Whatever your industry, from renewable energy to IT, and construction to aviation, processes form the operational core of most organizations. As your business grows, your processes may become disorganized, inefficient, or even redundant.
Business process reengineering (BPR) may be the solution for you. By the end of this article, you’ll understand the benefits, steps, and basic principles involved in BPR and gain an understanding of whether it may be necessary within your organization.
Business process reengineering is an approach to business management that focuses on analyzing and reconstructing processes within an organization.
The idea that processes tend to become inefficient and redundant over time is central to BPR, therefore. Compared to other process improvement methodologies, BPR typically involves a relatively radical restructuring of your organization’s processes.
This requires a bold acceptance that drastic changes may be necessary to meet your strategic business goals long into the future.
For example, BPR may be triggered by changes in regulatory compliance requirements. In the construction industry where strict health and safety regulations are in place, an organization may need to completely reengineer its Health & Safety business processes to meet with new legislation.
In executing this procedure, teams look for ways to simplify and streamline processes to improve efficiency and eliminate waste.
The term is most commonly associated with substantial changes to or complete replacement of processes, rather than minor tweaking.
BPR rose to prominence in the early 1990s, likely due to the increasing adoption of computers in business applications – information technology and data analysis play central roles in BPR.
Increased automation, particularly if your business is considering intelligent process automation, and the use of dashboards and tools may be key elements of your reengineered processes.
Using the right tools can potentially eliminate waste and streamline business operations. While many organizations, particularly in the construction industry, rely heavily on paper-based processes. BPR should look at ways to digitize and automate time-sensitive manual processes, such as document approvals.
Business process reengineering has elements in common with business process management (BPM), another management strategy that can involve recreating processes. In some cases, the terms may even be used interchangeably. However, there are significant connotative differences between the two.
In terms of similarities, both BPR and BPM deal with improving productivity by examining business processes. Their shared goal is to improve efficiency and outcomes while cutting costs. Additionally, they both involve thorough evaluations of existing processes.
However, BPR carries a connotation of a more radical business process redesign. In fact, BPM may not involve any redesigning of processes. It can be as simple as monitoring processes for issues and fixing them as necessary. In a sense, BPM is the long-term monitoring and evaluation strategy that leads to BPR being implemented to fix issues.
With processes being so central to business success, it is probably no surprise that reengineering processes can have substantial benefits.
The idea is that you can improve your business outcomes by fixing your processes. Here are a few of the most significant advantages of this strategy.
Like most business methodologies, BPR is first and foremost concerned with bottom-line results.
This is achieved by improving the effectiveness of business processes. Delivering better products and services to more customers can lead to increased revenue. Additionally, some processes may directly attract additional customers.
For example, by reengineering your employee onboarding process with automation software like Fluix, you can ensure your team has access to up-to-date training materials. This will help you provide the best quality service for your clients.
Another element of BPR is reducing costs. Many processes cost more than they need to due to inefficiencies. They may include unnecessary activities or redundant functions.
By reducing costs and increasing revenue, the strategy has the potential to substantially improve profitability.
An example of this is digitalizing and automating processes during the reengineering process, which can drastically cut labor time spent on repetitive tasks.
Within the renewables energy industry, for example, time spent reporting field crew can be cut by up to 70% when efficient workflows and processes are in place.
Many business processes involve the intersection of several functions. Often these functions are brought together organically, with little thought about the future of business operations.
This can result in significant inefficiencies due to a lack of coordination. Through BPR, you can achieve a more rational collaboration between different functions with a big-picture organizational focus.
When considering BPR, part of the conversation should include how to provide a centralized platform, such as Fluix, for teams to collaborate and coordinate that integrates easily with existing tools and software.
In a similar vein, reengineering allows you to think more in the long term about your processes. Many processes tend to grow organically, meaning that most organizations’ current states are not planned with a view to the future.
BPR can help you take a more forward-thinking approach to how your business is run.
