Processes. Every organization is driven by processes. Even if you don’t have any process management systems, processes are there. You probably manage them using paper trails – this is not very efficiently for 21st century :). I know lots of organizations are running their organizational processes using email – this is better, but it is still “very 1985”. More and more manufacturing companies these days are thinking how to improve product development processes. For many of them, it is not only how to improve engineering to manufacturing processes, but how to establish a system that can take end-to-end processes management involving customers, sales, marketing, engineering, manufacturing, support and others.
How to make process management efficient is a question many companies are asking these days. The traditional process management systems are too complicated. They require lots of preparations, upfront planning and, at the end, they are very expensive. Another customer demand is flexibility. Very often, the process definition is not clear. There is an advantage of having system that can provide a better level of flexibility to adapt to existing customer needs and requirements “as you go”.
How to make system flexible and powerful at the same time? Maybe it is a time to look for experience gathered by web companies and social networks? I was reading an interesting CNBC article few days ago – Twitter taking businesses to new heights. Story tells how customers of Virgin America airline are communicating with customer support and actually influence some customer related business processes directly from the plane wifi system via Twitter. Navigate here to read the story. The following passage very insightful.
As the official voices of @VirginAmerica, the team’s goal is to respond in under 15 minutes, but according to Amrich, staffers are usually able to reply in less than five. They have nearly 435,000 followers, and he estimates they send about 50,000 tweets a year, handling everything from seat changes to snack requests. And many of those tweets come from 35,000 feet.
Maybe you’re mad. Maybe you’re not. Maybe you just want something to be different,” said Amrich. “But you can talk to us right there, from the plane, using our WiFi. We can actually message the plane and figure out what’s going on and fix it for you right there. This is letting us do everything in real time.”
I found the example of twitter usage to run efficient people faced processes very interesting and powerful. It provides a way to communicate using modern social “lingua franca” adopted by a new generation of people. In the past, communication using email was a mandatory requirements for every business process management systems. Today, social networks and direct communications are taking this place.
What is my conclusion? Manufacturing companies are looking how to improve product development processes. One of the trends in business communication is to use modern web and social network tools and practices. Users are looking how to adopt the same communication methods they are familiar in everyday life. Twitter is one of them and it can become a powerful communication weapon. More and more enterprise companies are adoption “social communication” as more powerful and flexible way to organize their processes. Just my thoughts…