Even if the company is working like clockwork on the surface, there are always areas to optimize. Is it worth it since the results are satisfactory?
From our perspective, always! Business process optimization can maximize income but also turn the company into a better place, making its working environment more consistent, stimulating, and friendly.
As always, we would like to underline that there is no universal formula that helps all companies achieve that goal. That’s the trick with business process optimization – instead of reaching out for standardized solutions, it is necessary to find the matching ones to the specific case. Thus, outside-of-the-box thinking is essential!
Of course – the mix of solutions that a particular company introduced may set up new standards in the industry. That’s what happened with Toyota and its implementation of lean manufacturing, or Uber and its adoption of dynamic pricing that has impacted the development of the whole ride-sharing niche.
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What Is Business Process Optimization (BPO)?
Putting it simply, business process optimization is a series of changes aimed at maximizing organizational efficiency. Companies from different sectors employ this practice in order to find the weak spots that could compromise their market success and areas for improvement.
According to Inwedo’s guide, business process optimization has three key elements to it: streamlining employee workflows, promoting efficiency, and ensuring the processes’ alignment with the company’s targets and strategy.
That would be enough definitions for today! The easiest way to understand the power of business optimization is by looking at the use cases.
What Can Be Optimized As A Part Of BPO?
In fact, everything. A lot depends on the company that we are dealing with. For instance, in e-commerce firms, the most commonly optimized processes include:
- accepting orders
- payment processing
- returns processing
- processing data
In the case of the IT company, on the other hand, the areas for optimization would likely be different, focused on software development and design, as well as discovery workshops and project management.
Business optimization may take different turns depending on the nature of the issue. Sometimes introducing some tools does all the job.
In other cases, the company needs to adopt a different project methodology. And the most radical cases involve changing the whole organizational structure – for instance, becoming a teal organization after years of being green.
How could it look in practice? Here are some optimization problem examples that illustrate the potential of BPO.
The middle-sized IT company develops software products for customers from various industries, working in waterfall methodology. Even though the course of the cooperation is satisfactory for both sides, the clients sometimes end up unsatisfied with the final result.
Problem: lack of space for customer involvement and supervision over the developing product. Insufficient time spent working together on the concept.
Solution: an introduction of an agile project management methodology that allows the customer accompanies the product development to the smallest details and introduce the changes without interrupting the workflow. Improving the structure of the discovery workshop.
An e-commerce shop is struggling with the outflow of customers after the initial popularity outburst. The suspected reason is the credit card fraud that has exposed some customers to loss.
Problem: the company uses the existing plugin for fraud detection provided by the platform the shop was built on. It doesn’t match the specifics of the business and is reverse-engineered with rule-based programming.
Solution: Introducing a custom-made fraud detection system based on unsupervised deep learning models that prevent fraud by detecting deeply hidden patterns.
We hope these examples have explained the possibilities of business process optimization. The BPO is not always a revolution – sometimes it is enough to change one process or its element. Its results, however, can be revolutionary!