Integration and Management of Business Process Production

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Strategies used for the management of business processes are typically structured to synchronize all organizational processes to ensure proper communication across the group. However, the concept of business process management is not straightforward, since it is implemented by several organizations to solve many unrelated problems (Tanrikorur, 2007). Therefore the determination of the interdependencies within an organization is of prime importance to an enterprise. Coordination of activities within an organization is important because it dictates the performance of a corporation. The interdependence is determined by how often interactions takes place within the business and also how the different sectors of the business depend on each other’s performance.

Business Interdependencies

According to (Murray, n.d.), there are three different types of interdependencies; pooled, Sequential and reciprocal interdependencies. A business with pooled interdependence has departments that carry out totally separate functions; the division also do not interact directly as they do not directly depend on each other’s performance. This is quite risky as the lack of performance interdependence could mean that a blind eye has been turned to the personnel leading to failure in some departments and eventually the downfall of the business. The sequential interdependence applies when a certain department is required to produce output for the next department to successfully carry out its activities. The third type of interdependence is reciprocal and is somehow alike to the sequential interdependence; the productivity of one division within an organization is used as input by another division. This process is however cyclical. Reciprocal interdependencies in a business are the most difficult to manage as information need to be shared constantly. This shows that if the technology used in the business is going to be effective, then there is need to figure out which technology is optimal for a certain situation to handle the interdependencies in the particular organization (Draheim, 2010).

Businesses are often not aware of the impact of the decisions they make; as a result they end up incurring losses. Coordination of the business processes should be of great importance. This is because the alteration of processes could mess up every function of dependent units. For example, in a manufacturing business slightly altering the process of production may cause other departments such as the sales and marketing to suffer. This is the reason why businesses need to understand the potential impact decision making can have on the organization. This way, an organization can make decisions that bring about the implementation of significant changes that take the business to higher levels and also preserves its ability to function efficiently.

The only way a business can get its departments working together to achieve set goals and objectives is by delegating tasks to personnel who can manage interdependencies on whichever level with different coordination methods. For instance, for a business with reciprocal interdependence, strategies such as business process integration need to be adopted for business functions to run smoothly and fast (WiseGEEK, n.d.).

Business Process Integration

Business process integration also known as BPI involves making certain that technology systems in an organization are all connected. Synchronizing the individual systems within the various divisions in a business, ensures there is a steady flow of information without the constant need of duplication of information between the various systems (Wise Geek, n.d.). An efficient business process integration goes a long way to save on costs and valuable time. For instance in a situation where a company synchronizes the business transactions systems with the billing systems, information can be accessed by either division from their system; the billing database can be accessed via the sales system and vice versa. Neither the billing division nor the sales division have to travel or rather spend money to get access to information.

In such a case, a business process integration is of prime importance in that when a customer places an order for goods or services, the whole procedure of processing an order, and billing gets done relatively easily. For example, Connection of the relevant systems makes it easy for customers to place orders which in turn makes it easy for the service provider to access the details of the order. When billing, the operator who received the call does not have to manually enter the details because once the call ends, the order details are automatically downloaded from the billing division. The billing system at this point can now prepare an invoice for the client without much hassle. The great ease and speed of sending mails to multiple divisions within the organization is also another benefit. An integrated system has the ability to retrieve names and addresses needed for sending multiple mail, sending notifications to the recipients to expect mails after a certain duration. These tasks can be carried out by one person in an hour or two; meaning that a business does not have to hire the services of multiple personnel to get the job done. The benefits of an integrated system in an organization are multiple; Steady flow of information, less strenuous data entry as it is no longer manual, and also saves on time and money.

MuleSoft (2014) suggests that challenges facing business process integration can be handled with the use of an Enterprise Service Bus. This is a lightweight integration platform that brings about coordination across applications and services. This technology has the ability to automate business processes within the company, across customers, and the various stakeholders. This ESB eliminates the strenuous activities of data entry and brings about coordination between data and technological systems within an organization.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Strategy

ERP implementation involves switching off the older system and adopts a new technology system in an organization (Lumenia, 2014). This go-live strategy however puts into consideration multiple factors such as the number of sites to be covered by the implementation. It is much easier for a one time ERP implementation to cover a single site than phased ERP implementations on multiple sites. It is actually not viable to have a phased ERP implementation when it comes to multiple sites that are dependent on each other. It is therefore advisable to go with the big bang implementation in this case.

Risk tolerance should also be considered in this strategy. Big bang implementations are considered to have higher levels of risk. For example if a business with an integrated system experiences technical hitches in one part of the system, this could spell doom for all other departments that are dependent on this specific unit. Full end to end testing is also impossible unless the entire system has gone live and is up and running.

Costs of the implementations are also put into consideration; phased ERP implementations take a longer period of time to totally complete. This means that it is more time consuming for the entire team working on this project. The longer it takes the more money is spent. The big bang implementation has more advantage when it comes to matters cost.

Most businesses are faced with the challenge of declining operational success through the coordination of processes within the organization. Systems, Applications and Products implementation (SAP) has identified some solutions to all these problems. They include: Creating an Artificial intelligence for the business processes; this ensures that the business process execution runs without experiencing any hitches, expanding process integration by maintaining high standards of data integrity and business transaction consistency (WiseGEEK, n.d.).

I personally feel that the SAP solution of expanding process integration by ensuring that the standards of data integrity and transaction consistency are maintained is the most crucial to an organization’s success. I agree with the fact that the success of business daily transactions is highly dependent on the availability of correct and up to date data. In the event that there are data inconsistences; such as unavailability of real time data or even incorrect data from the various departments of an organization, there is a high probability of the business. For example, if a client placed an order at midnight and later changes their mind and places a different order, if the information is not updated, it could lead to miscommunication leading to loss of opportunities and unnecessary costs.

References

Draheim, D. (2010), Business process technology: A unified view in business processes, workflows and enterprise applications. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Lumenia, J. (2014, October 26). Big bang versus phased ERP implementations. Retrieved from

http://www.lumeniaconsulting.com/blog.john-donagher/big-bang-versus-phased-erp-implementations

MuleSoft. (2014). Business process integration: Creating Connectivity. Retrieved from:

http://www.mulesoft.com/resources/esb/business-process-integration

Murray, L.J. (n.d.) three types of Interdependence in an Organizational Structure| Chron.com. Retrieved from:

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/three-types-interdependence-organizational-structure-1764.html

SAP Solution| softwareAG. (n.d). Retrieved from:

http://www.softwareag.com/resources/SAP-Solution.asp

Tanrikorur, T. (2007, May 7). Business Process Management 101: The basics of BPM and how to choose the right suite. Information Week. Retrieved from:

http://www.informationweek.com/software/business-intelligence/business-process-management-101-the-basi/199204260

WiseGEEK. (n.d.) What is business process integration? Retrieved from:

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-business-process-integration.htm

October 12, 2022
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