Critical business processes are the backbone of any organization. These processes are crucial as they actively aid in achieving the organization’s targeted goals. Their performance’s effectiveness and productivity significantly influence the enterprise’s thriving.
Grasping the significance of your organization’s critical business processes is the starting point of excellence in business processes. Flokzu profoundly understands the importance of identifying and managing these critical processes. We assist enterprises in fortifying their foundations and fueling growth. Together, let’s unlock your business’s potential.
What is a Business Process?
- 1 What is a Business Process?
- 2 Why are Business Processes so Important?
- 3 Business Process Formalization
- 4 Key Components of a Business Process
- 5 Simple Business Process Example
- 6 Types of Business Processes
- 7 Business process management (BPM)
- 8 How to Improve Your Business Processes with Flokzu?
- 9 Conclusion
- 10 FAQs
A business process is a series of structured and coordinated activities or tasks that an organization performs to achieve a specific goal, produce a product, or provide a service. It involves various steps, resources, and people working together in an organized manner to ensure the efficient functioning of the organization and to create value for customers or stakeholders.
A business process is not limited to the organization itself; it can and often does involve communication and interaction with other companies, suppliers, customers, partners, and other external stakeholders. Collaborative business processes are essential for maintaining strong relationships, coordinating activities, and ensuring seamless transactions or information exchanges between different parties. This interconnectedness helps organizations optimize their operations, reduce costs, and better serve their customers or clients.
In this context, it is clear that a process in business can integrate several software systems. In fact, integrating multiple software systems is often essential for efficient and streamlined business processes. By connecting different software systems, organizations can automate tasks, share data, and coordinate activities across various departments, teams, or with other companies, ultimately enhancing overall productivity and effectiveness.
Why are Business Processes so Important?
Business processes help manage and structure the way work is done, allocate resources, coordinate people and teams, and ensure that products or services are delivered effectively and efficiently.
It is virtually impossible for a company to run without business processes, as they are the foundation for organizing and executing activities needed to achieve a company’s goals.
Without business processes in place, a company would face chaos, disorganization, and inefficiency, making it difficult to achieve desired outcomes or maintain a competitive advantage.
Business Process Formalization
While it is best practice for organizations to formalize and document their business processes, not all processes are always documented, especially in smaller organizations or startups. Informal processes may exist when organizations rely on unwritten practices, routines, or shared understanding among employees to carry out their activities.
However, informal processes can create challenges as the organization grows or experiences staff turnover. Lack of documentation and formalization can lead to inconsistencies, inefficiencies, and miscommunication, making it difficult to maintain quality and control over operations.
Formalizing and documenting business processes offers several benefits, including:
- Clear understanding: Documented processes provide employees with a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities, ensuring that tasks are performed consistently and correctly.
- Training and onboarding: Formalized processes make it easier to train new employees and bring them up to speed on the organization’s standard operating procedures.
- Process improvement: Documenting processes allows organizations to identify inefficiencies or bottlenecks and make data-driven decisions to optimize their operations.
- Compliance: Formalized processes help organizations meet regulatory requirements, maintain quality standards, and ensure adherence to industry best practices.
- Scalability: Documented processes support organizational growth by providing a solid foundation for expanding operations and integrating new team members.
In summary, while business processes may not always be formalized and documented, doing so is highly recommended to ensure consistency, efficiency, and scalability as the organization grows.
Key Components of a Business Process
The key components of a process in business help define, structure, and execute the activities required to achieve a specific goal. These components include:
- Process Inputs: These are the resources, information, or materials needed to initiate and carry out the process. Inputs can be tangible (e.g., raw materials, equipment) or intangible (e.g., data, knowledge).
- Process Outputs: The results or deliverables produced by the process. Outputs can be products, services, documents, or information that serve as the basis for other processes or are delivered to customers or stakeholders.
- Activities or Tasks: The individual steps or actions performed within the process to transform inputs into outputs. Activities can be manual or automated and often involve decision-making, problem-solving, or collaboration.
