Business Process Reengineering and Refocus for Major Enterprises

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At some time or another, most companies will likely experience a point in their development when business process management (BPM) will need to be adjusted in order to support growth, mitigate a challenge or respond to market trends. Exploring how multinational corporations such as Apple and Hewlett-Packard have handled such challenges can offer insight for managers looking to apply best practices to the unique situations facing their own organizations.

Business Process Reengineering and Refocus for Major EnterprisesBy minimizing the number of external factors that can affect production – while simultaneously strengthening the relationship between customer service data and research and development practices – Apple has been able to reengineer its business processes in order to own more of the market. In addition, Apple has allowed innovation to govern the direction of supporting processes. That has helped it stay ahead of market trends and respond effectively to internal and external feedback.

A hallmark of Apple’s success is its ability to provide products and services that stay true to what drew its customers in the first place. Once you have the strategies down in your arena, they can be used again and again; in fact, they become an effective part of your corporate culture.

For instance, when Apple was looking to improve performance in the personal computer market in the early 2000s the company took several steps that led to increased market share. Some of the BPM processes implemented by Apple are applicable across industries, including:

  • Streamline what you do well and do it better than anyone else

  • Stay true to your corporate mission statement and design integrity

  • Consolidate resources and outsource when necessary or appropriate

  • Pare down inventory spending

  • Create strong partnerships

  • Implement increased marketing and branding strategy

  • Improve communication across all sectors of the company

  • Lead with innovation

Creating a Team of BPM Leaders

Creating a Team of BPM LeadersUtilizing business process management strategies includes exercising strong leadership to understand the short-term and long-range goals needed to support sustainable growth. It means having an educated team of individuals on your project who understand a common language. They must also have what it takes to work together to change corporate culture and supply chain processes in order to drive innovation-centered goals.

When looking to build a solid team of BPM leaders it’s important to ensure that each member’s skills, education and experience cover a core of capabilities, including:

  • Business process management theory and principles

  • System analysis and process mapping

  • Design modeling and analysis

  • Enterprise process management

  • Process innovation and value analysis

  • Managing a process-centric organization

  • Managing human change and shifting corporate culture

Building efficient teams takes time and foresight but top companies understand the Return on Investment potential when investing in the best team possible.

For effective business process management, teams need to have the confidence to confront problems head-on before the issues negatively affect the company’s long-term growth potential. Strong communication, top-end support and ongoing professional development are standard components of a strong operating infrastructure found in highly successful companies.

Redefining Customer Support

In today’s increasingly global marketplace, customer service is more important than ever before. With the ubiquitous use of social media, consumers can – and do – post immediate feedback on products and services, for better and for worse. Companies that embrace the potential of social media and its role in building brand recognition and strong consumer relations have learned effective ways to respond to constructive feedback.

In 2011, Hewlett-Packard rolled out a new customer support strategy for its Technology Services operations. According to the company’s website, the aim was to offer “tightly integrated, end-to-end support with a single point of contact that best serves you, the customer, and on your terms.”

Among the effective changes to HP’s customer support were:

  • Increased flexibility in customer support troubleshooting – keyword and product search, an instant troubleshooting tool and an easily accessible cache of popular support documents

  • Mobile device-friendly support apps

  • Technology support for the entire system

  • Live chat with HP experts

In order to bring about the necessary change, business process remediation was required, including ongoing adjustments to create a more responsive and user-friendly approach to customer service. Investing in the time and knowledge needed to bring about top-down and bottom-up infrastructure change takes strategic planning.

In the process of implementing stronger customer support for existing products, HP also created better communication with customers to introduce them to products, features and services. As the company’s website noted: “HP’s customer services is set apart by the choices we offer our customers—and we’re going to continue to deliver more choices that give you greater access to the support you need to keep your technology running.”

In this age of mobile devices and social media, keeping customers engaged is a vital component for companies that hope to ensure repeat sales, and attract strong feedback ratings and word-of-mouth referrals. Adding effective infrastructure through BPM solutions helps to create momentum toward meeting aggressive profit goals and increasing brand recognition.

However, any solution implemented needs to be flexible. If a process isn’t working or is no longer needed, it is important that the response time to fix it is manageable. Today’s consumer expects fast results and businesses must respond to this expectation or face negative consequences.

Whether you manage large or small assets within your organization, improving business process management applications can be a powerful tool in responding to current market trends. BPM can provide a pathway to the positive goals, innovative action and infrastructure necessary to support sustainable growth over the coming decades.

Author: Dean Vella

Dean Vella writes about business process management and workflow solutions for University Alliance.

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COMMENTS

zarfman posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 4:07 PM

Greeings:

Hewlett-Packard says it suffered an $8.9 billion loss during its most recent quarter as the for an acquisition that hasn't panned out the way management envisioned.

Easy to theorize about BPM, not so easy to manage in the real world. Moreover, revenues are down, PC business is soft. How does HP BPM their way out of that? Even Dell is suffering.

Zarfman

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