Successful companies organise and run their business activities in an efficient manner. Core activities are completed on time and within specified resource constraints. However to stay competitive in today's markets, companies need to continually improve their efficiency - business activities need to be completed more quickly, to higher quality and at lower cost. To this end, there is an increasing awareness of the benefits and potential competitive advantage that well designed business process management systems can provide. In this paper we argue the case for an agent-based approach: showing how agent technology can improve efficiency by ensuring that business activities are better scheduled, executed, monitored, and coordinated.