A Comprehensive Guide to Business Process Optimization

December 6, 2022
Process Management
Workflow Automation

Everyone wants to run a business that can scale, run efficiently, and achieve its short-term and long-term objectives. But how to go about it?

To be precise, it's all about effectively monitoring and managing the countless processes that are the heartbeat of business operations — so you can identify the vulnerable ones and then systematically revitalize them.  

Business processes need to be developed to standardize and automate workflows across different divisions and functions.

An investment in resources like time, and effort is required to establish methods that facilitates successful cooperation and communication. Once a process is materialized, business process optimization becomes a crucial strategy that ensures seamless running of the process.

Here's a holistic guide covering several aspects of business process optimization (BPO) so businesses are better equipped to make the most of their resources and operate to the best of their capabilities.

What is Process Optimization?

Before jumping onto BPO, it's crucial to understand process optimization briefly.

Process optimization refers to the application of defined procedures, tactics, standards, and strategies to improve a particular process well within the parameters of a project — without compromising the project regulations.

The most shared objectives are to minimize costs and increase productivity and efficiency simultaneously. It serves as a substantial quantitative instrument when it comes to making decisions in the business world.

Businesses can make numerous changes to a procedure to make it perform more effectively than in the past. Simplistic instances that can assist in optimizing a workflow include deleting a step from the process, reworking a phase in the development, or eliminating a step from the process.

What is Business Process Optimization?

Business process optimization, often known as BPO, refers to the practice of boosting the effectiveness of the pre-established procedures. Eventually, it results in operations that are both more productive and cost-efficient. BPO also makes judicious use of available resources.

As a consequence of its implementation, process optimization can result in the invention of methods that enhance collaboration, optimize workflows, foresee changes, and eliminate redundant tasks.

In a broad sense, the management and optimization of business processes are essential components of digital transformation in every organization.

Top 7 Benefits of Optimizing Business Processes

Business process optimization is a highly rewarding discipline adopted by businesses and organizations in various industries.

By having a solid grasp of the benefits that BPO may bring to a company, business owners can gauge their degree of success and their standing in the industry.

Here are prominent benefits companies could enjoy by optimizing their business processes for the better. 

1. Enhanced Performance Tracking and Accountability

When performance gets monitored consistently, significant performance improvements transpire —  and an organization can be certain that these improvements will bring successful outcomes for their business.

Optimizing business processes makes it much simpler for teams to assess their progress and ensure accountability by facilitating the exchange and monitoring of data and information among all divisions. 

Employee monitoring and reporting technologies could aid a business in detecting vulnerabilities that could be dragging its operations back, such as human errors, strategic flaws, or even fraudulent practices. These issues would prevent the organization from reaching its full potential.

The team could be in a superior position to recognize performance concerns and take measures to ensure that persistent improvement happens if they provide complete transparency throughout the process.

2. Identify and Standardize New Processes

Through the implementation of the BPO methodology, not only will previously deployed processes become more efficient, but there is also a significant possibility that companies will find and be able to harmonize other new procedures.

Various operations occur behind the scenes, such as the clearance of a project or the validation of a document. Therefore, optimizing business processes will assist businesses in gaining a deeper understanding of their company operations extensively.

Optimizing business processes can help reduce or eliminate all shadow processes. Shadow processes refer to those business procedures that are not formalized or standardized in any way. An organizational workflow becomes congested as a result of procedures that cause the overall process to go more slowly. 

One method that is effective in optimizing business operations, particularly those that involve performing repeated tasks, is automation.

To avoid spending time on monotonous operations, they can be put on autopilot mode so that they are accomplished in the background while you concentrate on other things that demand more creative thought.

3. Achieve Better Operational Efficiency 

The fundamental and maybe most evident advantage of business process optimization is how it can boost the efficiency of any organization.

A substantial chunk of companies remain reliant on ineffective systems and even insist on human intervention in processes that could otherwise be carried out automatically.

This causes time and resources to squander, which in turn reduces your capacity to sustain a profit and contributes unnecessary stress to the work environment for the employees.

When this occurs, it has a negative impact on employee satisfaction levels, and it also causes the business operations to become clogged up by blunders and other inefficiencies that could have been avoided.

