Most businesses have a huge issue with time management and never seem to be able to execute on their strategic goals. They’re spending hours every week on inefficient tasks but don’t know where to start in order to fix the problem. Business process improvement offers a way to optimize business processes and help your business operate smoother.
Business process improvement is the process of systematically and purposefully analyzing tasks, transactions, and other activities that are performed in an organization to identify current requirements for their design, development, and operation.
Business process improvement helps organizations by improving the efficiency of their processes. It also helps them to identify inefficiencies, waste and errors in their processes. This helps them to reduce costs by eliminating these issues from the system.
In this article, we will cover what is business process improvement, its benefits to organizations, the five phases, and key challenges faced by businesses.
Why Business Process Improvement is Important?
Business process improvement offers many benefits to businesses, including cost savings and increased revenue. Here are a few of these benefits:
1- Cost savings
One of the most important benefits of BPI is the ability to eliminate or decrease the need for people to complete a task by automating it with technology. In addition, it helps reducing the amount of time it takes to complete a task by streamlining it, which is often done by combining two tasks into one.
2- Increased revenue
A business can increase its revenue through process improvements. For example, a company that provides customer service might see an increase in revenue if it improves its customer communication processes.
When internal business operations are streamlined and smoothly executed, tasks and services can be executed faster which makes employees more productive.
3- Boosts productivity
Have you ever wondered how businesses get the most out of their employees? It is because they mastered the art of improving their business processes. Making the daily operation efficient, effective, and less confusing which results in employees being able to focus on more critical and satisfying tasks.
One of the most important benefits of BPI is the ability to get the most out of your resources without the need to scale to get work done faster.
4- Improved customer experience
All organizations have one strategic goal in order to outperform their expectations. It is the need to make customers experience as enjoyable as possible. You are risking losing new potential clients in case your business process operations are lacking.
Business process improvement helps organizations improve the customer journey by identifying bottlenecks and providing solutions on how to get from point A to point B as fast as possible without risking quality of service.
5- Improved quality of service
When organizations have aced their business process improvement practices, it will allow them to execute tasks in the fastest way with the highest quality of service needed. That alone can increase customer trusts and will potentially convert new clients to recurring ones.
What are the phases of business process improvement?
The purpose of the phases of business process improvement is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a process. There are five phases in the business process improvement which are as follows:
The Define phase is the first step in business process improvement. It is about understanding the current state of a process and identifying the problems. The goal of this stage is to identify the root causes of problems in order to develop solutions.
It is also recommended to try to simulate the process in order to get deeper understanding about each phase, who are the key stakeholders, what information needs to be circulated, and so on.
This phase is all about designing a better way for your current processes by considering all aspects such as cost, time, quality etc.
It is also recommended when designing the business process to engage all stakeholders and get them on board in order to allow them to be part of the process. If stakeholders are left out, there is a risk that the new process won’t be able to work.
The implement phase is often overlooked by companies that are not used to implementing changes to their processes. This can be due to a number of reasons, such as lack of resources or time, or simply because they forget about it.
However, it is important for all stakeholders involved in the process improvement project – from top management down – to understand what this phase entails and how it will contribute to the success of the project.
Evaluate is the final phase in the business process improvement model. This phase is used to determine whether or not the changes made during the implement phase were successful.
The evaluate phase is important because it allows for a second chance to fix any problems that may have occurred during the implement phase. It also allows for a chance to make any necessary corrections to improve and optimize the process before moving on to another area of business.
What are the challenges associated with Business Process Improvement?
Even though BPI is a great way to streamline business workflows, there are some challenges that organizations face while trying to improve their processes.
Some of the most important challenges of BPI include
1- Change management
One of the most common challenges when introducing any change within the organization is the resistance from employees. This is a top concern and if left unplanned it will result in total failure.
To combat this, you need to engage key employees from the first moment and listen to them carefully in order to help them get on board and get their trust.
2- Lack of understanding of the benefits
The best way to help introduce changes to any process is to explain properly why we are doing the changes in the first place. If employees can relate to the added value you are bringing to the table, they will help you optimize and improve how they work.
3- Lack of time to improve processes
Organizations are always busy with their day-to-day activities and might think that they can’t afford to work on improving their processes or delay the process.
If that’s the case, outsourcing this process could be one of the perfect solutions which will help you keep your current resources working as expected while third party employees will join to help identify and analyze how certain processes could be managed and controlled.
4- Introducing new technologies
Most often when business processes need to be improved, you are required to introduce new technologies or retire legacy ones. This is again one of the most faced challenges for business process improvement. Introducing any technology change will have to follow a certain plan to get people acquainted and on board.