with realtime analytics and Case Management things have been fleshed out to help us work on the move.BPM has a great presence in the Logistics industry and why it should’nt be!! When we talk about workflow, process, routing(transfer of tasks), tracking/monitoring etc. we cannot compromise with the wings which BPM can provide for the industry to fly.

Lets us consider a realtime scenario in logistic Industry or a Freight Management system where goods are delivered from one location to another. These goods typically have to go through multiple hops before they reach destination.
I(based out of Bangalore) order an iPad from Amazon US

Following are the sequence of steps that will take place :

  •  Based on the Order a Request will be raised by Amazon with the wholeseller/Retailer
  •  Next, the Retailer will get the Product as per Request and ship the same via lets say FedEx.
  •  FedEx folows the “Boxing” step to group the Items as per region.
  •  The Shipment will then reach the Asia Office lets say “HongKong” – the items are then UnBoxed and packaged again(a separate pack for India).
  •  Once it reaches the India head office (lets say Mumbai) the boxing and unboxing steps are followed and the item reached Bangalore.
  •  And finally the local guy delivers the Pack at your doorstep.

During this entire journey, the eagerness and the anxiety of the customer has NO bounds. Every moment we want to know, where is the Product now ?

This feature can be exploited with the BPM implementation and flow management. Additionally, integration and collaboration can be made between Social Media(twitter or facebook), Google Maps to assist the end user with their queries and helping them visualize, graphically via Maps where it stands at this point in time.

Similarly, Mobile BPM process can also facilitate a lot of features to work on the move. A very common example would be, showcasing to the customer the details of the shipment, reports and requesting for a new order while the sales/marketing person is in the factory/plant along with the client.

Case Management, can help in grouping/clubbing the similar requests that has been made by a customer so as to facilitate an organized delivery with minimal or addition costs incurred.

The Real-time Analytics or Complex Event Processing(CEP) in the BPM Arena for a Logistic Industry, also sounds promising as it brings a lot of automation and cutting down the manual intensive job which in turn makes the revenue shine. This amalgamation of predictive analytics and BPM can actually help us in bringing the right product to the right place and most importantly at the right time.

As a scenario, everyday we find trucks loading a unloadind cars and shipping them from one place to other.For example there are 100+ orders for a Hyundai i20 in Bangalore but due to the unavailability of stocks, the waiting time is 6months(which is a long gap). Now if the company wants to retain the customers, things have to turn out very fast – the pace at which the customer expects.

Things should be made very dynamic. To act upon this situation, the company can actually request some of the trucks carrying the i2o car via Bangalore to unload the cars and make the customers happy, rather than taking all the cars and dumping it in a place for ever where the demand itself is null.

This can also be termed as the “Responsive” nature of BPM to act upon the given condition or situation dynamicaly.

Concluding Thoughts!!

So, definitely BPM in a Logistic Provider Arena is boon for the industry making it very dynamic and happening. In a way it also promotes a smooth transformation journey for the Enterprise.

Image: Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Happy Learning!! 🙂

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