Every first conversation with a prospective client includes a discussion of potential benefits of process mapping and the return on investment that the prospective client may expect. While it is easy to believe in the many business management systems benefits created through process mapping, it is of course much harder to calculate tangible profitability increases and other, sometimes important, improvements. Summarized below are eight ways process mapping can deliver powerful results to your business.
1. Improve Employee Loyalty.
Process mapping is best executed by involving those who do the work to define, analyze and improve their work. Mapping provides many organization benefits and may be the most powerful tool available to improve performance. What is often forgotten however is the power of employee engagement that can be accessed through process mapping. Not only does process mapping provide a very powerful analytical tool, it also provides a very beneficial employee engagement opportunity that forms the foundation for sustainable employee loyalty that delivers powerful results well into the future.
2. Improve Customer Loyalty.
Improving customer loyalty begins by understanding the internal business processes that must align to deliver better customer outcomes. Customer value is in the eye of the perceiver and by systematically studying customer wants and needs, an organization can build robust business processes that consistently meet those needs and deliver a significant competitive advantage over time. Loyal customers are served through of a series of business processes that align to deliver powerful results that meet their needs.
3. Improve Business Partner Loyalty.
Engaging a key supplier in a process mapping effort can be a very powerful method for not only improving business performance but also increasing the valuable contribution of that key supplier. As the trend toward outsourcing continues to grow, treating key suppliers as business partners becomes far more important to a successful enterprise value proposition. In addition, key supplier characteristics often drive a firm’s value stream and supply chain performance. Top suppliers want to come to the table with a “help me help you” partnership philosophy.
4. Grow Revenues.
Revenue growth comes from one of three sources, new customers, higher prices, or greater sales to current customers. All three of these sources are directly impacted by the quality of business processes that produce those outcomes. We are often engaged to work with Sales Management Systems and find that sales business processes often lack definition and inadequately specify customer needs that’s get fulfilled by downstream processes.
5. Reduce Expenses.
Expense reductions are the area most typically thought of when considering process mapping. Expense reductions can be found in the firm’s cost of goods sold, including materials, labor, and overhead, as well as operating and support costs. Every business process produces an outcome, either physical or intellectual, and that outcome carries with it an associated cost, which can be assigned or allocated to that process.
6. Reduce Assets.
Organizations typically make substantial investments in facilities, information technology, people, knowledge, and equipment to provide the infrastructure necessary for success. These assets all enable the production of products and services that deliver customer value. It is rare, however, to see an organization make a comparable investment in business processes. Because of business process weaknesses, investments in these other assets yield are less productive. By not building, managing and continually improving business processes, an organization spends more dollars on other assets that underperform relative to their full potential.
7. Reduce Working Capital.
Working capital can be a substantial requirement in many business models. By studying process reliability and level of match-up in supplier-customer relationships, an organization is capable of minimizing the working capital required to satisfy customer needs. This reduced working capital can be seen in fewer inventories, lower accounts receivable, and reduced work in process.
8. Reduce Enterprise Risk.
Few companies operate today without some level of regulatory compliance governing their industry. By documenting and managing standard business processes, a company is in a far better position to mitigate the risk of compliance and catastrophic failure in the marketplace. A process map represents an excellent method to capture the workflow in any business, as well as the additional information and knowledge that is necessary to support the execution of work.
Process Mapping for Powerful Results
While it would be easy to assume that all clients are after cost savings, in our experience that is not always true. For example, some clients approach us when they are out of compliance with a regulatory agency. In this case, the more important mission is to document business processes such that the client can demonstrate control of their business. In another example, we worked with a client who needed to dramatically reduce processing times with customers to reduce the high level of dissatisfaction that existed in their market. It is essential that we understand goals and objectives prior to embarking upon a process mapping project. While process mapping is a powerful and flexible tool, it is essential to know how to use that tool to deliver powerful results that yield the greatest benefit.
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