Business Process Improvement Consulting

Business Process Improvement (BPI), is a method for evaluating the current processes of the business as a baseline to create business transformation and a streamlined future state. This is done for large and comprehensive business processes, such as order-to-delivery or a supply chain, or more focused processes such as hiring and onboarding. Business process improvement is often implemented by business process consultants and management consultants who work closely with clients.  It involves change management and the streamlining of processes in specific departments such as Human Resources, Supply Chain, Information Technology, Program Management, Operations, Customer Services and Finance.

To help you get started on your implementation, Supply Velocity’s business process consultants will conduct an Assessment, evaluating your business based on common examples or symptoms of struggling business processes.  All of our consulting services (including business process consulting and supply chain management) use Lean and Six Sigma tools and techniques to achieve fast and sustainable results. In addition, every Supply Velocity business consultant is experienced in facilitating cross-functional teams of subject matter experts and managers to make sure the team does not get bogged down in conflicting ideas and objectives.

Business process problem areas we identify and address include:

  • Long order lead times and poor on time delivery
  • Complex processes with many steps and hand offs, non-value added steps, waiting, duplication and rework
  • Highly reactive organizational culture
  • 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 with
  • Poor customer service
  • Poor internal and external communications

The first step of BPI is Business Process Modeling. This can take from a few weeks to a few months. The steps of Business Process Modeling include:

  1. Map the current state
    • Once complete, the team can clearly agree on the process’ current state and many of the issues plaguing the process
  1. Sort the map
    • The map is marked to identify and highlight non-value-added steps within the process
  1. Brainstorm ideas to eliminate non-value-added steps
  2. Prioritize ideas
    • Benefit versus Difficulty-to-Implement
  1. Design the future state map
  2. Create an implementation and roll-out plan

After Business Process Improvement is implemented you must sustain the gains.  This is key to true business transformation and a focus of all of our consulting services. Sustainment requires measuring the performance of processes through Balanced Scorecards and monthly Scorecard reviews. Streamlined processes combined with a monthly/weekly cadence of performance measurement review and action plans creates a virtuous cycle of continuous process improvement.

Business Process Management can help your company meet internal goals and metrics including:

  • Greater capacity and throughput
  • Improved labor productivity
  • Less rework and reduced scrap

Equally important they can help your company meet external customer requirements such as:

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

Business Process Improvement Assessment

Sometimes companies and employees feel trapped in a poor performance rut that they feel unable to escape. Often this is due more to poorly designed processes than employee performance. Processes are the heart of every organization, but as companies, products and marketplaces become more complex, the demands and expectations of processes become greater and they often fail to effectively meet the company’s or customers’ needs. Personnel are usually aware of problems with their business processes, but they often don’t understand the root causes or the full extent of the issues and their daily work demands don’t provide an opportunity to make the necessary changes. For the company and personnel, it can be a classic example of not being able to “see the forest for the trees.”

Supply Velocity’s Assessment is one of our most popular consulting services.  It includes a targeted assessment of the business’ core processes, interviews with personnel, review of the facility and analysis of operational data. We will talk with all functional areas including Operations, Supply Chain, Finance, Information Technology, Human Resources, Program Management and others. Our business process consultants develop a list of prioritized improvement recommendations that are supported by data and observations, and provide a general framework or roadmap for implementation details, timing, requirements and return-on-investment.

Our clients benefit from the Assessment by the identification of Business Process Improvement opportunities from someone not mired down in day-to-day activities.

Consider the following data regarding our Assessments:

  • 90% of our new clients choose to have an Assessment
  • 80% of Assessments result in using Supply Velocity for implementation of the plan
  • Clients invite us back for an average of 4 more projects
  • 95% of our sales come from referral

Typically, an Assessment is a 2 to 4 day process involving:

  1. Interviews with key personnel (executives, managers and individual contributors)
  2. Analyzing financial and operational data
  3. Facility tours and direct observation

The onsite portion of the Assessment is swift and hands-on. Our business process consultants engage with your workforce to ensure they are involved and comfortable. We use these interactions to recommend key personnel to be a part of the teams that will support and drive the Assessment’s project recommendations.

History of Business Process Improvement

The methodology for Business Process Improvement has built up over decades starting with the quality revolution that began after WW2 and including:

  • Quality revolution in Japan driven by Dr. Juran and Dr. Deming, circa 1950
  • Toyota develops Toyota Production System (TPS), 1950’s to 1970’s
  • Six Sigma approach developed at Motorola, 1980’s
  • Business Process Reengineering the Corporation or BPM by Hammer and Champy, 1990’s
  • Jack Welch of GE adopts Six Sigma, late 1990’s
  • Rapid growth of Lean & Six Sigma in manufacturing, 1990’s through 2000’s
  • Growth of Lean & Six Sigma in service, 2000 – today

Variations include Business Process Reengineering (BPR) or Business Process Management (BPM).  As the change management scope increases, Business Process Management looks at an entire business process to create a workflow that is more effective, efficient and capable for adapting to new market demands.  Implementation will likely require more formal project management for successful execution.