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4 min read

Key benefits of defining your processes

4 min read

Key benefits of defining your processes

When we talk about functions, procedures, and business processes, we notice an important difference: the order. A function can be a process (such as generating a quotation); however, a process can be made up of several functions. 

Procedures are step-by-step guides that help us accomplish our goals, but they often remain formal documents written in prose that are kept and archived with little value to organizations.

A business process, on the other hand, is a set of activities executed to reach a result. Unlike a function, it can encompass a broader scope that incorporates other functions and gives a better understanding of what we do as a company. And, unlike a procedure, it contains much more information, which can also be represented visually through maps or diagrams that are more useful and easier to understand.

Defining a process will help us have a better vision and control, but what benefits for my business? Is it worth investing in this task? In this blog, we will look at three key benefits that can help you answer these questions from the point of view of your business and your customers.

  1. Increase the quality of your business.
  2. Improve your customers' experience
  3. Generate savings and automate

Increase the quality of your business

Defining a process involves identifying the inputs and outputs involved in it. With this first step, we can start to take some measurements, such as: how much time do I need to execute each task? How long does it take to build a product or provide a service? How many resources am I consuming per month?

Similarly, it is necessary to define the actors involved in the processes. We are talking about those responsible for executing each task, the suppliers, and the users of each output. With so much information, it is advisable to use a BPM, flowcharts, or tools such as SIPOC. These allow you to visually represent the processes with their flow of activities and all the elements mentioned above and guarantee a clear and general view of the situation from a process management perspective.


BEST QUALITY
Additionally, it gives us the ability to:

  • Questioning processes: many started as functions many years ago and remain unchanged, which should lead us to constantly ask ourselves if we are doing everything in the best possible way. Visual aids are intended as a tool to facilitate the understanding of processes and facilitate this reasoning.
  • Measure, analyze and control them: establishing indicators should help us measure our performance, and it should allow us to generate alerts when the process is going wrong. Everything translates into taking preventive actions, finding opportunities for improvement, attacking them, and controlling the process.
  • Optimize them: optimization is not achieved; it is pursued. Often it is necessary to eliminate reprocesses, identify best practices or add activities that generate value. Still, continuous improvement is a philosophy that teaches us that we can constantly improve, although you must do it iteratively to make sense.

Defining your processes allows you to measure them, making it easier to control them. We call it setting a standard, which also means having a competitive advantage. If you realize that the quality of a product or a service comes as a consequence, it is the result of a methodology designed to improve processes, whose first step is the definition.

DEFINE PROCESS

Improve your customers' experience

By customers, we do not only have to think of external ones; a service process can be, for example, the internal customer of a sales process. Processes have a scope that you must define according to their objective. Still, we must also consider that they affect other areas, making it necessary to understand how they interact with each other and who the actors are at each stage.

A purchasing manager or a production manager who updates the product inventory provides information to the marketing department to design monthly campaigns. Once a marketing manager approves, these campaigns are published and impact the sales and service areas, which carry out negotiations, closings, and executions. From a hierarchical point of view, you have four departments with their respective functions, but from a process management point of view, there is only one flow.

Identifying the specific requirements of each area is the first step to understanding your people. When you design a process, you have to consider the users who will participate in it, their frustrations, what is easier for them, and what opportunities for improvement have they identified through their experience? By knowing the flow of an internal process, you can question, measure, optimize, and control it, improving the user experience and positively impacting productivity and efficiency. 

customer experience

On the other hand, external customers also have a process facing us. That of the purchase. They are the foundation of any company, so it is essential to understand them in the world of Customer Experience. For this task, we can use, for example, their Customer Journey. In the same way, as with internal processes, identifying what our customer needs in each stage and internalizing their emotions, motivations, frustrations, objectives, and expectations gives us input to adapt to their buying process. The perception we generate in a customer through their buying process is what we call experience. As a process, we can improve it, which means that we also enhance their experience.

This has two extra benefits that may be important to mention. The first is that your customers generate loyalty, which is significant considering that the cost of keeping a customer is lower than the cost of attracting a new one. Second, they also become promoters of your brand, improving your image and attracting new potential customers with less effort.

>> 10 reasons to automate your business processes <<

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

Generate savings and automate

The most significant benefit that a correct definition of processes can give you is saving money. Once they have been mapped and diagrammed, it is easy to understand the flow of information and materials, allowing you to generate a step-by-step guide that people must follow to reduce error and reduce rework.

Ordering and optimizing your processes also opens the door to effective automation. Many tasks, such as following up on a customer portfolio, managing purchase orders, or handling claims, are time-consuming. However, a well-defined process simplifies many of these tasks.

There are platforms to create automated workflows, this does not mean that the need for some manual tasks is eliminated, but bots can take over all those that are repetitive, frequent, and tedious. Consequently, you will free your employees from burdens and activities that do not generate value, thus reducing human errors and giving them more time to dedicate to complex tasks, process management, and continuous improvement.

While it is necessary to invest first, your business's increased productivity and scalability will not be the only thing that will positively affect your profitability. Still, you will find more ways to manage your resources properly, get the most out of them, and save money. 

AUTOMATION

Process management, as opposed to vertical management, allows a collaborative environment between several departments while giving greater autonomy to employees. As a result of this synergy, processes become effective and more efficient.

>> Process improvement using As Is & To Be <<


The process approach focuses on the customer, the person for whom value is generated, and judges our performance through their experience. Defining processes is the first step to reaching this horizontal model, which will help you grow as a business and generate savings and profits by reducing the effort required to meet your objectives.

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