Any entrepreneur needs to know at least indirectly what a business process is. Analysis of business processes helps reduce costs, increase profitability and ultimately increase the profit of the enterprise. In the economic literature this concept is first found in the works of researchers of the 80s of the last century. It was then in the United States for the first time that they thought that the effectiveness of all production depends on a set of interrelated actions called a business process.
A business process is a complex concept. Business development is highly dependent on interconnected operations, procedures and activities. It is impossible to imagine a plant without the supply of raw materials, their processing, workers behind machines and accountants. An enterprise is a closed system that functions as a whole organism. And for everything to work correctly without any hitch and delays, you need a main brain - an experienced manager who will analyze and monitor the coherence of all business processes.
If you look from an economic point of view, the interconnectedness of all possible measures, during which the environmental resources are processed into a final product for the consumer, is called a business process. Analysis of business processes is an assessment of the effectiveness of an action, operation or event related to production.
What are they needed for
Describing business processes is fairly easy. But the biggest problem of reality is that at any enterprises in our country it is rarely possible to find a person who is really interested in improving the efficiency of various production processes. Small and medium-sized businesses are trying to use long-outdated methods to reduce costs, while in the West they have long understood that the success of a business depends on a competent hired manager who is interested in getting the maximum results from his work.
Creating business processes gives a clear understanding: who is responsible for which stage, what position he holds, and what he should do. Such structuring makes the organization of production transparent and makes it easier to manage it. By bringing the goal tree to employees, you can increase their motivation by demonstrating that their work is aimed at common goals. In addition, organizing a business in this way will help to identify the extra costs of financial and time resources.
How to create
No matter big business or small, the approach to creating a detailed plan is one. Consider a specific example. There is a company selling sofas. A business process diagram is like a tree. On the main branches are the main functions that branch into smaller ones. So, what are the main steps in a business process for a retailer?
1. Purchase of goods. This is the first and central business process. What sub-steps can he single out?
- Supplier analysis.
- Drawing up contracts with manufacturing plants.
- Drawing up contracts with transport companies.
2. Placement of sofas. At this stage, there are such moments:
- The choice of premises.
- Construction or rental of premises.
- Creation of conditions for sales.
3. The sales process.
- Staff recruitment.
- Purchase a cash register.
- Creating an atmosphere and design for sales.
4. Marketing and advertising.
- Signage placement.
- Create business cards, booklets, brochures, catalogs, etc.
- Placement of advertising.
The list can be long. It is important to understand how business processes are created. And then we’ll give you a few golden rules for a successful business organization.
Rule number 1
For each highlighted business phase, a specific person is responsible. Engage in creating the schema and them. This will provide an opportunity to understand the process in more detail, to interest employees and increase their motivation to achieve common goals. This is especially important in the early stages of the formation of the enterprise. Starting a business is always associated with enormous difficulties, and the timely setting of goals for specific stages will give a more detailed plan for action.
Rule number 2
Use automated programs and visualize your schemes. Today, there are many ready-made programs that help structure information. Small and medium-sized businesses everywhere use them.
If you are working in a group, take a board or pieces of paper to write everything down and, as you think, draw a tree of your processes. Start with larger operations, scheduling them into smaller ones. For large enterprises, the creation of business processes is a huge painstaking work requiring maximum concentration and coherence of the actions of all employees.
Rule number 3
Formulating business processes, focus on the strategy of the company, and not on its organizational structure. One and the same function may go beyond the established departments. For example, when delivering goods from a supplier, you can consider the boundary of the business process until the goods go beyond the boundaries of the trading enterprise itself, that is, when it is placed on shelves and available to the consumer. Several departments involved in the organizational structure are involved in this process at once.
Rule number 4
The plan should not be too detailed. If you overload the scheme with redundant information, this will lead to general confusion and a large burden on responsible employees. If you plan to make changes in a specific segment, this part needs to be detailed, and all the rest should be considered only superficially, without going into details. Efficiency of business processes is subject to the Pareto law "20 by 80", when 20% of detailed descriptions will bring 80% of the success of the entire operation.
