What is Business Process Improvement?

Business Improvement Process

What is Business Process Improvement?

Business Process Improvement (BPI) is a way for businesses to evaluate and improve their business approach via various different methodologies and techniques.

Techniques include six sigma tools, simulation methods, process mapping, and other methods that we’ll explore in this article. Read on to learn about these tools, as well as the benefits of BPI and how it works. 

Understanding - What is Business Process Improvement?

So, you may be wondering, what is Business Process Improvement? In essence, BPI is a type of management exercise meant to look in detail. It examines what a business is currently doing to succeed and grow. This drastic change gets to the root of any issues to transform them into business value.

This may include analysing data that shows how operations are working on large and small scales. It may also include analysing how individual employees or company members are performing in their roles. These each affect the larger picture. 

The Purpose of Business Process Improvement

Some of the main goals of Business Process Improvement include:

  • Improving business accuracy
  • Increasing business efficiency
  • Improving the effectiveness of the business processes
  • Ultimately replanning the business processes to implement the improvements
  • Reducing company waste (including wasted time and funds)

And a lot of the time, meeting these goals, in turn, creates a better relationship with the company’s customers. The aim is to improve these areas so that the business can meet customer or industry demands. Further, they can adhere to regulations that may be quickly changing. 

Different BPI Methodologies

When we ask ourselves, what is Business Process Improvement?, it’s important to understand the methods it consists of.

Enterprise leaders will use various techniques to get to the root of any issues in their business processes. These include data analysis, cost assessments, waste elimination, and various other multi-step methodologies. We will explain in detail below.

Six Sigma

Businesses use Six Sigma tools to help satisfy customers in the end. This method of BPI does so by reducing overall defects in the processes. 

There are a couple of different Six Sigma tools; namely, there are DMADV and DMAIC. Each of these acronyms represents a multi-step method. They work to analyse, design, and improve the company’s processes.

DMADV – The point of DMADV is to create a high-quality product that pleases the customer(s). It works by doing the following:

  • Defining – defining the goals of the project and the customer’s needs
  • Measuring – collecting and recording data regarding what the customer sees as a quality product (by using a CTQ – Critical to Quality Tree)
  • Analysing – determining what’s necessary to design the quality product
  • Designing – designing and documenting the manufacturing in detail
  • Verifying – verifying the customer’s needs and presenting the newly outlined process 

DMAIC – The point of DMAIC is to identify and solve problems. It works by:

  • Defining – defining the problem
  • Measuring – measuring CTQ and data
  • Analysing – analysing data with GAP analysis (finding the cause of the problem to understand the gap between the current and future state of the business)
  • Improving – testing a solution to the problem that is cost-effective and beneficial
  • Controlling – put into effect the solutions that worked in the test

Learn more about Six Sigma here.

Process Mapping

Process mapping is a process of improving data analysis via diagram tools like flow charts, value stream mapping, and BPMN. BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation) is a specific flow chart that maps all of the steps in a business process. It maps the company’s activities in detail. 

Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing, as it suggests, is to slim down the company’s process in a sense. It does this by working to eliminate waste of inventory, defects, overproduction, transport, motion, waiting, and over-processing. 

One specific type of lean tool is PDCA (plan, do, check, act). It’s a problem-solving method aimed to reduce waste in the most efficient ways possible. 

SIPOC

In BPI, SIPOC Analysis stands for Suppliers, Inputs, Processes, Outputs, and Customers. It’s a type of diagram used to document business processes and problem solve them. 

You use this technique to identify the specific suppliers of processes and the steps they take from start to finish. This technique basically aims to understand how the processes currently work and who the customers are.

DRIVE 

The DRIVE technique involves:

  • Defining
  • Reviewing
  • Verifying
  • Executing

DRIVE is another problem-solving process aimed to create a plan, as well as analyse and review data. You verify the plan’s effectiveness and follow through before gathering feedback.

This detailed method is good for businesses who want to create and implement a solution based on real data.

Total Quality Management (TQM)

Total Quality Management is a systematic goal-achieving solution for a company. In this method, the employees of a company work together as a team. 

As the plan ensues, the company monitors the customers’ satisfaction with the quality of products.

Simulation Techniques

There are several different simulation techniques. Each is for testing improvement plans on a budget and with little risk involved.

The company simulates a certain operation or company process. This might work with a software or other method. The insights gained from simulations help companies see where improvements must happen.

Benefits of Business Process Improvement

The main benefits of business process improvement include:

  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Improved company systems and processes
  • Integration of new or improved technology
  • Lessened risk for errors and waste
  • Productivity on both individual and company-wide levels
  • Ability to meet industry regulations and rules (compliance)

Overall, the aim of BPI is to improve a company’s overall operation, from the drawing board to the customer. If they meet all goals, they should satisfy customers. And this can optimise money, time, and resources.

Conclusion

Many people wonder what is Business Process Improvement and how it works. BPI (Business Process Improvement) is a forward-thinking set of approaches to improving the operations of a company. Owing to techniques like Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma methods, process simulations, and more, companies use BPI to reduce errors/waste and optimise their customers’ satisfaction. 

These techniques involve defining goals, analysing and measuring data, testing improvements to solve problems, and evaluating the customer’s needs. Benefits include not only the above-mentioned ones, but also the potential for a company to improve as a team and learn to be efficient and successful.

Interested in how business process improvement can help your business?

Our lean programme has run for over 18 years helping over 650 companies accross many sectors. It has identified £65 million in business savings and improvements since its conception. You could also attract funding of up to 95% of the costs.

Find out more by following the link below.

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Do you want us to take care of your fire compliance? H&S compliance? ISO certification? training? human resources?

At RKMS we are determined to make a business run as efficiently as possible. Will that next business be yours?

John Keen
Apart from work John enjoys sports (football, karate & walking) as well as travel & spending time with friends & grandchildren.

Do you want us to take care of your fire compliance? H&S compliance? ISO certification? training? human resources?

At RKMS we are determined to make a business run as efficiently as possible. Will that next business be yours?

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