As the name suggests, business process reengineering is the re-engineering of business processes. It is also known as business redesign, business transformation or business process change management. It is a management strategy that allows businesses to rethink their business processes and workflows in their organization. The goal of business process reengineering is to improve the overall business by cutting costs, improving the customer experiences and beating competition. Business process reengineering, BPR, has been employed by many companies both big and small to improve business processes from the ground up.
The core of business process reengineering is the use of information technology to streamline business processes. IT has been employed in BPR to avail information faster and conveniently, to centralize business processes using telecommunication. The use of wireless data communication has made it possible for people to work remotely and the automation of business processes has made it possible for these processes to be accomplished at a shorter time period and in an effective manner.
BPR differs in detail from organization to another depending on the goals that they need to achieve. However, there is a conventional approach to BPR which is a three step process.
In the first step it involves restructuring the organization into functional units so that the assimilation of the new process becomes easier.
The second step is to introduce the new process to these smaller groups in a gradual and systematic manner.
The third and final step is to restructure and streamline the activities that are related to the new process. Another thing that needs to be done in this final step is to eliminate tasks that do not add value to the new process.
BPR is a very delicate process that requires the full cooperation of the entire organization. When a company is undergoing BPR they need to first set up a team that will spearhead the process. This team will do an analysis of the needs of the company and come up with effective ways to meet them. The organization undergoing the BPR needs to have the proper and adequate IT infrastructure in place so that they can ensure the process is streamlined. Effective change management and continuous improvement are other important aspects of BPR that should not be overlooked.
BPR has its downsides, it leads to massive restructuring and in most times results in downsizing and for this reason BPR is not popular with employees. However, BPR still remains an important part of the survival of most companies today.