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Business Advice

Business Process Re-engineering - BPR

The Business Process Re-engineering must be seen as a major reconsideration and a fundamental change of the processes within an organization, aimed to deliver major improvements regarding the financial performance, the service level, and the reaction time of the respective organization.

Many companies are still organized on functional silos (sales, marketing, production, logistics etc.) and, in most of the cases, the approach of an re-engineering project starts with a transversal, end-to-end analysis for all the processes of the respective organization. One of the first visible result of an unitary approach for an re-engineering project will be the reduction of the loses caused by the “task passing” from one department to another.

The main steps of a re-engineering project are:

1. Defining the vision, the business strategy and the objectives reffering to the business procceses.
The leading factors of an re-engineering project are the vision and the business startegy of the respective organization, which implies some specific operational objectives, such us: costs reduction, time cuts on every single process, quality improvement, customer service level increase.

2. Identifying the business processes which will be the object of the re-engineering.
Most of the companies are focused on what they consider to be the most important processes, or on those processes which are in opposition with the company’s vision. A very few are adopting an exhaustive approach, meaning to identify and prioritize all the processes, and only after that to start the re-engineering activity.

3. Defining, understanding, and measuring the actual processes.
Defining, understanding, and measuring the actual processes is a very important step of the re-engineering project, aiming to avoid the errors or misfunctionalities replication into the future and to assure a solid ground for the future improvements of the respective processes.

4. Redefining the processes and realising the prototypes.
The processes resulted after re-engineering don’t have to be treated as being the final ones, but as prototypes which will be the objects of further iterations. When a process is redefined, it’s extremely important to take into consideration all the exceptions that may occur. Every single exception could constitute, at the next iteration, a new branch of the respective process. Every iteration of a process will have, as a result, a more precise aligning to the company’s vision and strategy, and also to the needs of the company’s customers.

5. Adjusting the organizational structure.
The organizational structure has to be adjusted and redesigned, so that to be able to support the new, to-be processes.

6. Designing the implementation plan for the new processes.
A BPR project is consider to be finalized only when the processes previously redesigned are implemented into the organization. There are some possible ways to do this:
- through organizational structure modifications, able to support the new processes;
- through written procedures and work instructions, which will formalize the new business fluxes, the deliverables and the responsibles/owners for every step of the flux, eventually the applicable timeframe (for the fluxes with a certain recurrence);
- defining the requirements for IT&C solutions and tools, and the implementation plan for them. For instance, the implementation of a complex process as Supply Chain Management could be done only with the help of a complex IT solution, able to provide information such as Sales Forecast and Purchase Forecast, and to manage the company’s product portfolio.

Very important are also the implementation steps. Major changes of the processes must be implemented step-by-step, for obtaining maximum results. There is the risk of rejection, coming from the organization, if the implementation of the all process modifications is too fast.

There is a need for re-engineering, inside your organization ?
The answer is definitely YES, if :

 

  • there are conflicts between different departments of the organization;
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  • there are a lot of time-consuming internal meetings;
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  • there are some activities which are not assumed by any entity inside the organization;
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  • there are some activities assumed by more entities inside the organization;
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  • there is an excessive usage of internal communication means, like e-mail and internal notes;
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  • the competition seems to be far ahead of you;
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  • the market is a mature one, and the market share battle is based mainly on pricing.