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Business process management (BPM) examples


Business Process Management (BPM) is a systematic approach to managing and streamlining business processes. BPM is intended to help improve the efficiency of existing processes, with the goal of increasing productivity and overall business performance.

BPM is often confused with other seemingly similar initiatives. For example, BPM is smaller in scale than business process reengineering (BPR), which radically overhauls or replaces processes. Conversely, it has a larger scope than task management, which deals with individual tasks, and project management, which handles one-time initiatives. And while enterprise resource planning (ERP) integrates and manages all aspects of a business, BPM focuses on its individual functions—optimizing the organization’s existing, repeatable processes end-to-end.

An effective BPM project employs structured processes, uses appropriate technologies and fosters collaboration among team members. It enables organizations to streamline project workflows, enhance productivity and consistently deliver value to stakeholders. Ultimately, the successful implementation of BPM tools can lead to increased customer satisfaction, competitive advantage and improved business outcomes.

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3 main types of business process management

Integration-centric BPM focuses on processes that don’t require much human involvement. These include connecting different systems and software to streamline processes and improve data flow across the organization, for example human resource management (HRM) or customer relationship management (CRM)

Human-centric BPM centers around human involvement, often where an approval process is required. Human-centric BPM prioritizes the designing of intuitive processes with drag and drop features that are easy for people to use and understand, aiming to enhance productivity and collaboration among employees.

Document-centric BPM is for efficiently managing documents and content—such as contracts—within processes. A purchasing agreement between a client and vendor, for example, needs to evolve and go through different rounds of approval and be organized, accessible and compliant with regulations.

Business process management examples

BPM can help improve overall business operations by optimizing various business processes. Here are some BPM examples that outline the use cases and benefits of BPM methodology:

Business strategy

BPM serves as a strategic tool for aligning business processes with organizational goals and objectives. By connecting workflow management, centralizing data management, and fostering collaboration and communication, BPM enables organizations to remain competitive by providing access to accurate and timely data. This ensures that strategic decisions are based on reliable insights.

Through BPM, disparate data sources—including spend data, internal performance metrics and external market research—can be connected. This can uncover internal process improvements, strategic partnership opportunities and potential cost-saving initiatives. BPM also provides the foundation for making refinements and enhancements that lead to continuous improvement.


  • Enhanced decision-making
  • Efficient optimization
  • Continuous improvement

Claims management

BPM can be used to standardize and optimize the claims process from start to finish. BPM software can automate repetitive tasks such as claim intake, validation, assessment, and payment processing—using technology such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA). By establishing standardized workflows and decision rules, BPM streamlines the claims process by reducing processing times and minimizing errors. BPM can also provide real-time visibility into claim status and performance metrics. This enables proactive decision-making, ensures consistency and improves operational efficiency.


  • Automated claim processing
  • Reduced processing times
  • Enhanced visibility

Compliance and risk management

By automating routine tasks and implementing predefined rules, BPM enables timely compliance with regulatory requirements and internal policies. Processes such as compliance checks, risk evaluations and audit trails can be automated by using business process management software, and organizations can establish standardized workflows for identifying, assessing, and mitigating compliance risks. Also, BPM provides real-time insights into compliance metrics and risk exposure, enabling proactive risk management and regulatory reporting.


  • Automated compliance checks
  • Real-time insights into risk exposure
  • Enhanced regulatory compliance

Contract management

Contract turnaround times can be accelerated, and administrative work can be reduced by automating tasks such as document routing, approval workflows and compliance checks. Processes such as contract drafting, negotiation, approval, and execution can also be digitized and automated. Standardized workflows can be created that guide contracts through each stage of the lifecycle. This ensures consistency and reduces inefficiency. Real-time visibility into contract status improves overall contract management.


  • Accelerated contract turnaround times
  • Real-time visibility into contract status
  • Strengthened business relationships

Customer service

BPM transforms customer service operations by automating service request handling, tracking customer interactions, and facilitating resolution workflows. Through BPM, organizations can streamline customer support processes across multiple channels, including phone, email, chat, and social media. With BPM, routine tasks such as ticket routing and escalation are automated. Notifications can be generated to update customers about the status of their requests. This reduces response times and improves customer experience by making service more consistent. BPM also provides agents with access to a centralized knowledge base and customer history, enabling them to resolve inquiries more efficiently and effectively.


  • Streamlined service request handling
  • Centralized knowledge base access
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty

Financial management

BPM is used to streamline financial processes such as budgeting, forecasting, expense management, and financial reporting. It ensures consistency and accuracy in financial processes by establishing standardized workflows and decision rules, reducing the risk of human errors and improving regulatory compliance. BPM uses workflow automation to automate repetitive tasks such as data entry, reconciliation and report generation. Real-time visibility into financial data enables organizations to respond quickly to changing market conditions.


  • Increased operational efficiency
  • Instant insights for informed decision-making
  • Enhanced compliance with regulations and policies

Human resources

Using BPM, organizations can implement standardized HR workflows that guide employees through each stage of their employment experience, from recruitment to retirement. The new employee onboarding process and performance evaluations can be digitized, which reduces administrative work and allows team members to focus on strategic initiatives such as talent development and workforce planning. Real-time tracking of HR metrics provides insights into employee engagement, retention rates, and the use and effectiveness of training.


