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There’s no Better Time to Do Business Process Improvement than the Bad Time

What is Business Process Reengineering (BPR)

Business Process Reengineering is the FUNDAMENTAL rethinking and RADICAL redesign of business PROCESSES (Such as the process of receiving a sales order to billing the customer and receiving and payment) to bring about DRAMATIC improvements in critical, contemporary measures of performance, such as cost, quality, service and speed.

How to Know that you need BPR?

Does your company face the following problems?

  1. Most staffs are working very hard and long hour, but the profitability and output does not seem to match the effort.
  2. Need to perform overtimes and rush works that increase the cost of sale.
  3. Miscommunications occur frequently and important information were not passed to the relevant parties to follow up.
  4. Works were not followed up and sometimes, manufacturing materials were not purchased on time and collection of payment not done promptly.
  5. Take a long time to know the progress of the work when the customers ask.
  6. Do not know for sure the cost and profitability of works done.
  7. Not very sure of who is responsible for what task.

These are some of the symptoms of inefficient process that can be improved by BPR.

Why Now?

  1. One of the most important business actions during the bad time is to keep the overhead costs down.  Business Process Improvement helps company to streamline their business process, improve response to customers and reduce labor costs.  It has the direct effect of reducing the overhead cost and improves competitiveness.
  2. Many companies cut cost by retrenchment.  However, if the business process is not improved, the remaining employees will find it very difficult to carry out the increased workload.  Most companies that went through retrenchment had to recruit back the some quantity of employee, a few months later.
  3. Business Process Improvement is a time consuming process, during the better time, company will be busy carrying out business operations.  With the reduced workload during bad time, the cost of the disruption is minimized and staffs have more time to involve in Business Process Improvement.
  4. During this hard time, government is more generous in approving consulting grant.  It’s the best time to make use of the government assistance grant of up to 70% of the consulting cost.
  5. Business Process Improvement usually leads to employees who are less productive or less willing to change to leave the company.  At this bad time, the cost of losing employees is low and the replacement cost to employ new employee is also lower.

What is the Benefits of BPR

BPR brings about numerous benefits to companies and organization.  Some of the more obvious and common benefits are:

  1. Improve Efficiency e.g reduce time to market, provide quicker response to customers
  2. Increase Effectiveness e.g deliver higher quality
  3. Achieve Cost Saving in the longer run
  4. Provide more Meaningful work for employees
  5. Increase Flexibility and Adaptability to change
  6. Enable new business Growth

Some of the more famous success stories of BPR are IBM and Singapore National Library Board.  IBM was at the verge of failure about 10 years ago.  A major BPR project helped to turn the company around.  If you compare the Singapore National Library Board now with what it was 6 years ago, you can clearly see the drastic improvement in its operations.

What to be Aware of

The fruit of the BPR is significant.  However, if you decided to go ahead with this project, you should be fully aware of the following:

  1. Although it is a very effective tool to reduce operation costs, BPR can be a painful process.  Unless the company is willing to go through the pain, it should not start BPR.
  2. Top Management support is very important.  The top management must be personally involve and lead the project.  There will be resistance from some employees to carry out this project, without the clear and up front support of the top management; it will not be possible to make the project successful.
  3. Be prepared for attrition of staff.  If you are not ready to allow some less productive or less versatile staffs to leave, you cannot get the full benefits of the project.
  4. Be patience.  Once you start, you should not turn back.  The tangible and intangible cost of abandoning the project is very high.  BPR is a long term solution and not a short term fix.
  5. Start now and do not procrastinate.  Carry out the improvement process while you still can.  It takes time to obtain approval of government grant and carry out the project. When your situation gets worse, it will be too late to do anything.

With determination and strong focus, Business Process Improvement can bring about very significant improvement over the company’s bottom-line.


Link to BPR Slides

Link to Business Process Reengineering Service Provided

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