The staff will be able to function more efficiently and devote more of their time to activities that will expand the business if the business processes get optimized.

4. Better Regulatory Compliance

The purpose of industry regulations is to uphold the law for the benefit of society and industry as a whole. Companies that defy the established norms and regulations are not allowed to operate and face more scrutiny as a result.

The lack of compliance with the regulatory requirements occurs pften when the procedures are disorganized.

When business processes get optimized, corporate operations become more streamlined, (which is in accordance with regulatory compliance). This is particularly the case when regulatory standards are considered a part of the optimization process.

5. Maintain Quality Assurance Standards and Consistency

It's crucial to focus more on improving the quality of one's products and services through process optimization besides marketing when a business looks to expand its customer base while maintaining its retention rate.

Usually, new customers don't stick around for long if a product or service isn't up to par when they arrive. Consistently delivering superior products or services is a surefire way to separate a company from the competition.

The consistency with which they achieve outstanding results inspires trust and brand loyalty in their customers. Customers will feel more at ease placing repeat orders and referring the business to others if they know they can rely on the company to provide consistent quality every time.

Automating complicated processes is one way to reduce the likelihood of blunders occurring in the business, as it strives to ensure consistency and high quality in all it offers. Errors tend to decrease when the human participation level decreases in complex procedures.

6. Experience Better Agility and Adaptability in Business Operations

A company's workforce becomes better equipped to respond more rapidly to evolving markets, unforeseen setbacks, or fresh breakthroughs if they use optimized business processing system.

It assists them in recognizing potential possibilities and obstacles that are encountered by the business, enabling them to take prompt action to stay one step ahead of the competition.

If a business wants to maintain a competitive advantage and steer clear of market conditions that could be detrimental to the company —then it is essential to have the flexibility to execute change successfully, especially in today's dynamic business environment.

7. Augmented Resource Utilization and Management

An organization's capability to maintain its resources is directly related to the management procedures they have in place. Ineffective procedures will result in the unnecessary expenditure of more resources while attempting to accomplish tasks.

Even if they do that, the outcomes might not be all that impressive, necessitating the investment of additional resources. The resources would deplete before they even realize it because of processes that do not add value to the business.

Reducing unnecessary processes is one way to stop business operations from gobbling up all the resources. There is no place for inefficiency in a process in which every stage fulfills a specific function.

Since each layer of the process gets driven by the results of the previous layer, business process optimization allows you to design profitable processes.

In this approach, there will be no bottlenecks that require the expenditure of resources to overcome. This way, companies get the opportunity to make better use of their resources and reap the benefits of doing so.

8 Steps to Implementing Business Process Optimization 

It's critical to identify the business objectives, the areas in which advancements are needed, and the processes to be optimized before you begin designing a strategy to optimize business processes.

A vision centered on achieving specific goals lays the groundwork for monitoring and analyzing progress. Following this concise step-by-step method, the strategy execution to optimize a process can be made smoother:

1. Identify Every Process that Needs Optimization Regardless of Size

  • Concentrate your efforts on one of the processes that require immediate augmentation.
  • Communicate with teammates and stakeholders to identify the activities and tasks that consume the most resources and time.
  • Collect suggestions on how the process can be enhanced.
  • Inside that process, pick a task that requires the least amount of time and effort to optimize but would exhibit an immediate return on investment (ROI), regardless of how insignificant it may be.

Modest optimization initiatives can deliver substantial outcomes, empower stakeholders, and obtain organization-wide buy-in for even more complicated process optimization operations. 

2. Establish Business Objectives for Optimization

  • Specify the aim of process optimization once it has been recognized as needing reform.
  • Specify the ultimate objectives as well as more immediately measurable targets.
  • Design a plan to attain those goals once the process has been discovered.
  • Have a crystal clear grasp of the goals that will be accomplished through optimization, such as cost reductions, resource savings, or time efficiency.

It is imperative that teams responsible for optimization initiatives effectively communicate these objectives to the executives as well as the stakeholders — to ensure everyone is cognizant and agrees on the goals.

3. Construct a Blueprint of the Current Process

Develop a visual analysis of the business process by employing business process management and business process modeling techniques, both of which have gained traction in recent years.