The basic BPR steps are simple in concept. As with many process-focused techniques, success and failure tend to rest in the details.
A data-driven approach helps to ensure that your BPR process supports your business goals.
Here are the major steps involved in reengineering your business processes:
Software, such as Fluix, allows your workflows and processes to evolve with your business by leveraging technology to save time and resources.
The Fluix platform provides visibility into resource availability, task dependencies, and workload distribution, allowing managers to make informed decisions about resource allocation.
This ensures that resources, such as manpower, time, and equipment, are utilized optimally, leading to better resource management and cost savings.
As you are applying the above business process redesign steps, it is helpful to keep the principles of BPR in mind to ensure that the results are fair, efficient, and transparent.
You should be thinking about BPR when you want to see significant change; a business process redesign.
For example, reengineering may be the answer if you have tried other ideas that have failed to achieve results. Similarly, if your competitors seem to be pulling ahead at a pace that you can’t match, quickly rethinking how you operate could help.
Of course, reengineering is much less expensive if you are running a small startup than if you have a major enterprise. In fact, it is not uncommon for small companies to informally reengineer their processes as they grow and reinvent their business models.
BPR has been applied by a diverse range of organizations. This includes well-known businesses such as Ford, Airbnb, GTE, and T-Mobile.
The following are some examples of what BPR may look like in your organization.
Bringing new ideas and products to market is essential for many organizations. However, coming up with and developing new ideas for products is not a simple process. Often it involves multiple functions of the business, including analysts, engineers, product designers, and others. If these groups are working in silos, the development process will be slow and inefficient.
By applying BPR, the organization could look at the steps each product took from the original idea to being market-ready. Analyzing the paths of several products may highlight that there are multiple redundant paths and that teams are working on their elements of product development almost independently.
A new process map could include cross-functional teams that undertake all the core functions of product development. Full integration would allow different divisions to come together to work on a new idea collaboratively. It also helps with the sharing of information and data from the start of product development through to the conclusion.
Taskstream automation in Fluix means you can set up workflows using our simple drag-and-drop functionality. Then create tasks, add to-do lists, and set deadlines and priorities. As well as set specific actions and steps for team members, all making collaboration seamless.
Many businesses struggle significantly with their customer service efforts. Balancing satisfying customers with the significant costs of providing service can be very challenging.
Several organizations have used BPR to improve their customer service. In a lot of organizations, multiple teams and departments deal with different customer issues, such as billing, technical support, and complaints.
Finding the right department often involves being on hold and may not often result in a satisfied customer.
This is the perfect set of circumstances for BPR. The model of customer service used by most organizations is fundamentally inadequate.
Customers don’t want to have to bounce around between departments to find the right person.
The right arrangement for customer service processes depends on the business. However, BPR may result in empowering a single team of representatives to handle the majority of issues.
This eliminates the need to pass off a caller and cuts down the number of holds necessary for a single call. Additionally, a customer can call with multiple issues and receive assistance. Many organizations are also leveraging AI-based technologies that make routing a service call easier.
Building the right processes for your business sometimes requires radical redesigns. In some cases, however, simply finding the right tool can make all the difference.
By simplifying information workflows and empowering cross-functional collaboration, Fluix has helped many businesses enhance their processes and make the business process redesign steps easier to manage, resulting in better outcomes.
For in-depth information, our comprehensive eBook — Can I Do This with Fluix? — has all of the answers you need.
This approach to business management relates to the analysis and reconstruction of processes within an organization. BPR works by rooting out inefficient and redundant processes and replacing them with proactive, effective solutions.
Being able to achieve BPR success will depend on a number of factors, such as the willingness to make the necessary changes, regardless of how drastic they first appear. It’s also essential to embrace the digital tools required to support such changes and every department within the organization must be united in implementing the new processes.
The benefits of BPR are extensive and can affect every level of the business. These benefits include increasing revenue, reducing costs, eliminating redundant functions, improving processes, being able to better coordinate multiple functions, and being able to take a much longer-term view of the business.
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