In the contemporary corporate world, organisations are facing a myriad of changes that are brought about as a result of technologies and the pursuit for supranational competitiveness. As compared to the conventional paradigm; where work was managed and carried out in isolation, new paradigm utilizes tools of Information Technology (IT) as key business process drivers, this helps in combining and integrating job functions with technology. As a result, the usual organizational, industrial and even international boundaries have been eliminated. Organisations are then pushed towards seeking a number of managerial and engineering techniques so as to enable them to be more agile to change.
Definition and scope of Business Process Engineering
BPE is the process of identifying, evaluating and engineering the business process so as to improve on the outcomes. In defining BPE, the basic thread is the accelerating change in the business environment and the consequential need for unremitting change in the way organisations carry out their functions (Rensburg 2000, p.3). In his model, Tom Peters (1987) outlines some essential concepts that organisations need to consider in order to succeed in a changing environment.
These concepts are: customer care, embracing innovation, participation of all stakeholders in innovation, effective leadership, and intelligent systems that are designed to satisfy customers’ needs. In summary, an organisation is made up of processes-whose agility and effectiveness dictate how well and organisation can satisfy the dynamic market (Chandha 1995 p.2).
The role of BPE in organisations
In most organisations, BPE utilizes systematic approach techniques that are based on the most recent experiences and research in order to accomplish momentous improvements in how an organisation functions. The BPE process allows organisations to fundamentally reorganize and reinvent the business processes that are required for firms to achieve their strategic objectives. This is enabled through maximum use of technological and organizational strategic resources. Managerial scholars have posited that, concerted efforts towards BPE can improve organizational performance by about 15-50 per cent (DRK, P.1).
When looking at organizational goals; especially those related to change management; a well designed BPE model can be very handy. A BPE model provides a number of benefits that directly impact on the organization’s competiveness. These benefits include: the elimination of inconsistency and redundancy in operations thus allowing organisations to attain their goals on productivity, profitability, quality and even responsiveness. In addition, BPE enables organizations to have a full understanding of the business process thus allowing them to track and to improve on their status awareness.
Moreover, when organizations invest in a BPE, they are actually investing in efforts that are geared towards achieving business objectives. A BPE framework for an organisation enhances business process integrity since the framework is mostly well documented and executed. Through the use of IT, BPE allows for the integration of various business processes and the sharing of product information (Rensburg 2000, p.3).
This paper highlights that an efficient business processes is one that creates a Competitive advantages for an organization, especially in a dynamic business environment. A BPE model is created, evaluated and implemented for each firm with regard to its context. The paper clearly highlights that information technology is key in the realization of any new business processes. However, before an organisation decides t implement a business process, it is imperative that the impacts of BPE be carefully evaluated and understood and all the stakeholders be involved so as to minimize the risk of failure.
Chandha, B, 1995, “A model driven methodology for business process engineering,” viewed 29th May 2010, from :< http://www.vhdl.org/rassp/documents/atl/CHADHA_95.pdf>
DRK, n.d, “Business Process Engineering Solutions,” viewed 29th May 2010, from http://www.drkresearch.org/Application/DRK_Business_Process_Engineering.pdf
Rensburg, A, 2000, “A business process engineering framework,” viewed 29th May 2010, from: http://www.up.ac.za/dspace/bitstream/2263/4429/1/A%20Business%20Process%20Engineering%20Framework.pdf