Business Process Redesign

Business Process Redesign

Article by:
William Dorn,
Director Operations, Source One Management Services, LLC


Business Process Redesign

What is process redesign?

Business Process Redesign is "the analysis and design of workflows and processes within and between organizations" (Davenport & Short 1990). More simply, Process redesign is the rethinking of paths and ways that work is completed and services are delivered. Process redesign is used to reinvent the way that a business operates, making the organization more cost effective, efficient, and stakeholder oriented.

Why redesign?

There are many reasons that organizations consider the need for process redesign. Companies consider process redesign in both proactive and reactive scenarios.

The reactive companies may look to process redesign because:

  • They are running on antiquated technologies,
  • have experienced an increase or decrease in number of employees,
  • have seen changing business demographics,
  • have organizational financial limitations
  • know they are not efficient,
  • or wish to increase shareholder profitability

The proactive companies:

  • Recognize future technologies, and are willing to take risks to become leaders,
  • Increased shared decision-making,
  • Wish to be considered as the leaders in their industries.

Is Process redesigning the same as automation?

Automation is a portion of process redesign, but it is not as inclusive as process redesign. Many companies exist that will simply copy an organizational workflow through the use of software. Though the software may assist in the automation, it is not typically the only solution that should be implemented.

Information systems alone will not transform entrenched work practices. Leading companies increasingly focus on empowering employees as knowledge workers rather than automating clerical processes. Automation of clerical processes is not always effective simply because the original processes are typically outdated division of labor concepts. Process redesign encourages the use of knowledge empowered users that will allow organizations to quickly adapt and redesign processes as the business and the environment changes. In effect, the workflow itself becomes a repository of information that will allow employees to make better and more efficient decisions.

  • Decrease in lead-time
  • Improved Customer Satisfaction
  • Increase employee ownership
  • Improve quality and accuracy
  • TQM initiatives
  • Simplify cross-organizational collaboration
  • Reaction to Structural business change
  • Develop platform for growth and expansion
  • Right-sizing
  • Enhance flexibility and responsiveness
  • Cost Savings
  • Improve productivity

How is it done?

There are many classes/schools/methodologies that are universally accepted in a process redesign project. The best way to control your costs is to supplement your staff with organizations that have expertise in process redesign, rather than having an expert on the company payroll.


Get help with Procurement Process Redesign, with Source One.

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