- Process Flow: The sequence and interdependencies of the activities, defining the order in which they should be executed and how they relate to each other.
- Roles and Responsibilities: The people, teams, or departments responsible for executing various activities within the process. Clearly defined roles and responsibilities help ensure accountability and efficient task allocation.
- Rules and Policies: The guidelines, procedures, or standards that govern how activities should be performed. These can originate from organizational guidelines, sector-specific recommended approaches or mandated regulations.
- Performance Metrics: Quantitative or qualitative measures used to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the process. Metrics help organizations monitor progress, identify areas for improvement, and track the success of process improvement initiatives.
- Process Controls: The mechanisms in place to ensure the process is executed correctly and consistently, such as quality checks, approvals, or audits.
Simple Business Process Example
Let’s examine a basic business procedure within a typical organization that offers products through online sales, known as the “Order Fulfillment Process,” which involves the following stages:
- A customer places an order on the company’s website.
- The order information is recorded in the order management system.
- The warehouse team receives a notification of the new order.
- Warehouse staff pick the ordered items from inventory and package them.
- The packaged order is handed over to a shipping partner.
- The shipping partner delivers the order to the customer.
- The customer receives the package, and the order is marked as complete.
This example demonstrates a series of coordinated tasks that involve multiple teams (e-commerce, warehouse, and shipping) and systems (order management and inventory) working together to achieve a specific goal: delivering the product to the customer.
Types of Business Processes
We can make different classifications of business processes using different criteria. One of the most useful is to classify Business processes into three main types, based on their purpose and the area of the organization they impact:
- Core Processes: These are the primary processes that directly contribute to the organization’s value proposition and form the basis of its competitive advantage.
- Support Processes: Support processes enable and facilitate the smooth functioning of core processes by providing necessary resources, infrastructure, and services.
- Management Processes: Management processes involve planning, monitoring, and controlling organizational activities to ensure strategic alignment and operational efficiency.
Core processes are instrumental in enhancing an organization’s value offering, which is crucial in providing products or services to clientele. These processes define the organization’s primary competencies and are the foundation of its competitive advantage in the market. Core processes are typically unique to each business and reflect its mission, objectives, and industry-specific requirements.
Efficient and effective core processes allow organizations to create value for their customers, maintain a competitive edge, and achieve growth and profitability. They generally involve key operations such as product development, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and customer service.
Example: A pharmaceutical company’s core processes
For a pharmaceutical company, core processes are essential for discovering, developing, manufacturing, and distributing drugs to patients. Here’s a breakdown of some core processes in this context:
- Research and Development (R&D): The company conducts research to identify new drug candidates and carries out preclinical testing to evaluate their safety and effectiveness.
- Clinical Trials: If a drug candidate passes preclinical testing, the company moves forward with clinical trials, testing the drug on human subjects to assess its safety, efficacy, and optimal dosage.
- Regulatory Approval: The company submits the necessary documentation to regulatory authorities (such as the FDA in the United States) to seek approval for marketing and selling the drug.
- Manufacturing: Once a drug is approved, the company begins large-scale manufacturing while maintaining strict quality control and safety standards.
- Distribution: The company distributes the drugs to healthcare providers, pharmacies, and other distribution channels, ensuring that the medications reach the patients who need them.
- Marketing and Sales: The company markets its products to healthcare professionals and patients, creating awareness and driving demand for the medications.
In this example, the core processes of the pharmaceutical company directly contribute to its primary mission: discovering, developing, and delivering life-saving medications to patients. These processes are central to the company’s success and set it apart from competitors.
Support processes are activities that indirectly contribute to an organization’s value proposition by facilitating the smooth functioning of core processes. These processes provide the necessary resources, infrastructure, and services to enable the organization to operate efficiently and effectively. Support processes generally do not have a direct impact on product or service delivery, but they play a crucial role in maintaining overall organizational performance.
Support processes tend to be more standardized across organizations and industries, as they often involve common functions such as human resources management, IT support, procurement, and accounting. They ensure that the organization has the right people, tools, and systems in place to carry out its core processes.
