What is business process improvement?
All businesses have key processes – multi-step operations – that are necessary to make things run: the budgeting process, the manufacturing process, the new-product development process, and so on. Often, over time, these processes become less efficient. Waste an inefficiencies creep in the way a ship’s hull collects barnacles or an attic collects junk. From time to time it becomes necessary to review these processes, to “scrub” them to remove inefficiencies or to re-engineer – improve – them in light of changed business conditions. Hence the term “business process improvement.”
What are the benefits of doing business process improvement?
The results vary depending upon the process you improve. But they can range from greater efficiency and speed of doing business to better quality and happier customers.
Here are just a few examples:
- One of our clients, a bank, reduced the time it took for them to replace their customers’ lost or stolen debit cards from an average of seven to nine days (and sometimes as much as 15!) to an average of three to four. Think of the impact on customer satisfaction!
- Another reduced the amount of slow-moving parts inventory throughout their system by a percentage equal to $6.2 million in cost savings.
- Still another completely revamped their new-product-development process, eliminating “dog” projects that were sapping resources, thus freeing up resources to apply to “winning” ideas, while making the process more “user-friendly” for those who had to implement it. A clear win in multiple areas of the business!
(For a more detailed explanation of “business process improvement,” along with illustrations, and a number of client case-studies and testimonials, visit our Business Process Improvement Core Capabilities page, “Business Applications” on our Home page, or our “Testimonials” and “Case Studies” pages under “Clients.”)
How soon can results be realized?
This, of course, can depend on the nature of the problem – its size, complexity and geographic distribution – but with effective execution and where companies can make improvement a priority, we have repeatedly had clients begin to realize gains in as little as 30 days and complete projects or make significant gains in 60 to 90 days.