  • Reduced administrative work
  • Real-time tracking of HR metrics
  • Enhanced employee experience

Logistics management

BPM optimizes logistics management by automating processes such as inventory management, order fulfillment, and shipment tracking, including those within the supply chain. Workflows can be established that govern the movement of goods from supplier to customer. Automating specific tasks such as order processing, picking, packing and shipping reduces cycle times and improves order accuracy. BPM can also provide real-time data for inventory levels and shipment status, which enables proactive decision-making and exception management.


  • Streamlined order processing and fulfillment
  • Real-time visibility into inventory and shipments
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction and cost savings

Order management

BPM streamlines processes such as order processing, tracking, and fulfillment. BPM facilitates business process automation—the automation of routine tasks such as order entry, inventory management, and shipping, reducing processing times and improving order accuracy. By establishing standardized workflows and rules, BPM ensures consistency and efficiency throughout the order lifecycle. Increased visibility of order status and inventory levels enables proactive decision-making and exception management.


  • Automated order processing
  • Real-time visibility into order status
  • Improved customer satisfaction

Procurement management

BPM revolutionizes procurement management through the digital transformation and automation of processes such as vendor selection, purchase requisition, contract management, and pricing negotiations. Workflows can be established that govern each stage of the procurement lifecycle, from sourcing to payment. By automating tasks such as supplier qualification, RFx management, and purchase order processing, BPM reduces cycle times and improves efficiency. Also, with real-time metrics such as spend analysis, supplier performance, and contract compliance, BPM enables business process improvement by providing insights into areas suitable for optimization.


  • Standardized procurement workflows
  • Real-time insights into procurement metrics
  • Cost savings and improved supplier relationships

Product lifecycle management

BPM revolutionizes product lifecycle management by digitizing and automating processes such as product design, development, launch, and maintenance. Workflows that govern each stage of the product lifecycle, from ideation to retirement can be standardized. Requirements gathering, design reviews, and change management, can be automated. This accelerates time-to-market and reduces development costs. BPM can also encourage cross-functional collaboration among product development teams, which ensures alignment and transparency throughout the process.


  • Accelerated time-to-market
  • Reduced development costs
  • Enhanced cross-functional collaboration

Project management

In the beginning of this page, we noted that BPM is larger in scale than project management. In fact, BPM can be used to improve the project management process. Business process management tools can assign tasks, track progress, identify bottlenecks and allocate resources. Business process modeling helps in visualizing and designing new workflows to guide projects through each stage of the BPM lifecycle. This ensures consistency and alignment with project objectives. Tasks assignments, scheduling, and progress monitoring can be automated, which reduces administrative burden and improves efficiency. Also, resource utilization and project performance can be monitored in real time to make sure resources are being used efficiently and effectively.


  • Streamlined project workflows
  • Real-time insights into project performance
  • Enhanced stakeholder satisfaction

Quality assurance management

BPM facilitates the automation of processes such as quality control, testing, and defect tracking, while also providing insights into KPIs such as defect rates and customer satisfaction scores. Quality assurance (QA) process steps are guided by using standardized workflows to ensure consistency and compliance with quality standards. Metrics and process performance can be tracked in real time to enable proactive quality management. Process-mapping tools can also help identify inefficiencies, thereby fostering continuous improvement and QA process optimization.


  • Automated quality control processes
  • Real-time visibility into quality metrics
  • Improved customer satisfaction

Business process management examples: Case studies

Improving procure-to-pay in state government

In 2020, one of America’s largest state governments found itself in search of a new process analysis solution. The state had integrated a second management system into its procurement process, which required the two systems, SAP SRM and SAP ECC, to exchange data in real time. With no way to analyze the collected data, the state couldn’t monitor the impact of its newly integrated SAP SRM system, nor detect deviations during the procurement process. This created an expensive problem.

The state used IBM Process Mining to map out its current workflow and track the progress of the SAP SRM system integration. Using the software’s discovery tool, data from both management systems was optimized to create a single, comprehensive process model. With the end-to-end process mapped out, the state was able to monitor all its process activities and review the performance of specific agencies.

Streamlining HR at Anheuser-Busch

AB InBev wanted to streamline its complicated HR landscape by implementing a singular global solution to support employees and improve their experience, and it selected workday as its human capital management (HCM) software. Working with a team from IBM® Workday consulting services, part of IBM Consulting™, AB InBev worked with IBM to remediate the integration between the legacy HR apps and the HCM software.

What was once a multi-system tool with unorganized data has become a single source of truth, enabling AB InBev to run analytics for initiatives like examining employee turnover at a local scale. Workday provides AB InBev with a streamlined path for managing and analyzing data, ultimately helping the company improve HR processes and reach business goals.

Business process management and IBM

Effective business process management (BPM) is crucial for organizations to achieve more streamlined operations and enhance efficiency. By optimizing processes, businesses can drive growth, stay competitive and realize sustainable success.

IBM Consulting offers a range of solutions to make your process transformation journey predictable and rewarding.

  • Traditional AI and generative AI-enabled Process Excellence practice uses the leading process mining tools across the IBM ecosystem and partners.
  • Our patented IBM PEX Value Triangle includes industry standards, benchmarks, and KPIs and is used to quickly identify process performance issues and assess where and how our clients can optimize and automate everywhere possible.

Key improvements might include 60-70% faster procurement, faster loan booking, and reduced finance rework rate, along with risk avoidance, and increased customer and employee satisfaction.

With principles grounded in open innovation, collaboration and trust, IBM Consulting doesn’t just advise clients. We work side by side to design, build, and operate high-performing businesses—together with our clients and partners.

Contact an IBM representative about BPM solutions

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