Example: HR Management in a software company
In a software development company, the core processes involve activities such as product design, coding, testing, and deployment. While HR management is not directly involved in creating software products, it plays a vital support role in the company’s success. Here’s a breakdown of some HR management support processes in this context:
- Recruitment: The HR department identifies job openings, creates job descriptions, and advertises the positions to attract suitable candidates. They screen applications, conduct interviews, and choose the most suitable individuals to occupy vacant roles within the company.
- Onboarding: Once new employees are hired, the HR team facilitates their onboarding by providing orientation and training, ensuring they have the necessary tools and resources, and integrating them into the company culture.
- Performance Management: HR oversees performance management by setting goals, conducting performance evaluations, providing feedback, and identifying areas for improvement or growth for employees.
- Training and Development: The HR department identifies skill gaps and organizes training and development programs to help employees enhance their skills, stay updated with industry trends, and grow within the company.
- Compensation and Benefits: The HR department oversees the assembly and administration of employee remuneration arrangements, encompassing wages, rewards, and perks while guaranteeing their competitiveness and compliance with established industry benchmarks.
- Employee Relations: The HR team fosters a positive work environment by addressing employee concerns, mediating conflicts, and promoting a healthy company culture.
In this example, the support processes carried out by the HR department are essential for the software development company to attract, retain, and develop skilled employees, enabling the company to effectively execute its core processes and deliver high-quality software products.
Management processes involve the planning, monitoring, and controlling of organizational activities to ensure strategic alignment, operational efficiency, and the achievement of business objectives. These processes help organizations to set and maintain a clear direction, allocate resources effectively, and oversee the performance of core and support processes. Administration procedures typically include devising strategies, overseeing performance, ensuring quality control, and managing potential risks.
While management processes may vary across organizations and industries, their primary function is to provide oversight and guidance, enabling organizations to adapt to changing conditions, maintain competitiveness, and achieve sustainable growth.
Example: Strategic Planning in a Retail Company
For a retail company, strategic planning is a crucial management process that helps to set the organization’s direction, align its resources, and ensure long-term success. Here’s a breakdown of some steps involved in the strategic planning process for a retail company:
- Environmental Scanning: The company analyzes the external environment, including market trends, customer preferences, and competitor activities, as well as the internal environment, such as organizational capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses.
- Vision and Mission: Based on the analysis, the company defines or revisits its vision (long-term aspirations) and mission (purpose and reason for existence) to guide decision-making and goal-setting.
- Goal Setting: The enterprise establishes explicit, quantifiable, attainable, pertinent, and time-limited (SMART) objectives corresponding to its vision and mission. Business processes examples include augmenting income, broadening to additional regions, or improving client contentment.
- Strategy Formulation: The company develops strategies to achieve its goals, considering factors such as market positioning, product mix, pricing, and promotional activities.
- Resource Allocation: The company apportions various resources, including monetary, workforce, and technological capabilities, to reinforce selected approaches and guarantee their effective execution.
- Implementation: The company executes the strategies, translating them into actionable tasks and initiatives across various departments, and aligning core and support processes with the strategic plan.
- Monitoring and Evaluation: The company continuously monitors the progress toward its goals, evaluates the effectiveness of its strategies, and adjusts its plans as needed to account for changing conditions or unforeseen challenges.
In this example, the strategic planning process serves as a management process that ensures the retail company is making informed decisions, effectively deploying its resources, and adapting to a dynamic business environment. This process helps the company stay focused on its long-term objectives while effectively managing its core and support processes.
Business process management (BPM)
Business Process Management (BPM) refers to a structured methodology dedicated to the creation, examination, execution, observation, and enhancement of organizational operations and workflows. The primary goal of BPM is to enhance the efficiency, effectiveness, adaptability, and control of business processes to create value for customers, stakeholders, and the organization itself.
BPM involves various methods, tools, and techniques to identify, model, optimize, and monitor business processes. It focuses on aligning processes with organizational goals, reducing inefficiencies, managing risks, and ensuring continuous improvement.
