Business Process Management System | 5 mins read

Workflow vs Business Process Management Systems- How Do They Compare?

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Lauren Christiansen

By Lauren Christiansen

Business Process Management Systems vs WFMS- What's the Differences?

Since the digital revolution, small businesses are revamping outdated workflows to align with new consumer needs. Automation requires process optimization, and restaurant owners need to get on board. Two critical terms to pay attention to include business process management systems and workflow management. While they both relate to process management, owners choose one or the other, depending on business needs.

A workflow management system identifies the specific steps in a business process. A workflow tool will outline each employee's role concerning the task at hand. Furthermore, it defines when the worker is supposed to enter the business process, and how that occurs. While a workflow management system typically relates to automated tasks, it doesn't have to.

On the other hand, a business process management system focuses on identifying all business processes to maximize efficiency. A BPM specialist will first capture all end-end business processes and document step-by-step actions within each one. These steps are written down in the form of a process map. Mapping enables owners to pinpoint inefficiencies and identify areas for process improvement.

While WFM tools center on the individuals who carry out tasks, BPM centers on the quality of the processes themselves. In other words, WFM is about people and BPM is about process optimization.
Read ahead to learn more about the difference between a process management system and a workflow management system.

What Are Workflow Management Systems Used For?

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Different industries and business units within an organization utilize workflow management tools and systems. Top examples include -

  • Manufacturing - Outlines the automated steps in an assembly line where manual work is unnecessary. The purpose is to maximize efficiency in those automated steps.
  • Sales - Outlines when sales personnel cycle through the same sales process with numerous customers. The customers may be at different stages of the sales process.
  • Customer Service - The point at which inquiries are given to different representatives. This depends on the client's particular problem.
  • Finances - The point at which outstanding balances are collected, depending on the invoice date and however long the debt has been due.

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What Are Business Process Management Systems Used For?

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A workflow automation map is used to outline all of the various steps in a business process. The goal is to optimize case management during process automation, as well as to minimize inefficiencies. A business process management system is typically implemented across different facets of a restaurant or small business. Implementation depends on the business goals within an organization. Use cases include -

  • Healthcare - To optimize patient-related business processes and to facilitate a higher quality of care.
  • Manufacturing - To pinpoint problem areas in an assembly line and minimize inefficiencies.
  • Construction - To identify any safety-related risks to ensure risk compliance and improve internal safety procedures.
  • Finance - To comply with any industry-related regulations, such as the Financial Conduct Authority rules.
  • Restaurants - To minimize inefficiencies in inventory, scheduling, onboarding, or online ordering. Also, to maintain compliance with health/safety regulations or FLSA standards.

Key Differences Between a Business Process Management System and WFMS

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Process management software and workflow automation tools are similar, but a primary difference remains. Workflow management tools are matched towards employees and records to make sure they take actions in the correct order. Business process management software is geared towards process improvement and eliminating inefficiencies. While BPM does typically outline the various stakeholders involved in each process, the practice is not centered on them. However, it is completely normal to generate workflows to optimize the steps within business processes.

Here are a few other key differences -

  • WKMS synchronizes the exchanges between stakeholders and BPM software or other automated tools. A business management system synchronizes exchanges between all resources within a small business or restaurant.
  • Business management software is more intricate and demonstrates exchanges across all areas of the supply chain, as well as external resources.
  • Business process management helps implement regular process improvement. WKMS's purpose is to automate various steps in a specific business process.

Which is Better WKMS or a Business Process Management System?

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There is no better or worse system; it just depends on the needs of the restaurant or small business. Owners should first ask themselves what the system will be used for. If a restaurant wants to maximize worker efficiency, a workflow automation tool may be more useful. This is particularly true if it will only be used within a couple of areas of the restaurant. If implemented properly, workflow management systems optimize customer service and sales. These should be the primary locations to focus on.

On the other hand, a business process automation system is better for a more company-wide approach. In the majority of situations, these systems are easily scalable. Therefore, it's easy to begin in one business unit and expand the project so it encompasses the entire restaurant. The vast majority of owners agree that business process management is a fantastic investment. While some BPM software can be expensive, the return on investment almost always outweighs any initial fees.

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Key Takeaways for Business Process Management System

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In conclusion, here are the primary differences between BPM tools and WKMS -

  • A workflow management system identifies the various stakeholders involved in a process, intending to maximize efficiency. A business process management system drills down into processes to minimize inefficiencies.
  • Industries that tend to use workflow management tools include manufacturing, sales, customer service, and finances.
  • Industries that tend to use business process management collaboration tools include healthcare, manufacturing, construction, finance, and restaurants.
  • The type of tool an organization picks depends on business needs and desired outcomes. A WKM system is better for maximizing efficiency, while a BPM system is better for streamlining processes across an organization.

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