From interpretative chaos to repeatable efficiency — how business process maps can fix your operational issues
We all have routines and patterns in our life that help us get through — perhaps it’s your morning ritual, which sees you wake up, and then turn on the kettle for your cup of coffee before making your breakfast. To do the reverse would be madness for you! We all have our reasons for doing things in a certain order, normally relating to what is important to us at that moment, and what our own priorities are. Chances are, your routine looks a little different to your colleagues.
What does this have to do with business process mapping? Well just as you have routines that work well for you, you should have routines and processes that work well for your company.
Take for example a company who uses a sales agent network to register new customers. Do you register their details first and then immediately do a credit check, or do you want to first check their financial background before bothering to register them? When do they make their down payment on your product? At which stage should they receive a SMS notification of their purchase?
Each of these questions provides a decision opportunity for your company. Multiply this by the many interactions between customers, staff, and applications, and you start to see the operational complexity inherent in operating in emerging markets, what with its multiple customer touch points. As your company grows and matures, the most effective way of operating should become clearer. How then to ensure this process is followed throughout the chain, and to ensure your technology is best supporting those steps?
Over the years Enable has been supporting emerging market ventures to develop and enhance their digital technology solutions, we have found one of the most powerful tools at our disposal is the Business Process Map. This model seeks to map out the interactions the users (and actors) have with each other, and with the different software applications. This mapping allows you to then identify exactly what your staff should be doing at each step, and provides your tech team the feedback they need to develop the solutions that effectively support the business needs.
It is also an incredibly powerful way to drive operational efficiencies throughout your value chain. The most effective mapping seeks to tie together the plans concocted in the head office to the operational realities on the ground, and with them you can see where processes can be improved.
The framework Enable have found most effective for our clients has been the Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN). Here’s an example of this framework in real-life:
These maps can also be easily transformed into effective training tools, which is vital for when you are trying to scale your company rapidly. By ensuring your staff are all following the same processes, you reduce the risk of erroneous steps being followed, in turn reducing the need for costly support calls and lost sales.
During our technology assessment and data audit projects, we take the time to explore the processes being followed by your company, and try to understand the rationale behind them. We then compare that to how the technology is (or isn’t) supporting those processes, and provide actionable recommendations on how to get that match even better — be it through helping you to remodel your processes to make more effective use of the existing tech, or by finding new software that better fits your needs. Get in touch with us at email@example.com or through our website if you want to find out how to apply these models to your organisation.