Business’ Processes and Systems Importance

Introduction

This report presents the importance of business processes and systems as powerful tools in increasing a company’s innovation capabilities through integration, exploitation and coordination of firm’s processes and resources. These processes and systems enable organisations to capture, share and store knowledge.

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Fire Doors Ltd emerged as a result of changes in the bespoke door industry. The company has over 150 years of experience in the industry. The company wanted to exploit the gap present in the UK door market. Its marketing strategy aimed at reducing the length of time customers had to wait for their deliveries. Fire Doors also wanted to set the industry standards in terms of product quality with competitive prices, excellence customer service and lead times.

Fire Doors Ltd takes its time to understand customers’ needs. The company’s customers include contractors, architects, and door distributors, among others. In addition, the company customise its doors to match customers’ requirements. The company management says that the ability to deliver bespoke doors within a relatively short time is its key differentiating strategy.

Fire Doors Ltd takes care of the environment. The company purchases all its timbers from legal sources and insists on proof of compliance from their suppliers, depending on suppliers’ regulations in their home countries. The company’s environmental policy condemns illegal logging and always updates its processes and changes as per the international market requirements.

A part from doors, Fire Doors Ltd also sells sheet materials, hardwood, softwood, and engineered timber products to the UK construction and joinery markets.

Organisational Structure

Fire Doors Ltd is a limited company where members have limited number of shares or guarantees. Fire Doors Ltd is a private company and sells to individuals and other door distributors.

The organisational structure of Fire Door Ltd consists of the managing director at the centre of its management team. The rest of the team is in equal ranks to each other. They all report to the managing director. This team consists of sales, planning, production, purchasing and accounts. The company encourages a single line of reporting and communication where workers at the same level have no authority over each other. This is possible due to BPM systems connecting all the departments (Weske, 2007).

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Business processes and systems

Business Process Management (BPM) refers to comprehending, visibility and taking management and controlling of business processes. Business processes have a long discrete chain of activities that cut across individuals, applications, business procedures and organisations. BPM concerns itself with the improvement of the organisations’ processes. Firms that use BPM rely on a framework of prescriptive methods and tools. This framework includes information technologies (BPM Platforms) for controlling, modelling, measuring and improving methodologies such as TQM, Six Sigma and Lean for analysing and understanding applications in the processes and principles of business.

Fire Doors Ltd uses its organisational rules and policies together with software systems, using a business process management system to facilitate supply of its products and service to its diverse market. The business processes and systems execute all business process instances and requests as per customers’ specifications in the business process model. The company receives orders from customers and designs the order requests according to customers’ specifications. Once this process is complete, they send the invoice and delivery of products concurrently.

Both parties perform business processes at Fire Doors Ltd. Therefore, the company can control the ordering activities through a business process management system centralised in its buildings. During the buying process, the company system corresponds with the buyer’s system in order to receive information. The buyer sends an order and then receives payment information. The buyer settles the invoice and receives the ordered products or services.

Companies have adopted the use of software, such as supply chain management systems (SCM) and customer relationship management systems (CRM). The management has realised the basic functionality in the SCM systems and incorporated them in its resource planning systems. There are also new challenges emerging due to ever-increasing market dynamics, which have led to the creation of dedicated supply chain management systems in most organisations. The primary aim of these software applications is to support operations, planning, and command of supply chains, which covers inventory management, warehouse, suppliers and distributors’ management, and planning demands all for the ultimate benefit and satisfaction of customers.

Business process management involves the improvement of diverse functions of a firm into a single process in order to deliver quality products and services within a limited time and with a greater efficiency. This is how Fire Doors Ltd has been able to position itself in the marketing using BPM.

Companies can do manual implementation, but this is risky. Therefore, a firm can install the BPM in all its departments in order to optimise the process for a greater productivity. The Fire Doors Ltd has a BPM system that handles customers’ queries, their ordering process, and deliver of the products and services. Automation of business management using BPM systems gives companies strategic importance on the company’s performance and profitability. BPM systems enable companies efficiently utilise the less time they have for planning and design processes. Fire Doors Ltd works on tight schedules. However, the use of BPM systems has enabled the company to reduce the time customers previously spent waiting for their doors or services. In addition, BPM systems have increased coordination and collaboration of different departments of the company. This enhances team efforts and creates a favourable environment suitable for improving productivity and internal company harmony.