Rule number 5
Do not be afraid of the truth and build a scheme based on what is actually there. Very often this situation arises. The chief manager asks his subordinates about their departments in order to build a business process diagram. They try and tell how they are doing well. Although in reality the real situation is far from ideal. But on the basis of false data, the wrong scheme will be built, after which ineffective decisions will be made and all work will be wasted.
Do not confuse the concepts of "as is", "as it should be" and "as I want it to be." No matter how bad everything may be, business processes are drawn up precisely in order to improve this state. Therefore, it is necessary to describe only the real situation.
Business process automation
Keeping track of all the events taking place inside the company is very difficult, especially when it comes to large corporations and syndicates. It’s hard to imagine a big business without a whole system of automated programs that allow you to analyze incoming data to make a decision. Therefore, today it is often a question of automating business processes.
In practice, this means that there is a special computer program that processes all kinds of information flows that provide a business process. The analysis of business processes takes place offline, and a person only gets acquainted with the results and makes an appropriate conclusion.
The choice of analysis method
Faced with the question of how best to describe business processes automatically, a domestic entrepreneur will find many options that are little optimized for the Russian market. Almost all of the proposed software was created for Western companies that have experience in optimizing production. But after analyzing some of the data, we created our list of programs with which the implementation of the business process is carried out.
- BEST-5 “My business” is software that often uses small and medium-sized businesses. The program is available for any computer and is very easy to use. Its advantage is that it can analyze small amounts of data from a small enterprise.
- Corporate Modeler. Often used in modern enterprises, mainly because it is inexpensive. Starting a business is easy to organize with this program, since it very conveniently builds business process diagrams, but practically does not analyze it.
- iGrafx Enterprise Central. Very good Canadian development. Able not only to recognize and draw up business plans, but also to successfully analyze arrays of input data. In our country it has a very small distribution, although the product is very worthy.
- Business Studio. The most famous Russian development. Integrated with other MS Office products (Word, Excel, Visio). For a domestic entrepreneur, this is the best choice in terms of price-result ratio. Perfectly analyzes the business process. Production can be successfully optimized thanks to the results obtained on the basis of the program.
Technology for building business processes
Most often today, there is an integration of the automatic and manual method for constructing the "Business Process" scheme. The analysis of business processes in this case is carried out in two stages: the first using the results obtained on a computer, the second manually by the manager.
Consider two main approaches to building graphs and charts. In this case, the technology of business processes will be built using the following methods:
- DFD (Data flow diagramming).
- WFD (Work Flow Diagram).
The first DFD method involves charting data flows. They include: detailing of the process, responsible employees, the necessary documentation. Such a construction gives a complete picture of the activities of the company, its surrounding input and output data, all elements of the production process and the relationships between them. This approach allows you to highlight free (unnecessary) business processes that reduce the effectiveness of the result and can be optimized in various ways.
WFDs are workflow diagrams that describe lower-level business processes. Business development can change significantly if you know not only the vertical hierarchy of actions, but also the horizontal. What does it mean?
If you look clearly, then WFD-diagrams are a grid of time frames, each column of which is responsible for a particular process. Suppose the delivery of goods lasts two days - the beginning and end of the process are marked on the graph. Then comes the event of the layout of the goods on the trading floor, and this process will only begin after the delivery is completed. Data is plotted sequentially on the graph. Events, operations, and actions may intertwine if performed simultaneously. It is convenient to begin business development in the early stages in this way, determining how much time is needed for the full production cycle.
For a small or large, new or old enterprise, you need an understanding of what a business process is. At any stage of a company's life cycle, production optimization can significantly affect further development. After all, the main goal of the existence of any organization today is to satisfy the needs of the consumer. And if the client is satisfied, he will make a profit. The dependence is directly proportional. The higher the level of consumer pleasure, the higher the profit of the company. And this can only be achieved by analyzing and subsequently changing the process within the enterprise.