| Insights

Business Process Improvement

Processes are the heart of every company or organization, but as companies, products and marketplaces became more complex, the demands and expectations of processes become greater and they often fail to effectively meet the company’s or the customers’ needs and objectives.  Inefficient business processes can have 5 times the negative impact on the customer over poor quality products or services.

You might question “how can a successful business, have poor processes with such glaring issues so obviously in need of being corrected”?  The answer is processes or process related issues get worse over time and these process related issues tend to be hidden in the fabric of the business because personnel do their best to overcome the issues with brute force and hard work. Process or ERP workarounds, ad-hoc duplicate systems, separate spreadsheets and redundant checks are common in companies and usually they are a result of compensating for inadequate or ineffective processes. Much of this is because the true consequences and root cause identification of poor processes is generally under estimated, subordinated by other priorities or ignored.

Common examples or symptoms of struggling business processes are:

  • Things take too long; long order lead times, poor on time delivery
  • Processes are very complex with many steps and hand offs, lots of non-value added activities, waiting, duplication and rework
  • Highly reactive organizational culture that creates or modifies business processes due to issues at hand instead of creating proactive processes to eliminate potential issues
  • Complex and or misaligned organizational structure with confusing roles and responsibilities
  • Lack of standardization
  • Poor and inconsistent product or service quality
  • Difficult to do business; Poor customer service
  • Poor internal and external communications, planning and scheduling

Business Process Improvement (BPI) is aimed at identifying the key processes that would benefit the organization most if they were streamlined and made both more efficient and effective.  BPI techniques, tools and strategies are then applied to streamline and dramatically improve these processes.

BPI can help the company meets internal goals and metrics including:

  • Greater capacity or throughput
  • Reduced labor
  • Less rework and reduced scrap

Equally important BPI can help the company meet external customer requirements such as:

  • On time delivery
  • Improved quality
  • Easy to do business with

BPI is not a fad and in fact many of today’s techniques and strategies have evolved from post WWII reconstruction.  For more information, visit our Business Process Improvement Assessment page or our White Papers with case studies and more detail.  You can also email me at: ray@supplyvelocity.com.