Business Process Optimization (BPO) requires the identification of key processes within a business, and how they can be improved and optimized for maximum efficiency, agility and cost-effectiveness.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to go about optimizing business processes is through leveraging technology to streamline workflows and cut costs by using a combination of different solutions, from Enterprise Content Management (ECM) to Managed Print or Managed IT Services. BPO doesn’t necessarily begin and end with outsourcing different technology-related processes, but rather, with identifying some of the roadblocks within a business process, and avoiding these by streamlining and automating those processes with a technology solution.
BPO is a multi-step process that will require input from multiple employees and departments. While it can seem like an overwhelming task at first, when done correctly, you will immediately see improvement within your business. Here is the traditional life-cycle for BPO:
The first step in the BPO life-cycle involves the identification of existing processes and their design. In order to move forward in the BPO process, there needs to be an in-depth understanding of the inner workings of each department, their processes and where improvements can be made. In this stage, improvements will be proposed and generally include either human-to-system or system-to-system improvements to maximize efficiency.
Different variables are taken into account during the modeling stage, such as the amount of paper, printers and ink used on any given day, and the amount of time each employee spends printing. In this stage, you will work with modifying each of the variables to determine if the same amount of work can be done more efficiently and with fewer resources. While this stage can be disconcerting for some, it is a necessary step in optimizing business processes and getting rid of inefficiencies.
This stage involves the actual execution of some of the proposed improvements, and generally includes the purchase of an application such as a Laserfiche ECM solution. After implementing this software, many manual and unnecessarily labor-intensive processes become automated, saving hours of employee time and company expenses.
Monitoring includes the tracking of individual processes so that information on their status can be easily seen and improvements on performance can be tracked. While this is generally seen as the fourth step in the lifecycle, it is helpful to also view it as the first or second step. This way, you can compare results before and after the solution was implemented to see if it is working. However, you generally will not need to see the statistics to know whether the solution has been effective thus far in the process, as the effectiveness of the solution should be self-evident.
The last stage is process optimization, which includes retrieving process performance information from the modeling or monitoring stages. This also includes identifying actual bottlenecks and opportunities for cost savings and other improvements, and applying those changes.
Different companies will go about BPO in different ways and may include stages that vary from the example lifecycle above. While each business may have a nuanced approach to BPO, they will all include, in one way or another, the identification of key processes, proposed improvements, execution, optimization and possibly modification or re-engineering to continuously improve on the BPO solution.
While it may be unnerving to change processes that have been engrained within your company and utilized by employees for years, analyzing these processes and how they can be improved is a critical component to improving your business and making it more suitable for the digital age. While the transition is not always smooth, the results after making the transition will speak for themselves.
If you have any questions about BPO or are interested in a free consultation, contact us today.