Key aspects of Business Process Management include:
- Process Discovery: Identifying and mapping the organization’s existing processes to gain a clear understanding of how work is currently being done.
- Process Analysis: Evaluating the performance of existing processes by identifying bottlenecks, inefficiencies, or redundancies that can be addressed to improve overall effectiveness.
- Process Design: Developing new or improved processes, using best practices, and incorporating feedback from stakeholders to ensure alignment with organizational goals and objectives. The current worldwide standard for process modeling is BPMN.
- Process Automation: Leveraging business process technology solutions, such as BPM software or robotic process automation (RPA), to automate repetitive or manual tasks, streamline workflows, and reduce human error.
- Process Monitoring: Continuously tracking and measuring process performance using key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure the processes are achieving their intended outcomes.
- Process Improvement: Analyzing process performance data and identifying opportunities for optimization, making adjustments, and implementing changes to drive continuous improvement.
A business management process is an ongoing practice that fosters a culture of continuous improvement, innovation, and agility within an organization, allowing it to adapt to changing business environments and maintain a competitive advantage in the market. Read more in this specific article.
How to Improve Your Business Processes with Flokzu?
Flokzu Cloud BPM is a no-code, cloud-based, Business Process Management (BPM) Suite that will help you streamline, automate, and manage your business processes. By leveraging Flokzu Cloud BPM, you can improve your business processes in several ways:
- Process Modeling: Flokzu provides an intuitive drag-and-drop interface for designing and modeling your business processes using the Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) standard. This helps you visualize the process flow, identify inefficiencies or bottlenecks, and create optimized process models.
- Workflow Automation: With Flokzu, you can automate your business processes by setting up rules, conditions, and actions, such as automatic task assignments, notifications, and deadlines. This reduces manual work, increases efficiency, and minimizes errors.
- Centralized Process Management: Flokzu offers a centralized platform for managing and executing your business processes, allowing you to track progress, monitor performance, and ensure consistency across the organization.
- Collaboration and Communication: Flokzu facilitates team collaboration and communication by providing a shared workspace where stakeholders can interact, share documents, and provide feedback. This improves process visibility and coordination among team members.
- Custom Forms and Fields: Flokzu allows you to create custom forms with various field types to collect and store process-related information. This helps standardize data collection and makes it easier to analyze and use the information for decision-making.
- Integration: Flokzu can be integrated with other software systems and tools, such as CRMs, ERPs, or file storage services, to ensure seamless data exchange and enhance process efficiency. Flokzu supports standard Web Services, as well as Zapier and Webhooks.
- Reporting and Analytics: Flokzu provides integrated reporting and analytical capabilities, empowering you to observe critical success factors (CSFs), evaluate process efficiency, and pinpoint opportunities for enhancements. It also can be integrated with external BI tools such as Microsoft Power Reports.
- Access Control and Security: Flokzu provides role-based access control and security features, ensuring that sensitive information is protected, and process-related tasks are accessible only to authorized users.
Using Flokzu Cloud BPM no-code features, organizations can optimize their business processes, improve efficiency, increase agility, and foster a culture of continuous improvement in a very short time, without involving IT roles or software developers.
The relevance of a Proof of Concepts (PoCs)
Flokzu’s no-code capabilities make Proof of Concepts (PoCs) even more useful and accessible for assessing the feasibility, viability, and effectiveness of proposed solutions or ideas.
By utilizing Flokzu’s intuitive no-code platform, you can quickly design, implement, and test PoCs without the need for extensive technical expertise. This accelerates decision-making, helps reduce risks and costs, and fosters learning and improvement. Additionally, it aids in securing stakeholder buy-in and evaluating scalability for full-scale implementation.
