A Case For BPR

16 Nov

Business Process Reengineering (BPR) advocates that enterprises go back to basics and re-examine their very roots. It doesn’t believe in small improvements, rather it aims at total reinvention. Many argue that BPR is clearly not for companies who want a 10% improvement. It is for the ones that need a ten-fold increase (Rathore et al, 2011)

The two cornerstones of any organisation are the people and the processes. If individuals are motivated and working hard, yet the business processes are unwieldy and non-essential activities remain, organisational performance will be poor. Many industry experts argue that BPR is the key to transforming how people work. What appear to be minor changes in processes can have dramatic effects on cash flow, service delivery and customer satisfaction (Rathore et al, 2011).

A good example of this would be the case of Taco Bell. This example is perhaps a little dated in relation to when the company implemented BPR, but does highlight the potential benefits of BPR even in today’s economic environment.

As I’m sure many of you know, Taco Bell is an American chain of fast-food restaurants. The company was struggling back in the 1980’s and was returning negative 16% earnings annually while the industry as a whole was averaging 6% growth. Having identified some of the key areas that needed improvements, Taco Bell started reengineering itself out of trouble. It started to concentrate more upon its customers and what they actually wanted rather than following traditional approaches that assumed what customers wanted. The more they listened, the more they discovered that what customers actually wanted was quite simple. Good food, served fast and hot, in a clean environment, and at a reasonable price.

Taco Bell followed one important rule during the reengineering process; this was to enhance those things that bring value to the customer and change or eliminate those that don’t. BPR, if done properly can turn around any business. The main point from this example would lead you to believe that the customer must be the starting point for everything in reengineering (Slideshare, 2009).




4 Responses to “A Case For BPR”

  1. ronanisbp November 20, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

    Personally I enjoyed this post and couldn’t agree more on the first point in the post. In order for organisations to succeed in attaining and sustaining a competitive advantage they certainly need to look at their business process as a whole and not just seperate areas of the firm.

    • aplusk22 November 24, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

      Appreciate your comment, ronanisbp. Yeah, when it comes to BPR the organisation must incorporate a cross-functional customer focused approach if it is to fully benefit from the initiative.

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