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9 Business Process Management Examples for Operational Efficiency

Elizabeth Bell, Appian
September 20, 2023

Business process management (BPM) can help organizations in any industry streamline processes in any department. Even though the discipline has been around for years, the benefits of BPM are as real as ever. 

In the short term, organizations can use BPM to decrease costs and improve efficiency, which can lead to more revenue and faster growth. In the long run, a strong BPM practice helps organizations create and maintain competitive advantage by improving their agility. 

To explain this methodology more fully, let’s look at nine real examples of BPM in action, ranging from industry-specific use cases to processes you might find anywhere.

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1. Marketing request management.

Business problem: One of the largest life insurance and financial services companies in the world needed a more streamlined way to handle thousands of complex marketing requests for creative design, communications, print pieces, web content, and sales support.

Process steps: The organization built a custom application on a BPM platform that let employees both create and route marketing requests all in one place. With the platform, every department can view the status of requests, and there is now a standard for creative requests that makes the whole process more streamlined.

BPM benefits:  

  •  Centralized location for everyone to view and act on requests.
  •  Quicker fulfillment of requests.
  •  Easy to report on progress.

2. Claims management.

Business problem: A global insurance company had patched together multiple information technology tools over the years to create a claims management system. But it required lots of manual data entry, often duplicated across software applications. Extracting information for general inquiries and standardized reporting was a challenge, and because of the siloed development approach, maintenance costs were high. 

Process steps: They decided on business process management software to manage IT requests for application services, claim creation, and claim tracking and approval. They used the platform’s data fabric to connect multiple legacy systems so they could have a single view of the data in their new application. 

BPM benefits:   

  • Reduced manual data entry.
  • Provided a real-time, self-service reporting mechanism. 
  • Gave full process visibility with easy audit and traceability.

3. Employee onboarding.

Business problem: A large organization wanted to automate and accelerate employee onboarding and ensure no crucial steps fell through the cracks.

Process steps: They used BPM to manage the complete lifecycle of recruiting, from candidate intake to offer. The application uses automation to facilitate a smooth handoff between teams, triggering tasks like initiating required IT provisioning, delivering new-hire paperwork, and alerting finance for benefits processing. They use robotic process automation (RPA) to input the new hire data into the ERP system because it doesn’t have an existing API. 

BPM benefits:  

  • Reduced the repetitive tasks and effort required to process new hires. 
  • Made onboarding steps enforceable. 
  • Enabled employees to quickly become self-sufficient, productive team members.

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4. Project management.

Business problem: A project manager at this organization had to manage projects across teams. They found it increasingly inefficient to manually manage tasks, like allocating resources based on availability, assigning tasks, controlling execution, tracking and reporting on progress, and forecasting future trends.

Process steps: The organization created a BPM-based application for project management. Here’s how the app works: The project manager chooses from a predefined set of workflows, then assigns a team to the work, which automatically triggers a series of tasks as defined by the project workflow. Escalations, dependencies, and exception flows control the behavior of these tasks to a granular degree. For critical projects, the project managers and executive management team are automatically notified of any delays or bottlenecks to a task. A status tracker also updates the status of all projects on a daily basis. This results in detailed, up-to-date project status reports that are aggregated and placed on shared dashboards.

BPM benefits:  

  • Reduces time and costs associated with project management.  
  • Turns the project into an intelligent, dynamic environment that delivers tasks, tracks progress against milestones, gives executives rollup reports, identifies bottlenecks, and provides visibility to third parties.

5. Contract management.

Business problem: A large real estate company managing thousands of properties around the world wanted to reduce error rates and provide a paperless audit trail as part of their contract management process.

Process steps: They chose to build a custom application on a BPM platform to automate the contract management process. Contracts are now kept in one collaborative workplace for management and employees at their subsidiary companies to access. They used no-code and low-code connectors to integrate with their enterprise applications for budgeting/finance, project management, and customer relationship management.

BPM benefits:  

  • Centralized view of cross-system business data. 
  • Increased level of visibility into their properties, providing key business intelligence when bringing on new properties and managing existing ones.

6. Compliance and risk management.

Business problem: This organization needed to beef up its compliance and risk management process. They wanted to strengthen investor confidence by improving the accuracy and reliability of corporate disclosures and deterring corporate and accounting fraud. 

Process steps: They use BPM to document financial processes according to industry-specified frameworks, assign control tests, identify risks, and raise and track issues. A separate process allows the audit team to raise, track, and remediate issues, while another process enables surveys to be created and their results reported. By consolidating all audit information in a single, web-based interface, BPM allows them to effectively manage financial risk and ensure compliance.

BPM benefits:  

  •  Significant reduction in time and cost associated with managing processes and risk.  
  • Real-time reports provide visibility into high-risk issues on dashboards. 
  • 360-degree visibility in one centralized environment.

7. Acquisition and procurement.

Business problem: This government organization wanted to increase operational efficiencies and reduce costs surrounding procurement.

Process steps: Their BPM-based procurement solution creates efficient, integrated “one-stop shopping” for their procurement teams. The system is an end-to-end solution that connects their procurement operations, systems, and personnel in a collaborative, process-driven framework. It gives all stakeholders a single system to manage all pre-award, award, and post-award activities. While the system standardizes the use of procurement best practices, it is process-based, giving them the flexibility to easily adapt to meet changing requirements.

BPM benefits:  

  • Effective enforcement of policy compliance.
  • Reduced acquisition cycle times. 
  • Savings on acquisition costs.

Manage any process with BPM, from ad hoc to the most structured. Check out the case management guide to see how.


8. Lease management.

Business problem: A leading retailer with thousands of stores in over 60 countries formerly tracked new lease deals from inception to execution across a variety of different siloed tools, which required a great deal of manpower. They wanted to consolidate that process to enhance visibility and make the process more efficient.

Process steps: Using BPM, they created a workflow management system that has eliminated the need for previous tools, providing a single consolidated platform where store leases and agreements are managed. In addition, they now have an application that contains live data feeds from other systems that house store records, leases, and financial data from the data warehouse.

BPM benefits:  

  • Saved hundreds of thousands of dollars by staying on track with critical dates for lease deal negotiations.
  • Led to better tracking of negotiation team performance through increased visibility.

9. Service request records.

Business problem: In order to provide better customer service, an equipment and services supplier for the oil and gas and chemical industries needed to store the complete repair history of parts in one centralized location. They needed to bring images, spreadsheets, and legacy systems to one easy-to-access place.

Process steps: They built an application on a BPM platform to serve as a front-end solution for employees to access anywhere on mobile devices. This new solution allows them to track incoming service requests, document the status, input the servicing cost, and confirm that invoices have been paid.

BPM benefits:  

  • Increased collaboration across multiple departments for an improved customer experience. 
  • Allows them to manage more in less time with more efficient service cycles.


While the benefits of speed and efficiency from BPM are evident from all these BPM examples, the real value of a BPM strategy is agility. A BPM platform provides the capabilities to model, transform, and optimize processes, better equipping organizations to switch gears and respond to a changing business environment.

Learn more in the BPM Guide: The Key to Workflow Automation.