What Are Processes?

The meaning of ‘process’ can vary from one organisation to another – or even within the same organisation.

Sometimes teams talk about their ‘manufacturing process’. By this they may mean what goes on within their factory between ‘goods inward’ and finished stock being booked into the warehouse. 

Within other companies, people may talk about their “order fulfilment process” or their “invoicing process.”  Generally such ‘processes’ operate within one functional area; manufacturing, despatch, accounting etc.

For yet other organisations processes means business processes. Business processes tend to extend across several functions.

Business processes are viable organisational units:-

  • In the strategic dimension, the purpose of business processes is to achieve business objectives and stakeholder expectations.
  • In the operational dimension, business processes logically or physically integrate value creation activities, which either exist or need to be created within the organisation or are sourced from outside the organisation.

There is scope to innovate and improve both processes and business processes.

What Is Process Innovation?

Here, we use the term process innovation to refer to a wide range of change and innovation activities that an organisation may choose to undertake. At one extreme these would include process improvement type activities which are small in scale. A work group or functional team might undertake a process improvement activity to bring about incremental improvements to an aspect of the process for which they are responsible e.g. reducing waste in a manufacturing environment by adjusting machine settings.

At the other extreme there are far more radical process innovations which will have a much greater impact on the organisation. These would include business process redesign and re-engineering type activities.

Process innovation is about implementing new or significantly improved methods of production or delivery. As such, process innovation can be undertaken in both manufacturing and service industries.

An early example of a process innovation was Henry Ford’s development of the production line to make cars.

Business Process Orientation.

Business process orientation allows organisations to link strategy with day to day operations.

The latest thinking on business process orientation seeks to manage the business by both processes and functions.

By contrast, business process re-engineering tends to advocate managing the business by process rather than function. 

Through a business process orientation there is an opportunity to define and implement radical change focused on the organisations’ processes. This should achieve a breakthrough in business performance.

The concept behind business process orientation is that there are interdependencies between an organisations’ strategic direction and the implementation of a business process change.

The organisation’s board and senior managers, based upon their understanding of their industry, establish a broad strategic direction and from this derive business objectives for the organisation to achieve. The achievement of these objectives depends upon external and internal stakeholder groups.

These stakeholder groups have expectations of the organisation, which if unfulfilled or unmanaged could lead to the stakeholder frustrating the organisation from achieving its objectives. Therefore, business processes must be designed to satisfy stakeholder expectations.

Business Process Re-Engineering

At the core of most business process re-engineering projects there is a team analysing and mapping the current processes within an organisation. The team will then envision the future state and develop new processes that can deliver it.

To support the business process re-engineering there may be a need for change projects, cost benefit analyses, piloting of the new processes and internal communication about the project.

Process Innovation: Business Benefits

Process innovations can deliver a wide range of benefits:-

  • Cost reduction
  • Improved customer service
  • Strengthened competitive advantage
  • Quality improvement
  • Improved sustainability and the addressing of  environmental concerns
  • Increased employee job satisfaction

Why Choose Anatellô To Help With Process Innovation?

Anatellô has the expertise and methodologies to help you with process innovation and business process re-engineering. This will ensure that your programme delivers real improvements and benefits to your business.

The services that Anatellô offers in this area split into the following areas

  1. Ad hoc Process Innovation Projects

    We have worked with many organisations to achieve simplification, cost reduction and to develop competitive advantage through process innovation.

  2. Larger Scale Business Process Re-design Projects.

    Anatellô can design programmes to help you address particular process innovation and business process orientation issues. Our programmes may include some of the following.

  • Process mapping
  • Analysis of stakeholder expectations
  • Process re-design
  • TRIZ  techniques for problem definition and systematic problem-solving
  • Change management and identifying innovation training needs
  • Creative problem solving