When it comes to Transforming your business processes management, the search for the right solution can prove quite daunting. Today, most companies are already using some form of business process management software ranging from accounting software, sales management to inventory management systems. Horror stories emerge constantly about companies who have embarked on the journey only to face setbacks over and over again. Why then, is there such a strong drive towards business process reengineering through Business Digitalisation and implementing Business Process Management Suites?
For most companies, the advantage that is gained from well implemented Business Process Management systems often outweighs the disadvantages. The potential for totally streamlined business functions and boosts in productivity over the long term makes the benefits of implementation of such systems a worthwhile investment of the company’s time and resources. At Astreem, we focus on working with our clients to seamlessly integrate all work processes in different departments across different territories, increasing productivity, more efficient use of resources, deeper insights and ultimately an increase in profits. We implement Business Process reengineering to optimise the existing processes and digitalise functionalities as well as capture the data on unified dashboards to offer Business intelligence throughout the business.
What is Business Process Reengineering?
In the most basic sense, Business Process Reengineering is about looking at your current business processes (the way you currently do things) and then integrating technology to centralise to help to make the current workflow simpler, more efficient and to reduce manual labour in tasks that can be better achieved through automation and connectivity between departments.
Business Process Reengineering involves process workflows improvements and the implementation of technology solutions that centralizes a company’s database of information, automates routine tasks, and simplifies business processes. Whilst it may involve BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT systems implementation, Business Process reengineering involves much more. The collective impact of uncovering the key process flows, centralising data structure, and leveraging the right technology is far more than implementing a standardised BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT system. The end goal of the business process Reengineering is to Digitalise processes, optimize operations centralise common databases and free up employee time so they can work on more value-added tasks.
Business Process Reengineering involves many or all of the different aspects of a business with features that include the following:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Inventory Management
- Human Resources Management
- Analytics and Reporting
A company that has implemented Business Process Reengineering enjoy more seamless collaborative efforts between departments by unifying and protecting information, automating processes, and producing easy-to-understand reports.
When a company invests time and resources to implement a Business Process Re-engineering, they can enjoy clear business optimisation benefits as follow.
1. Improved Workflows
Business process reengineering is all about the digitalisation of your businesses around your workflows. Through a detailed process of discovery and process mapping across departments, all processes become mapped in one solution, streamlining the process of collaborating with different teams by providing employees with access to the data they need when they need it.
All relevant information is stored in an interdepartmental database, where information from each department is channelled into one centralized location.
This allows for real-time project updates and better communication across the whole company. With a business process management system in place, every employee has access to real-time accurate information when they are executing tasks. This means increased business operating efficiency and reduces operational costs associated with manual data tracking, as well as higher employee engagement.
2. Standardized Business Processes
The implementation process includes tried and true processes that have been developed according to industry best practices can be standardized to suit individual company processes and systems.
These processes enhance efficiency and accuracy to deliver consistent results. As processes have been pre-set and automated, errors, repetitive actions and costs are greatly reduced.
3. One Single Source of Truth
Having the information of your business on one platform allows total access to every important process in your business by making data from every department easily accessible to people involved in the process.
Having all of your company’s information in a centralized location allows for increased collaboration and more streamlined completion of tasks across different departments. This complete visibility provides seamless workflows and allows inter-departmental processes to be easily managed and tracked with maximum efficiency.
4. Improved Efficiency
A well-designed business process workflow can reduce human error, time and effort required by your workforce to carry out their daily activities. A well-implemented business management system also automates cross-department operations, thus streamlining daily processes like production, order completion, and delivery for greater efficiencies.
The completion of each process automatically leads to the pre-set, logical next step. By having all information centralised in a single location, users will find their productivity increased as they collaborate effectively across departments with real-time information. Data re-entry and errors are reduced, so data remain consistently accurate.
That’s a significant amount of savings over a period of time. A well-implemented Business process management suite can greatly reduce or eliminate repetitive manual processes, thus freeing up team members to focus on more value-added responsibilities.
5. Improved Reporting and forecasting
Along with improved visibility, better insight is a major advantage of digitalising business processes, allow end-users to quickly generate and customise reports using centralised, real-time, and accurate data.
Implementing standardised business processes across departments means your organization has a single, unified reporting system for every process. By having a single source of truth, useful reports can be produced for more efficient analytics at any time, giving you the ability to analyse and compare functions across departments, without the hassle of multiple spreadsheets and emails.
Being able to get real-time access to important reports dramatically improve top management’s responsiveness and decisions towards complex issues.
6. Data Security and Quality
Data security is a huge issue for SMEs working with multiple spreadsheets and disparate software across departments. Part of the process of business, transformation is about leveraging technology to protect the company’s data, allowing access only to people with the right user credentials.
Sharing data across functional silos such as customer service, sales, marketing and business development enhances collaboration throughout a company.
Business process management systems focus on maintaining a high level of data security and provide a single input system. Merging information from multiple systems often causes conflicts between sources but synchronising all data on a single repository of information helps improve the accuracy, consistency and security of your company’s data.