Flokzu’s no-code approach ensures meaningful PoC results without consuming excessive resources, empowering your organization to innovate and optimize processes efficiently. Let’s get deeper on this topic…
No-code capabilities in process management
No-code and low-code capabilities are relevant when automating processes because they enable a wider range of individuals, including those without extensive technical expertise, to design, implement, and manage automated workflows. This democratization of process automation offers several benefits:
- Faster Development: No-code platforms allow users to create automated processes quickly using visual interfaces, reducing the time and effort required for business process development and deployment.
- Lower Costs: By minimizing the need for specialized developers or extensive custom coding, no-code solutions can significantly reduce the costs associated with process automation.
- Increased Agility: No-code capabilities enable organizations to respond more quickly to changing business needs, as non-technical users can easily modify and adapt automated processes without relying on IT support.
- Collaboration and Innovation: By making process automation accessible to a broader range of stakeholders, no-code solutions can foster greater collaboration and innovation across the organization.
- Empowering Business Users: No-code platforms give business users more control over their processes, allowing them to directly implement improvements and respond to operational challenges.
- Enhanced Scalability: No-code solutions often come with built-in scalability features, making it easier to expand or modify automated processes as the organization grows or requirements change.
- Reduced Risk: No-code platforms often include pre-built templates, components, and best practices, reducing the likelihood of errors, security vulnerabilities, or performance issues.
Efficiently administering and enhancing business operations is crucial for an enterprise’s triumph in the current competitive environment. By understanding business process, organizations can develop well-structured and efficient workflows that align with their strategic objectives and drive operational excellence.
We deliberated on the significance of BPM as a systematic strategy for developing, scrutinizing, executing, supervising, and enhancing commercial operations. BPM focuses on aligning processes with organizational goals, reducing inefficiencies, managing risks, and ensuring continuous improvement. Tools like Flokzu Cloud BPM can help organizations streamline, automate, and manage their processes more effectively.
Proof of Concepts (PoCs) and no-code capabilities play a significant role in enhancing the organization’s ability to innovate, optimize, and scale its operations. PoCs provide a practical way to test and validate the feasibility, viability, and effectiveness of proposed solutions, while no-code platforms democratize process automation, making it accessible to a wider range of individuals.
Incorporating these tools and methodologies into the management of business processes can lead to reduced risks, lower costs, faster decision-making, stakeholder buy-in, and a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Ultimately, organizations that prioritize the management and optimization of their business processes will be better positioned to adapt to changing business environments, maintain a competitive advantage, and drive long-term success.
What are business processes with examples?
Business processes are structured tasks and activities to achieve a specific business outcome. They function as the guiding blueprints for the execution of tasks within an organization. For instance, a hiring process is a business process example that includes posting a job, screening applicants, conducting interviews, and onboarding new employees. Other examples of business processes are the customer service process, encompassing complaint receipt, problem identification, resolution, and follow-up. These examples highlight the importance of business processes in attaining organizational goals.
What are key business processes?
Critical business processes are the vital and structured series of activities or tasks a company performs to achieve specific objectives or goals. These are essential for developing, managing, and growing a successful business. Key business processes encompass various aspects of a company, including creating processes that analyze and streamline workflow, enhance customer satisfaction, improve product or service quality, and maximize operational efficiency. Businesses can ensure their overall performance, competitiveness, and long-term sustainability by effectively identifying and optimizing these crucial processes.
How do you identify business processes?
Identifying business processes begins with understanding the business’s primary processes – the core activities that deliver value to the customer. These may include manufacturing, marketing, or customer service. Start by mapping these primary processes, defining each step from inception to completion. Look at how tasks are completed, who does what, and how these activities connect. Then, analyze these maps for efficiency and effectiveness, as business process management focuses on improving these areas end-to-end.
What do you mean by business process?
A business procedure encompasses a series of organized, interconnected actions or duties executed by individuals or systems to achieve a particular organizational objective. The fundamental processes are crucial, central functions that play a direct role in producing and providing products and services. Primary processes definition encompasses the flow of materials, information, and decisions, which helps organizations operate efficiently and effectively. Business process design involves analyzing, modeling, and improving existing processes or creating new ones to achieve better performance, reduce costs, and enhance customer satisfaction.