The BPM system allows management to act quickly on crucial issues that require management decisions. For instance, Fire Doors Ltd management can adjust their delivery schedules and advice clients instantly in cases of such occurrences. BPM also ensures that there is knowledge tapping and sharing among workers, particularly workers in the same department who have developed communities of practice (Canetta, 2011).

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The company should focus on capturing relevant data and information on the company’s current business processes in the supply chain and logistics management practices. Modelling process must create alternatives to be able to accommodate the existing procedures and be flexible enough for existing processes. There should be a standard requirement for revision in cases of exceptions in the implementation process. This ensures that there is vitality in BPM implementation process and the stages do not experience stifling due to rigid and dogmatic implementation required. However, the exceptions should be deemphasised. The implementation process should just focus on the required business process model (Jacka, 2009).

Quality

Fire Doors Ltd has manufacturing system, which enable flexible production of its bespoke doors and services. This is possible because of implementation of BPM systems and other technological tools in its production stages. At the same time, organisational management have ensured that there are improvements, increase of work and teamwork. These factors have enabled the company to produce quality doors, and advanced services within less time in relation to competitions (Clark, 2000).

Fire Doors Ltd offers door servicing. The company uses this term when referring to modification and redoing doors, using advanced tools to fit the customer’s requirements. Customers who need door servicing can specify any model, patterns and fittings they need for their new outlook doors. The company handles door servicing in its factories. Consequently, it saves the client money and time and eliminates laborious on-site activities (Gunasekaran, 2010).

A part from door servicing, Fire Doors Ltd also has other services and products. This is because it has the capacity, and advanced tools to allow it handle large volumes of work. These specialised services include aperture cutting. This enables it to produce any shape and size, and for various purposes, such as letter boxes, eye peeps, and vision panels. Fire Doors Ltd also offers finished options to customers. Customers have the advantage of choosing from varieties of shapes and modifications. Fire Doors Ltd also sells other timber products, such as sheet materials, hardwood, softwood, and engineered timber products to the UK construction and joinery markets (Hefley and Wendy, 2011).

We have four elements of the marketing mix that Fire Doors Ltd can use to reach its target market. These are price, product, place, and promotion (Palmer, 2004). Out of all these, Fire Doors Ltd can only use price in achieving its marketing objectives. For instance, bespoke door industry in the UK is experiencing price wars and discounts offers. This is mainly in sales of quality doors where competitions cut prices in order to capture large market shares.

Fire Doors Ltd tries to coordinate its pricing with the door designs, distributions, and promotion decisions in order to form a consistent and effective marketing programme. The competitive door industry has forced the company to focus on pricing, promotion and place. For instance, the company has a large head office and showroom where customers can view available stocks and make the buying decision. The display also supports and promotes their products. The company’s decision to position itself among the online retailers means that it must capture large market share for profitability. At the same time, this will enable its online customers to get products, prices, and brochures anywhere and at any time provided there are no restrictions (Palmer, 2004).

Fire Doors Ltd marketing mix tends to consider the total marketing mix when setting prices. This is because the competitive bespoke door industry cannot allow for non-price strategy. At the same time, the use online features like brochure, price tags, and interested resellers affect promotion and distribution of its products and services. These will strongly affect its pricing strategy. Fire Doors Ltd must remember that buyers rarely consider price alone. Instead, the doors they seek must give them the best value.

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Fire Doors Ltd has focused on its customer’s well-being and satisfaction through its business processes and systems. The application of IT in its operations has led to the creation of customised products and services. For instance, Fire Doors Ltd has used its advanced tools, and IT systems to help design customised services, such as door servicing, specialty services like fire doors and sets, among others. The focus on individual customers has distinguished the company in the door industry in the UK. The company has been able to centralise its operations, and execution logic in its production processes in order to design products and services that fit the needs of the dynamic markets (Clark, 2000).

Organisations have realised the value of customers. Modern customers are demanding value. Markets have decreased tolerance for defects and wastes, wasted efforts and lost time, services and products that do not satisfy their needs. BPM helps the company to align itself with the demands of diverse customers and markets. Customer value creation occurs as a result of appropriate changes happening in processes of customer management. Customer satisfaction has become key for the success or failure of business ventures (Feinberg, 2000).

