As much as human resource and capital assets do, organizational processes and systems can help enhance competitive advantage.
Typically, a creative staff can spearhead the development of a new and compelling product with a potentially high ROI, for example. Meantime, the acquisition of additional machinery will–in most cases–boost the productivity of a manufacturing plant.
Processes and systems are business inputs that tend to attract less notice compared with powerhouse managers or state-of-the-art equipment.
While meant to evolve depending on the business environment, processes and systems inevitably reflect–or influence–an organization’s core values and can be considered an important aspect of its culture.
One example is the deserved reputation of Japanese engineering as one of unmatched efficiency.
This reputation not only draws from centuries of superb individual craftsmanship of Japanese artisans. It also sprung from conscious corporate efforts to design and implement business processes that reflect this tradition. As a result, work philosophies such as the now popular and globally emulated Kaizen, came to characterize many Japanese businesses, such that it is no longer surprising that Japanese workers are themselves among the most efficient anywhere in the world.
Increasingly, global businesses have focused increasingly on adaptation, development, or modification of systems and processes based on the industry climate.
For example, the astounding number of competing mobile applications compels many software development outfits to adopt dizzying speed-to-market strategies in order to capture an ample share of mobile consumers. This can result in the increased adoption of development models and business processes that drive businesses to design, develop, and deploy products and services at far less time than they were historically done before. The AGILE project management system and the Six Sigma management strategies are offshoots of this.
In the search for ways to deliver better products at a faster pace and at less cost, more and more organizations have started tweaking their business systems and processes.
Smart organizations have, in fact, already incorporated the development of appropriate business management systems into their corporate strategy. As a result of this shift, forward-looking businesses now complement their search for excellent talent with the implementation of business systems that promote across the board productivity and innovation.
The management of business processes can entail the customization, automation, and monitoring of the implemented business system.
In reality, however, the improvement of aspects in the business cycle can be difficult to achieve. Some companies do this by identifying the specific aspects that need an immediate re-envisioning and proceed from these focus points. This way, a continually evolving (and improving) business process can be established and managed until collective excellence becomes a permeating culture.