These tools can provide a framework that is consistent for specifying:

  • How a present process flows through several divisions.
  • The various phases included within the procedure.
  • The elements included within the process that run either consecutively or concurrently.

4. Conduct a Review of the Existing Process to Identify Areas of Improvement

The existing process can be analyzed using process mapping —  which helps identify regions of inefficiency or incompetency that can be addressed and optimized for the best results.

Consider the feedback and recommendations offered by the stakeholders to scrutinize which processes consume the most resources, time, and effort, create constraints, aggravate communication barriers, and underperform while failing to deliver value.

These steps can be reconfigured or excluded, for instance, by declaring some activities conditional, incorporating specified tasks, modifying data permissions, or automating repetitive processes.

5. Target Certain Processes that Could Benefit from Automation

The capabilities offered by automation:

  •  eliminates the inefficiencies in business processes induced by manual tasks.
  •  It resolves complications with consistency and reliability
  • And mitigates redundancies 

Improving and optimizing all areas quickly.

Determine the financial and time resources accessible to incorporate in business process automation software. Additionally, analyze whether or not the firm already possesses the essential tools.

6. Confirm that the Initial Objectives of the Process Redesign Strategy Are Still Relevant

Make it a point to ensure that the redesigned process will not only contribute to the predefined business goals, but will also have a major impact on the efficiency of the process, the number of resources saved, and the yield.

While the process is currently in the introduction phase, software that models business processes can assist in evaluating its impact and making recommendations concerning areas in which it can be refined.

7. Conduct Pilot Studies of the New Process Prior to Implementation

Inspection and quality assurance are two integral procedures that need to be conducted well — before a new process can be deployed on a larger scale. This is to  ensures its success.

Unforeseen challenges frequently make it difficult to realize the potential of augmented business processes. It is helpful to avoid reevaluation and iterative redesign after implementation if the entire process gets tested before the rollout.

8. Update and Monitor the Process Consistently After Implementation

The new process should be evaluated for its efficiency after it gets implemented. Market dynamics and the way businesses operate are two primary factors that influence the evolution of business processes.

Therefore, to guarantee that a new business process is producing greater value than its predecessor, it needs to be continuously reviewed and monitored.

Collect input from the relevant stakeholders, and keep an eye on the process to identify new sources of inefficiencies or bottlenecks that need to be resolved immediately.

Top Real-World Examples of Business Process Optimization

Listed below are some practical applications of how optimizing business processes can boost a business's operational efficiency, enhance resources, time and effort utilization, and consequently help achieve a higher ROI and revenue:

1. Employee Onboarding Process

There is a specific order to the steps involved in introducing a new employee on board.

  • An employee agreement is emailed to them by HR representatives.

Following the employee's signature, the next stage in the IT provisioning process can begin. Yet, every time HR must manually email IT to secure computers and authorization for other tools. 

An email trigger is activated to streamline the procedure.

  • An email will be sent automatically to IT once the individual has signed and returned the employment agreement.

2. Travel Expenses Reimbursement

Reimbursement errors are commonplace in the finance department of any organization. Due to the paper-based nature of the entire procedure, errors in reading numbers can result in erroneous employee reimbursements.

To address this issue, the division switches to a digitized system in which staff members enter the sum in appropriate fields. Thus, eliminating discrepancies in processing the amounts.

3. Streamline Purchase Orders

The purchasing division has a backlog of orders due to the high volume of customers who have recently placed new ones.

The team believes it is due to the approval process operating via email. The unit uses a specialized workflow management system to streamline the request process. Through the workflow system, workers can select the product and automatically submit it for approval.

Final Thoughts

Businesses always strive to meet ever-growing consumer demand, raising the stakes for success in a highly competitive market.

If one organization falls short, plenty of others are ready to step in and take its place, and customers are on board with that.

Business process optimization holds the key to getting the most out of the resources at your disposal and enhancing internal operations consistently to gain the upper hand over the competition.

Procure to Pay
A solution that simplifies your complex workflows.
Lease management
Your one-stop shop for everything lease management.
Asset management
Asset Management Solution that adapts to your business.
Expense management
Manage your expenses your way
Please submit your details and our Product Consultant will connect with you to understand your use case  🚀
This field is required .
This field is required.
This field is required.
Thank you for submitting your details! Our team will contact you shortly