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What is business process?


Business process refers to a standardized set of activities that accomplish a specific task, such as processing a customer’s order (Baltzan & Philips, 2009). It converts a set of inputs into a set of outputs (goods or services).

Examples of business process

Business process can be easily understood by examples. Each organisation has its own distinctive process. Let us consider the process of depositing money at Barclays and many other banks in the UK. Once the customer is at the branch, she/he has two options to deposit money/cheque. The customer may wait in the queue to see a customer service advisor who will ask for his/her bank card, and swipe it instantly in a machine to perform the transaction. A receipt will then be given to the customer to as a record of transaction. Alternatively, the customer may pick up an envelope from the bank and write the relevant details in it. He then needs to put the cash/cheque into it and seal it. He then needs to tear off the receipt from the envelope and submit the envelope in the deposit box.

Why should companies improve their business processes?

According to Baltzan & Philips (2009) companies must improve their business processes because customers demand better products and services. Demand for better products can be evidenced from different versions of smart phones. Apple’s iPhone 2, iPhone 3, iPhone 4, iPhone 5 and the rest attest to the fact that customers are constantly looking for better products. And surprisingly, it is on a yearly basis. A new or better product may require an entirely new process for the manufacturer to follow or improve the existing business process.

Companies can increase productivity and save time with improved business process. For example, few years ago, customers had to deposit their cash and cheque at banks through a customer service advisor/cashier. Then the deposit box ushered in which reduced the time requirement and increased productivity. However, many banks have now-a-days electronic machines which customers can use to make the transaction without seeing a customer service advisor, or without putting the money in the deposit box. This saves time for both the customers and the banks.

In a nutshell, business process is an important area of focus for organisations. It can sometimes be simple or complex depending on number of steps, number of systems involved etc. However, it is worth noting that business processes should be productivity friendly for companies and convenient for the customers.

We hope the article has helped you explore the concept of business process. You may also like reading Business Functions. If you liked this article, please share it by clicking on the icons below.

The article publication date: 12 November 2017

Further reading/references

Baltzan, P. & Philips, A. (2009) Business Driven Technology , 4th revised edition, McGraw-Hill Higher Education

Photo credit: Pixabay

Author: M Rahman

M Rahman writes extensively online and offline with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He holds an MSc in Tourism & Hospitality from the University of Sunderland. Also, graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA in Business & Management Studies and completed a DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector) from London South Bank University.

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