A business process can be defined as a collection of related, structured activities or tasks that produce a specific service or product for a particular customer or type of customers. There are three types of business processes:
The processes that govern the operation of a business. Typical management processes include “corporate governance” and “strategic management”.
The processes that constitute the core business and create the primary value stream. Typical operational processes are procurement, manufacturing, marketing and sales.
The processes which support the core processes of the company. Typical examples are accounting, recruitment and technical support.
A business process begins with a customer’s need and ends with a customer’s need fulfillment. Process oriented organisations break down the barriers of structural departments and try to avoid so-called functional silos. A functional silo exists when the business processes of a functional unit within the division of labor of an organisation focus inwardly on their functional objectives.
This becomes problematic when the direction of focus creates barriers that do not serve a reasonable business purpose and negatively impacts the unit’s ability to serve their role in the broader mission of the organisation.
A business process can be decomposed into several sub-processes which have their own attributes, but which also contribute to achieving the goal of the super-process. The analysis of business processes typically includes the mapping of processes and sub-processes down to activity level.
Business processes are designed to add value for the customer and should not include unnecessary activities. The outcome of a well-designed business process is increased effectiveness (i.e. value for the customer) and increased efficiency (i.e. less costs for the company).
Business process re-engineering aims for improvements by means of elevating efficiency and effectiveness of the business processes that exist within and across the organisation. Rather than organising a firm into functional specialties (e.g. production, accounting, marketing, etc.) and considering the tasks that each function performs, business process re-engineering focuses on re-designing the end-to-end business process as a whole in order to achieve the greatest possible benefit to the organisation (i.e. minimal costs) and its customers (i.e. maximum value).
Independent Business Group (IBG) comprises extensive in-house experience in business process analysis at the functional as well as the corporate level and has several references in such roles. The same holds for business process re-engineering tasks and the associated implementation of new processes within organisations.