7. Improved Supply Chain Management
Being able to set minimum inventory levels and automated re-ordering processes help deal with the moving of physical inventory and production. This improvement results in shortened lead times, more on-time deliveries and many other benefits that enhance the overall operation and success of your business. Through the business process management system, your supply chain can become better and more responsive via improved demand forecasting, inventory management, procurement and even price comparisons.
In addition, the business process management system can offer unified insight into sales, production and delivery schedules permit stock levels on demand to optimise inventory management.
8. Improved Customer Service
Customer Service is integral to business success. With centralised accurate data, sales and customer support staff interact and can respond to customer’s needs quickly, without having to go through the finance or production departments for information on the customers’ history.
9. Long-term Flexibility And Scalability
SMEs scale up as they grow. Those that succeed are the ones that manage to adapt and stay ahead of the competition.
Business process management systems are built to be flexible and configurable enough to scale with your needs over time. This means you only need to invest in what you need when you need it, thereby reducing the total cost of ownership.
10. Focused IT Costs
Many companies use different Technologies and multiple systems. Streamlining all the processes onto one platform can unify your IT costs and improve efficiency. Instead of
spending resources on multiple systems that all need dedicated staff, infrastructure, support teams and licenses, you can focus all these costs into one streamlined business process management system.
Using a single system also reduces training requirements for end-users, since they only need to learn one system rather than interacting with numerous individual applications.
Can my company benefit from business
This varies from business to business, but some common signs they are approaching this point are:
- Increased financial and administrative workload due to larger transaction volumes.
- Employees are doing iterative work and printing multiple documents for repetitive processes.
- Employees describing a sense of confusion over processes and a dependency on other departments for up-to-date data.
- The systems are disparate, making it hard to get access to useful reports and business intelligence.
- Recurring out of stock situations, and continuously missing opportunities and delivery schedules
- Customers complain about an inability to get the service they need due to a lack of shared data across departments.
- Having difficulty with regulatory financial compliance due to lack of up-to-date data.
Success factors when implementing a Business Process Management System:
Setting up a company-wide BUSINESS
PROCESS MANAGEMENT system is not a side project to be handled by one internal project manager. This digital transformation of your business involves most, if not all the various team leaders of your business operations
Many SMEs underestimate what goes into their BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT transformation project. They fail to set aside enough time and resources for the implementation, and then wonder why the new system performs below expectations.
To boost your BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT project’s success rates, you should broadly prepare for two key aspects:
Key Aspect 1: Managing Change Mindset Internally
Setting a new operating system means change for almost everyone. One of the key success factors is to manage the onboarding process for everyone involved. Most will only see the new responsibilities or seemingly doubling of work. It is critical to communicate the benefits towards the business, how it will simply teamwork whilst benefitting them.
It is important to make specific HR adjustments to smoothen the process.
1. Setting up a dedicated workshop
People tend to be more willing to invest in a joint project when they understand the why, how and what of the project. It is critically important to involve the centre of influencers in the company. Even if the key stakeholders are not technically savvy, they usually hold enough clout to influence the team. Involving them in a key driver perspective is important so that they can be champions of the project internally.
2. Get buy-in for change from management
Key to your project’s success is your CEOs, CIOs/IT Managers, and project managers. If they are genuinely keen on business transformation, they’ll set aside the appropriate effort, focus, and resources to enforce changes in processes. If the leader in your organisation does not buy in and champion the project, no one else is going to realistically support this noble initiative, NO MATTER how passionate the project manager vendor or consultant is!
3. Appoint key members of each department onto the Project Team
Once all the key stakeholders are on board, expand the team by the department. Creating a dedicated project team who can work with the consultants to establish the workflow. Decide on the team members in charge of the implementation and significant changes.
These are the same members that are accountable and answerable for any questions or issues that may pop up during the implementation.
4. Setting resources and time aside for training
It takes time for the team to get up to speed with the newly transformed business process management system. Usually, time needs to be allocated for team onboarding training as well as time for parallel system implementation.
At Astreem, we cost this onboarding process within our projects. However, the window is limited, and companies need to appreciate that anytime training is delayed, the opportunities available for their team to train is being squandered. People fear things they do not know and have not proven. Employees like these tend to require more handholding and guidance, especially if they are less tech-savvy than their peers. Besides the actual technical know-how, there is also the emotional fear and confidence we need to encourage. Mindset change and the CAN DO! ~ approach is very important during this period.
Key aspect 2: Getting the Business processes Right.
Companies that rush into implementation without investing in the needed Value chain documentation and documenting a more efficient workflow can run the risk of:
- Automating existing inefficient business processes
- Missing out on new standardisation opportunities
Ultimately it is important to realise that no BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT system, no matter how well designed, modern or powerful, can transform a business if there is no accompanying buy-in and mindset change.
Data Consistency during the implementation phase
One of the more challenging aspects of BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT implementation is getting your data integrated properly. Data taken from various departments or additional applications need to have the same format. Duplicate, unwanted data, and wrong records need to be carefully sorted and migrated.
Often, people imagine it’s a case of “plug and plays”. To do so, effort must be dedicated to preparing all data in a format that is compatible with the BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT format.