Business process management and strategy

  • Advise Jack why a BPM approach should now become part of the way Cullen Creative Cooking does business.

A BPM approach should be incorporated into Cullen Creative Cooking Pty’s business model because the company has grown considerably since its inception and has since become departmentalized which implies that various tasks within the organization are accomplished in processes that consist of many steps (Brocke & Rosemann, 2014). Jack has however adopted a functional view of the organization, which despite its numerous strengths, has several shortcomings. The organization is essentially divided into several departments, with each department focusing on closely related activities. This promotes specialisation and division of labour which enhances the overall efficiency of the organization (Uhl & Gollenia, 2012). Nevertheless, lack of effective communication between the different departments is a huge stumbling block for the company’s overall success. Apparently, the department heads do not have the slightest idea of what goes on in other departments and as such there are numerous delays in executing orders. The company should therefore adopt a BPM approach which is based on business processes that run across all the departments in the the organization.

  • Introduce Jack to Business Process Management by stating in plain terms what it actually is and how it can help his business
  • In describing the benefits of BPM to Jack, ensure that you briefly highlight how BPM connects to business strategy (internal and external perspectives), positioning, structure and value propositions. Briefly describe the meaning of value chains and how using BPM, in conjunction with this concept, can assist Jack to improve the business.

Business Process Management (BPM) can be defined as the process through which an organization’s objectives are achieved through the improvement, management and control of essential business processes (Jeston & Nelis, 2008). This process is deliberative, collaborative and relies heavily on technology and innovation. In order to improve, manage and control its business processes more effectively, an organization should not only be performance and customer oriented but should also follow a clear strategic direction, align its resources with this direction and enhance discipline in its daily operations (Spanyi, 2003; Halpin, et al., 2011). From the foregoing, it is evident that BPM has far reaching implications for the organization’s culture and its competitiveness, which calls for drastic organizational change.

As the definition suggests, BPM will facilitate the improvement, management and control of the company’s essential business processes thereby enhancing its overall efficiency, which will translate to greater profitability. This will mainly be achieved through the minimization of operating costs and improvement of the quality of goods and services offered to customers. More importantly, it will empower the firm to make better strategic decisions and foster the involvement of the entire organization in the execution of strategy. In order to improve its essential business processes, the management will first of all have to determine the company’s current position in the market in order to benchmark its performance with that of other key players in the industry. To this end, the management team will have to monitor its environment closely to identify its competitors and the industry best practices that have been adopted by these companies to enhance their market position. Finally, the management will come up with a new strategy that will enable the company to gain a competitive advantage over its rivals. Successful implementation of this strategy will warrant management and control of the company’s essential business processes, which will in turn necessitate the alignment of the company’s resources with its overall strategy.

BPM can also be understood in terms of value chains, which constitute a comprehensive collection of all the activities that are performed to design, produce, market, deliver, and support a product line. These activities are essentially business processes, with the only exception being that the value added onto a product is measured as it moves from one process to another along the value chain. Jack can utilize the value chain concept to identify processes within the organization that do not add value to its products and services. These processes should then be re-evaluated or eliminated altogether.
Problem Analysis

  • Jack is aware that there are a number of problems within his company and whilst he is happy for you to briefly describe these, he would like you to concentrate your efforts on the problem which you believe to be the most urgent. In relation to this problem, Jack would like you to identify the causes of the problem, the problem and the consequences of the problem; refer to the capabilities gap and the performance gap here if relevant

The main problem facing the organization is the rising number of customer complaints about delays in receiving orders. As aforementioned, this is mainly caused by lack of effective communication between the various departments in the organization. This problem could result in drastic implications for the overall profitability of the company due to loss of market share as evidenced by the diminishing customer responsiveness.

  • Show the current ‘As Is’ process using a simple diagram
  • Identify any process flow problems and/or day to day management problems; output and input problems; and problems with controls and enablers; develop a project scoping diagram to illustrate the problem which you have identified Proposed Solution

There are two major process flow problem in the company, poor process decision making and inadequate sub process measures. Poor process decision making is characterised by lack of adequate information and absence of rules and regulations to govern the operations in the organization. On the other hand, inadequate sub process measures are evidenced by the lack of quality and quantity control measures and undefined time frames.
There are several symptoms of the above process flow problems in the organization including the fact that customers are unhappy, the excessive time taken to fulfil orders and the apparent finger pointing occasioned by the process spanning through many departments. Moreover, processes within the organization are not controlled or measured and there is a lot of data redundancy. There is therefore a performance gap, which needs to be bridged to enhance the overall efficiency of the company. This can be achieved through warehousing and the use of enterprise information systems as illustrated in the project scoping diagram below.

The sales department should utilize historical sales volumes to determine and project the optimal demand. The production and packaging department should in turn produce adequate stock to meet this projected demand and store it in a warehouse where it will be ready for shipping when orders are placed. This will require the procurement of warehouse equipment, and deployment of some employees to work in the warehouse including an order taker, a warehouse clerk and a shipper. Moreover, the company should invest in Enterprise information systems including an order system, telecom systems and a credit card system. Finally, the management should establish policies, which will act as guides to govern operations in the organization.

References

Brocke, J. v. & Rosemann, M., 2014. Handbook on business process management. 1, Introduction, methods and information systems. 2 ed. Berlin : Springer.

Halpin, T. et al., 2011. Enterprise, Business-process and Information Systems Modeling 12th International Conference, Bpmds 2011, and 16th International Conference, Emmsad 2011, Held at Caise 2011, London, Uk, June 20-21, 2011. Proceedin.. New York: Springer.

Harmon, P., 2010. Business process change : a guide for business managers and BPM and six sigma professionals. 2 ed. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Jeston, J. & Nelis, J., 2014. Business Process Management. 3 ed. New York: Routledge.

Spanyi, A., 2003. Business Process Management is a Team Sport: Play it to Win!. 1 ed. Tampa, FL: Anclote Press.

Uhl, A. & Gollenia, L. A., 2012. A handbook of business transformation management methodology. Burlington

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