According to the White Paper on International Economy and Trade 2013, it says, “While facing with a declining birthrate and a growing proportion of elderly people in addition to decrease in population, for Japan to achieve medium and long term economic growth, improvements to productivity through expansion from various measures and policies is necessary.”
This points out that the low productivity has affected the Japanese economy.

For managers and business people who are serious about improving productivity, we recommend that you consider installing a Business Process Management system (hereafter BPM system). In this article, we will introduce the basics of productivity and explain how a BPM system can increase productivity.

Labor productivity and total factor productivity (TFP)

If you’re asked what productivity is, you will probably think of working efficiently, getting the job done in a short amount of time, and improving performance. Productivity is measured by the volume of output relative to the input; the smaller the input volume and the larger the output volume makes higher productivity.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry checks productivity with two indicators, “labor productivity” and “total factor productivity” (the White Paper on International Economy and Trade 2013). Each indicator is defined by the following formula:

● Calculation formula: Labor productivity = Production volumes /Labor input

Labor productivity measures the generated production per unit of labor input.

● Calculation formula: Total factor productivity = Production volumes /Total factor input

TFP (Total Factor Productivity) measures how much “product” has been generated per unit of “input of all elements of production, such as labor, raw materials, and capital”. Labor productivity is an indicator that focuses only on the labor force, which quickly makes it easy to determine the effects of improving employees’ working styles and managing their work.

On the other hand, total factor productivity (hereafter TFP) shows the comprehensive productivity of the company.

When managers decide to increase their own productivity, or business people decide to increase the productivity of their work, checking labor productivity and TFP is necessary.

The Benefits of “BPM” initiative

We will explain how BPM contributes to productivity improvement and the BPM system that supports that initiative.

Initiatives to design, build, apply, and improve

A BPM system is a system to support the “BPM” initiative. However, you’ll be wondering what exactly BPM (business process management) is.

BPM is a sort of initiative to design, build, apply, and improve business processes. If a company generates revenue and profits, contributing to the economy, that means the company’s business processes are working well.

However, you should distinguish between a functional business process and an optimal one. For example, your business process may be merely outdated and a formality. On the other hand, you may have the potential to operate more efficiently if you redesign, rebuild, and apply the new business process.

Regarding the BPM initiative, you should continue even after changing to the best business process, because reiterating improvements in business processes is also part of the initiative.

How BPM systems improve productivity

Questetra provides a cloud-based BPM system, which supports the BPM initiative. In this section, we will explain how the cloud-based BPM system supports this initiative and how to improve productivity within the system.

As mentioned in the previous section, labor productivity is calculated by production volumes and labor input, while TFP is calculated by production volumes and total factor input.

The cloud-based BPM system, for example, provides an online system where employees who approve documents can receive a document and authorize it. With this system, you don’t have to tell the person in charge of handling the document now to pass it to the next person in charge.

By circulating the document in the system you can check it even if you are out of the office, which makes your work more efficient. In addition, reducing a lot of labor input that was common with paperwork will surely improve labor productivity.

BPM systems can manage the progress by reflecting automatically approved data and reduce errors and omissions by reusing historical data from similar Issues. BPM systems can also reduce both labor input and total factor input, which consequently improves TFP.

What is a BPM system “Questetra BPM Suite”?

Here are three stories of companies that utilize Questetra BPM Suite.

1. Pentio Co., Ltd.

Communication with contract users of “OneLogin” is conducted via several systems such as Zoho CRM, Zendesk, Mail Chimp. Therefore, every time we issued “OneLogin” user account, we were communicating by internal emails to proceed account creation work for each system.

As a result, omission of work, mistakes in configuration, and work schedule delays occurred, which caused problems with support services. We used Questetra to draw a diagram of the business on the system to visualize the current business flow. By using Questetra, flows of work was established, work omission/misconfiguration have improved, thorough work schedule management has been enabled, thus we have overcome the problems.

2. Impress R&D

We have built all these processes of e-book publication with services such as Questetra and G Suite. It can be said that we built a virtual publisher and a virtual printing factory in the cloud.

3. HIGASHI TWENTY ONE CO., LTD.

We are using Questetra as “a new nursing care goods rental management system” which is from order acceptance until delivery adjustment in nursing care equipment rental business, cooperating with Salesforce and AWS (Amazon Web Services).

For the portion of order acceptance which we changed from receiving by telephone or fax to accepting through the Internet, we made it obviously visible using revolving light so that orders can be detected in real time. In addition, we have made it possible to reliably perform required actions, such as alerting on stopping/resuming procedures occurring in accordance with the hospitalization of users.

As you can see in these stories, Questetra BPM Suite is utilized by various companies in various ways.

To improve the productivity of a company, grasping and considering the current business flow and reiterating improvement activities is essential. Questetra BPM Suite allows you to draw a diagram of the current business flow with graphical shapes and arrows, and you can modify the diagram easily. In addition, the chart allows you to see which Tasks have a delay and allows you to identify current problems based on the data.

For improving your productivity, we recommend you 60 day trial for free of Questetra BPM Suite.

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