Organisations’ measurement procedures should focus on the customer, and not on the organisation. Successful companies must relate their processes through customers’ satisfactions. Measurements that look into internal company’s operation might be misleading. Measurements should focus on both internal and external processes for it to give a true account of the company’s success. The final measurement of success must measure the overall objectives of the company (Smith, 2007).

BPM must address all the common areas and understand different aspects of business processes. Fire Doors Ltd has been able to experience robust business because of its ability to use business software in the supply chain. As a result, the company has experienced increased customer satisfaction, which has contributed to its competitive advantage in the UK bespoke door industry.

Conclusion

Fire Doors Ltd is a company running its operation on BPM systems. Consequently, the company has improved efficiency, saved costs, produced quality products and services at reasonable cost at relatively less time than its competitions.

BPM focuses on the concept of organisation’s continuous improvement as its value proposition. The fundamental ability of BPM system is to improve continuously processes and get incremental return on investment (ROI) on a consistent basis. This is what defines and sets apart BPM systems from other processes of driving business improvement. Consequently, any case of BPM must consider the iterations of processes and the value that the process will bring to the company. Companies must focus on incremental value, which will accrue overtime rather than short-term values (Menken, 2009).

Fire Doors Ltd process analysis in its implementation of the BPM systems confirmed several changes needed in many areas. BPM had to consider improvements in both internal units and external partners that were part of the process. The implementation process noted that a full account of the process as it progressed through various processes was difficult to obtain. Fire Doors Ltd has had short window of opportunities to save its production processes.

Therefore, task completion, work priorities and problem escalations were crucial for successful resolutions. The company had little data and often too late on its processes. Fire Doors Ltd needed real-time alerts in order to save deliveries and other movements. The impacts of the implementation of the current process give outstanding results. The company has been able to move its key metric of percentages on saving, which has enabled it to continue experiencing growth and competitiveness (Blokdijk, 2009).

Fire Doors Ltd noted inefficiency before deploying the BPM systems. Initially, Fire Door Ltd suffered significant losses because of manual procedures, lack of coherency among various departments, and difficulties in monitoring overall performance. Fire Doors Ltd eliminated these challenges with initial deployment of a BPM solution. The company experienced benefits in terms of full-time equivalent time saved in supply chain processes.

Fire Doors Ltd experienced the benefit of agility in implementing BPM system. Service-oriented and on-demand processes have created the concept of agility in BPM. The company is able to change quickly on its process management. This depends on the changing needs of the customers. The company identified the drivers of change to be both internal and external factors. Fire Doors Ltd saw new opportunities in emerging markets, new partners and customers, which needed it to support them in different ways of conducting business. For instance, the company’s exposure to international markets must align itself with the regulations of different countries. BPM has platforms to enable the company change its process fast and in a controlled manner.

BPM works better in an organisation where executives understand the need to share responsibilities between IT department and business units. At the same, both business units and IT department should learn the vocabularies in both environments. Business units must also create new roles to meet the challenges of technology.

Before taking any BPM initiative, a company should establish guidelines delineating responsibilities for members participating in the project. That is, both business units and IT personnel, must share responsibilities.

A company must consistently train its new recruits to learn how the entire system of BPM works. The process must ensure that the recruits master the key terms for smooth operation of the company. The recruits must also learn how to use the BPM systems to lead the company to success.

Reference List

Blokdijk, G., 2009. Business Process Management BPM 100 Success Secrets. New York: Springer.

Canetta, L., 2011. Digital Factory for Human-oriented Production Systems. London: Springer-Verlag.

Clark, G. J., 2000. Quality Matters: The Decade of Quality 1989-2000. London: Spire City Publishing.

Feinberg, R., 2000. Customer Relationship Management. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press.

Gunasekaran, A., 2010. Handbook on Business Information Systems. London: World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.

Hefley, B. and Wendy, M., 2011. Service Systems Implementation. New York: Springer.

Jacka, M., 2009. Business Process Mapping: Improving Customers Satisfaction. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Menken, I., 2009. The Business Process Management Guide:Practical Methodology and Guidelines to Successful BPM Implementation and Improvement. Brisbane : Emereo Publishing.

Palmer, A., 2004. Introduction to Marketing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Smith, R. F., 2007. Business Process Management and the Balanced Scorecard: Using Processes as Strategic Drivers. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

Weske, M., 2007. Business ProcessManagement: Concepts, Languages, Architectures. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

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