Understanding a Business Process

Understanding a Business Process

Business processes exist in all organizations. They play a very vital role in the efficient and effective functioning of any business. Here is a short article to help you in Understanding a Business Process.

A business process is a logical sequence of interrelated activities, characterized by a set of specific inputs and value-added tasks, that produce a set of outputs to meet business and customer needs.

Processes are everywhere in a business. From recruiting new employees to invoicing, and sales. Most business outcomes are the result of repeatable tasks and activities, which constitute a process. Whilst some of the processes are executed strictly within the documented guidelines, others are attempted with more flexibility.  Nevertheless, a business cannot function optimally without the right execution of its processes.

Why is Business Process Management (BPM) Necessary?

BPM enables organizations to align business functions with customer needs and helps executives determine the best way to deploy, monitor, and control the company’s resources. When properly executed, BPM has the power to boost efficiency and productivity, reduce costs, and minimize errors and risks, thereby optimizing results.

The core business processes necessary for running a successful small business include;

  • Project Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Business Development

A few more specific examples of business processes are:

  • recruitment
  • invoicing
  • order processing
  • customer onboarding
  • accounting process
  • market research
  • product development

Here is a detailed example of a sales process;

Making a sale of a product or service is a fundamental business process across many industries. The common process followed by most businesses when making a sale largely involves the following steps:

  • making a sales proposal
  • sending quotes
  • negotiations
  • receiving orders for product/service
  • delivery of product/service
  • billing
  • payment
  • updating sales records accordingly.

This can be depicted graphically in a process map as shown below:

Figure 1: Sales Process Map

I hope I have managed to give you a brief insight into business processes and how they are depicted.

Might you need help in discovering, prioritizing, documenting and improving your organization’s processes?

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