In its essence, a business process is a bridge between a service/product provider and receiver (a customer or client.) The simplest business process definition is: “A business process is an accumulation of activities, tasks, and communication points that, if executed successfully and logically, produce successful service or product.”
Every business process is particular and intrinsically logical, developed with the purpose of ensuring efficient and smooth workflow. Consequently, the successful implementation of the well-sought business process improves business outcome. Most importantly, business processes prepare companies for unexpected and rapid changes in ever-changing and vibrant global market.
Some large business processes (such as mortgage business process) are often divided into subprocesses, core and non-core business processes. Generally speaking, a business process can be subdivided into three vital processes:
Operational processes are processes that are essential to the company. These processes often consist of specific tasks or set of tasks (such as communication with customers, helping clients open up their accounts, etc.) Simply put, this is where personnel executes their given roles and performs activities regarding their roles.
Management processes are “insurance” procedures, that is, activities which ensure that projects flow as they should. While operational processes “get things done,” management processes oversee and ensure that operational processes “get things done.”
Supporting processes are all processes that provide on-demand support and resolve issues and hiccups that occur during everyday activities of a particular company. Some examples are maintenance, accounting, customer service, etc.
A core business processes are all activities that are essential to the company. Should a company fail on core activities, its existence would be either threatened or fundamentally changed. Each company can, within its walls, determine which processes it considers to be core.
Also, the rational division between core and non-core processes allows companies to invest their resources in those processes it deems vital to its existence. Consequently, a company can further strengthen and improve its core methods, as well as to outsource non-core processes to third-party agents and services (to reduce expenses, running costs, workforce, etc.)
As an example, the sale of product or services is a core business process as organizations existence depends on it. If there is any failure in this area then the company will have a severe threat.
A non-core business process is any method or activity that isn’t essential to the company. While core processes are considered to be the primary source of earnings for a company, non-core operations stand outside of that “main source of income” circle.
Sometimes companies would outsource their non-core services to third parties. Naturally, a company would outsource their services to those that specialize in given sector, field or activity. For instance, a company may outsource its accounting services to accountants, HR functions to HR specializing company and so on.
Non-core services are widespread in virtually all businesses. They are important for any company even though they aren’t considered essential or central to the company. Moreover, even if a non-core service doesn’t directly lead to profit, it, in some indirect way, enables that profit to be made.
Ensuring that non-core processes don’t suffocate the company is imperative in the modern business environment.
An end-to-end business process (or e2e business process) monitors and evaluates each step, process, and subprocess that a company performs to achieve a specific goal.
It normally starts from the first point of contact with the customer (usually an enquiry) and then ends with say invoice collection. So it may cover all the steps like sales, Delivery of the services, Invoice generation and final collection. Because of its nature (From start to finish) its called a end to end business process.
A company can also digitize their activities, or include methods (such as the BPM) to accelerate and further their e2e process. The implementation of digitization helps to improve productivity.
End to end business processes can be further subdivided into two types as follows
An end to end business process that starts with sales inquiry, then moves to delivery of services then moves to invoicing department is essentially a cross-departmental business process.
And while each department has its own set of rules, tasks, and activities, in a cross-department business process, it becomes a part of a project that transcends it. Therefore, a goal of each department is not only to effectively carry out its functions internally but to communicate its requirements, prompt changes, client needs (and so forth) externally.
Cross-department business processes can get very confusing and complicated, even for major firms. And while small businesses often have fewer departments, their lack of experience with cross-department business processes and methods often confuses them, ultimately causing setbacks and failures. Communication between departments need to be managed well and updates and list of work should be very easy to identify.
Many companies choose to decompose their processes into several subprocesses These subprocesses are then divided into sets of work processes, and then into specific activities.
Cross-geography business processes are even more complicated than cross-department business processes since it involves cooperation between several teams which are geographically apart.
Such a process can involve teams that are of different nationalities, cultures, even languages. It is, therefore, a job of each team to overcome those differences and join together around the same cause and achieve set goals. It is needless to say that cross-geography business processes are considerably complicated to oversee, monitor, manage and enhance.
Moreover, building and maintaining an adequate process model is critical for all entities involved in a cross-geographical partnership. Each successful model must insist on understanding and consolidation since these two factors lead to interoperability between the involved parties. If the parties involved in this process achieve healthy interoperability, this could lead to more successful cooperation and transcendence of boundaries and differences (that often slow down the cooperation and progression.)
Defining a smooth set of steps for operating cross geography team is of paramount importance. It could significantly affect the quality of the cross-geography business process.
Business process management is a system that helps to implement, maintain and improve business processes. This may include analysis of specific activities (such as of e2e processes), modeling and remodeling (experimentation, alternative scenarios, modeling after successful scenarios), monitoring of those scenarios, etc.
BPM is, therefore, a set of methods and activities that serve a particular purpose, a never-ending process of improvement. Today, BPM is hard to imagine without BPM software. Despite the fact that a BPM in itself is not a technology, it is inseparable from it; together, business process and IT change the way businesses work.
BPM is particularly useful for end-to-end business processes since it provides an insight into a broader picture and allows companies to understand their own organizations on a day to day basis. Naturally, software is an ideal candidate for such job, due to its unbiased and strict data-oriented perspective.
Unfortunately, most BPM software overcomplicate the things that they should be actually simplifying, causing headaches to its users. As a consequence of that, jamming may occur in a complex workflow, causing problems for anyone that is involved in it.
Small companies suffer most from complicated BPM software, for they often don’t have the human resources to handle complex workflows. Moreover, their staff usually can’t handle the pressure of such workflows, nor do they have the knowledge and the ability to stick to specific models and designs.
And even if a company manages to overcome the challenges of complex workflow, there’s no guarantee that the workflow itself is errorless. Furthermore, most software don’t deal on low case level, and most lack the tools to offer a fine-tailored solution to practical problems of clients and customers.
Solastis CRM + BPM tool brings process digitalization without redundant complexity. While most other BPM tools offer little to no flexibility regarding specific cases, activities and tickets, Solastis allows its users to not only change but develop their own case types.
Without this simple ticket & case functions, a platform will not be able to efficiently and promptly resolve customer issues and inquiries. For example, the processes of authorization or reporting are non-existent without fine-tailored case types.
Other BPM software offers a complex workflow. Not only does this slow down the entire process, but it also leads to frustration on both sides (employee and customer.) In Solastis CRM + BPM we have removed this complex workflow rules altogether and implemented a basic sequential step workflow which is easy to define for anybody. Your manager can define a process in 5 minutes and deploy it.
Solastis CRM + BPM also has lot of other features like advanced authorization and reporting to manage a multi-organisational and multilocational BPM environment effortlessly.