A business process review (BPR) is a powerful way to prepare for an upcoming ERP project, giving you the insights and provisions needed to extract maximum value from newly onboarded software. It can also be used as an annual test to assess current systems and processes, ensuring that your operations are running as efficiently as they can be.
In either case, what exactly does a BPR entail? And how do you conduct one?
Here, we’re taking an in-depth look at BPRs, setting out why we believe they’re an invaluable part of effective business management.
What is a Business Process Review?
A Business Process Review (BPR) is a thorough analysis of a company’s workflows, systems, and operations with the goal of identifying areas for improvement and optimising business processes. The BPR process involves evaluating each step of a process and identifying any inefficiencies or bottlenecks.
A BPR is typically carried out when a company wants to improve its efficiency, reduce costs, or make significant changes to its operations. BPRs can also be conducted when a company is undergoing a major transformation, such as implementing a new technology system or restructuring its business model.
As mentioned in our introduction, there are two main types of BPRs: one you might undertake annually to assess current systems and processes, and another that you will undertake with your software vendor prior to implementing a new system.
In both cases, the BPR process often involves working closely with employees and stakeholders to gather insights and feedback and to ensure that the new processes and systems are aligned with the company’s overall goals and objectives. By working with employees and stakeholders, the BPR process can help drive cultural change within a company and build momentum for ongoing process improvement.
Why is BPR Important for Businesses?
The importance, value and benefits associated with a BPR will differ depending on the context in which such an evaluation is taking place.
For instance, if you’re carrying out a BPR ahead of a new ERP implementation, you will likely have different goals and KPIs than if the review was simply part of an annual business evaluation.
With that said, some common reasons why a BPR is important for businesses include:
- Identifying inefficiencies: A BPR can help identify areas where a company’s business processes are inefficient, redundant, or not adding value. By streamlining or eliminating these processes, a company can save time and reduce costs.
- Improving quality: A BPR can help identify quality control issues and bottlenecks in your supply chain processes. By addressing these issues, a company can improve its product or service quality and increase customer satisfaction.
- Implementing new technology: A BPR can help a company prepare for the implementation of a new technology system, such as an ERP system. By mapping out existing business processes and identifying areas for improvement, a company can ensure a smooth transition to the new system.
- Reducing costs: A BPR can help a company identify ways to reduce costs, such as eliminating unnecessary steps in a process or finding ways to automate manual tasks.
- Adapting to new market conditions: A BPR can help a company adapt to changing market conditions, such as shifts in customer demand or new regulations. By identifying areas where the company’s existing processes are no longer effective, a company can make necessary changes to stay competitive.
How to a Carry Out a Business Process Review
Naturally, the parameters of your business process review will hinge on why you’re conducting it. It may also be the case that you’re carrying out a BPR in conjunction with a third-party software vendor, in which case, the following guidance may not apply.
However, let’s take a look at the common stages which make up a typical BPR.
Step 1: What is the objective of your BPR?
Having a clear understanding of what you hope to achieve through a business process review will ultimately drive the assessment forward and give you the results you’re looking for. Remember, there are several reasons why a company may wish to perform a BPR, so going into the process with total clarity will afford better and more relevant results.
While you may already be clear on the reasons why you need a BPR, answering the following can help to pin down your objective and ensure the project stays on the right track:
- Is there a specific process you want to improve?
- Have you received concerning feedback from key stakeholders?
- Are there specific efficiencies you’re looking to achieve through process improvement?
Step 2: Roadmap existing processes
Working with senior stakeholders and department heads, create a roadmap of current processes. You’re looking to include every step within a given project or workflow, from point A to point B.
This is effectively when the BPR starts to come together, and you may already begin identifying areas for improvement based on this initial road-mapping project alone. Document as many processes as you can so that their efficacy can be assessed.
Step 3: Consult on your BPR findings so far
Now that you have a detailed roadmap of every process within your business, you’re in a position to scrutinise workflows for bottlenecks, pain points and areas where technology such as automation could improve efficiency and productivity. This is when you may need to call on the expertise of external parties, who can bring effective solutions to the table.
Step 4: “Re-engineer” existing processes
Armed with notes and considerations from the consultation phase, it’s time to draw up a plan of action for how you plan to “re-engineer” existing processes. This is where you’ll need to include added detail to quantify the changes you plan to make, particularly if this includes seeking buy-in from senior stakeholders on any technological changes the new processes may require.
Step 5: Decide on your software requirements
If new software is required, it’s vital that this doesn’t blindside the rest of the BPR project. It’s all too easy to assume that new technology will provide the silver-bullet solution your business needs to combat its operational hiccoughs, but often, new technology will only provide a sticking-plaster resolution if problems aren’t properly assessed and evaluated.
Final Thoughts on the Value of BPRs
In summary, a business process review is a powerful tool for identifying opportunities to optimise business processes, and ERP systems can help bring these benefits to life. By leveraging ERP software, companies can increase efficiency, improve decision-making, and gain a competitive advantage in their industry.
We hope this guide offers some food for thought on how to improve and assess your own operational processes. If you need expert help in developing a future-proof business strategy, Intact is here for you. Get in touch today for a free software demo and consultation.