Business Process

February 1, 2012

January 31, 2012

In today’s challenging economy and with consumers’ power, companies have to serve their customers faster and improve their business processes to become more efficient. Effective and productive business processes are an integral part of success for a business. According to Whatis.com, a business process is defined as an activity or set of activities that will accomplish a specific organizational goal (whatis.com). For me personally, I believe that The Benchmarking Exchange explains what a business process is best. The Benchmarking Exchange explains it as follows:

“A simple analogy would be to look at an organization as a wheel and the individual Business Processes are the spokes to the wheel. Having just one or two spokes loose, can make a wheel out-of-balance. The longer a wheel runs out of balance the more damaging the effect to the organization. When the wheel on a cart becomes so unstable that its primary function fails, you would simply replace the wheel. Obviously, an organization cannot simply replace itself… but your Customer can and will replace the wheel (you the Supplier) if you fail to perform to the Customers’ needs and expectations.

Obviously this is a very simplistic and extreme analogy about the operation of an organization. But, when you step back and look at the products and services you purchase yourself, it actually becomes a little more understandable. You wouldn’t maintain a business relationship with a supplier if the suppliers’ own internal Business Processes prevented the supplier from performing its best. You would probably go to another supplier (benchnet.com).”

To avoid the situation that The Benchmarking Exchange discusses, companies need to have a strategic focus in place to help identify business processes in their organization, which will allow them to excel and satisfy both the shareholders and customers. In many companies, some business processes have presented opportunities for efficiency improvements; the trick is figuring out which ones. Peter Carter, a Managing Director of Corporate Information Systems Ltd, explains the best way to map and improve the organization’s procedures from a top down approach. He states that you can’t take on a project in isolation and that means:

  • Starting with mission statements that define the purpose of the organization and describe what sets it apart from others in its sector or industry.
  • Producing vision statements which define where the organization is going, to provide a clear picture of the desired future position.
  • Build these into a clear business strategy thereby deriving the project objectives.
  • Defining behaviours that will enable the organization to achieve its’ aims.
  • Producing key performance measures to track progress.
  • Relating efficiency improvements to the culture of the organization.
  • Identifying initiatives that will improve performance. (teamtechnology.com)

In order to successfully re-engineer a company or department you have to incorporate the following characteristics: a disciplined approach, strong executive support and quantified results. A company can focus on one department to achieve significant gains in efficiency and quality of service by re-designing several processes. Business process reengineering doesn’t require a company to have radical re-structuring to occur to see efficiency and customer service enhancements. Business process reengineering is the key to transforming how people work (teamtechnology.com). Michael Hammer and James Champy states that they (people) cannot be reengineered but what they do can be – and the way they are eventually reorganized to accomplish the new work process will follow from the requirements of the reengineered process itself. What appear to be minor changes in processes can have dramatic effects on cash flow, service delivery and customer satisfaction (teamtechnology.com). Business process re-engineering can’t be adequately put into action without appropriate software, information technology to quantify results, and employee support to assist with the implementation of the reengineering initiative. Cumulating of previously stated aspects of business process re-engineering are key components to successful quantified results and business process reengineering can become an initiative that can be undertaken by any company.

Submitted by: Lakevia Bibb

References

  1. The Benchmarking Exchange (2012). Business Processes. Retrieved on January 9,2012 from http://www.benchnet.com/datproc.htm
  2. Whatis.com (May 2005). Business Process. Retrieved on January 9,2012 from http://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/business-process
  3. Team Technology (2005). Carter, Peter. Business Process Reengineering: An Introductory Guide. Retrieved on January 20,2012 from http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/business-process-reengineering.html
  4. Hammer, Michael & Champy, James (2006). Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution p.43. New York, NY: HapersCollins Book
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