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Business Process Management

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Business Process Management Introduction: Process mapping is defined as "describing processes in terms of how the activities within the process relate to each other." (Slack et al, 2007, pg. 102). The group decided to map the process of stocking up shelves in a supermarket and opening a new bank account. The speed and efficiency of how these two processes occur can bring substantial value to customers and thereby give the company a competitive advantage. This potential success is recognised from analysing process maps, which is one significant advantage of implementing them in businesses. Process mapping helps establish goals and the standard level operations should run at in a business. By employing this strategy, managers can gain a greater understanding of what the company is and what it stands for and forecast what is needed to become successful. This will allow greater productivity and output and lower costs. The process of stocking up shelves in a supermarket: The aims of the supermarket when they are planning to stock up the shelves are to ensure that they have enough of a product to meet customer demand. This is possibly the most important factor in the process as they want the customer to have an enjoyable experience whilst shopping and to have faith in the supermarket that they will be able to enter and buy the exact product that they went in for. The supermarket must make sure however, that they do not order too much of a particular product so that it goes out of date before it can be sold and so is wasted causing the company unnecessary costs. They must order to the customer demand and not to what they believe will sell. This will involve the company looking at the different buying habits of consumers and seeing exactly how many of a particular product is sold either daily, or weekly so they can order accordingly. ...read more.


Although they are required to get products on the shelves quickly and only supply the best quality food, I think that the customer is more likely to come back and offer their loyalty to a company if they have all of the products available that they want to buy at all times. Reliability relies on processes being performed as they should be without any disruption along the way. If the company can provide for the consumer, then they are guaranteeing repeat business for themselves. For the bank, I believe that speed is the most important objective as people want their money as soon as possible so, the quicker a bank can clear a cheque or transfer money, the more people might decide to bank with them. Some banks take a minimum of ten days to clear a cheque whereas others can credit your account instantly. As the money you are placing in the bank's trust belongs solely to you then it should be up to you when you take it out and how much you take out at any one time also. The notion of keeping the speed of the processes up between transactions will keep customers using the bank's services and possibly recommending the services to others. It also set you apart from other banks so you can advertise this fact. If I were in charge of the supermarket, I would monitor our performance on customer satisfaction. From feedback, I could establish what we were doing well, and what needed improving, if anything. The customer is quick to complain but often reluctant to say what you are doing well. They are the people who deal with the processes first-hand and so they are the people who know which areas need attention. They would be able to tell us if we needed more tills open during busy times (therefore needing to hire more staff or train some existing staff), if we keep selling out of a popular product then they will also inform us of this and so we can adjust our ordering sheets accordingly. ...read more.


Dependability is quite important for banks as customers rely on banks to keep their money safe. Flexibility: Banks will try and be flexible for their customers and introduce special terms for their accounts depending on their needs, but most accounts are standard, giving some flexibility. Supermarkets have relatively low flexibility as the order and sell the same products daily. There may be some changes when ordering seasonal goods e.g. Pumpkins and Easter Eggs. Cost: It is important for a supermarket to keep production costs down and pass on this benefit to customers in the form of cheaper goods. Customers demand more of a product when price is low and by using this strategy, supermarkets can generate enormous profits. Banks have fairly low production costs and will try and get the customer the best deal available against competitors. Executive Summary: Although both the bank and the supermarket overlap on the natural diagonal as both mass service and service shops, (businesses with front and back operations but also with low customer contact,) we can see that they have completely different objectives and they are on opposites on Slack's 4 Vs. This means that although they are both service shops, they both rely on different objectives to be successful. They are two businesses with huge customer inflows who rely heavily on the public to be successful, and so you might think that they would be similar in the way that they are run and the way in which they operate, but from this report, we can see that they are not. They both deal with customers on a face-to-face basis and they both provide a service to the consumer, but it can be seen that they are both successful whilst performing their duties on the complete opposite ends of the spectrum of Slack's 4 Vs. It might be believed that there is only one correct way for a business to be run according to the 4 Vs model, but in the case of the bank and the supermarket, it is obvious that different businesses, even with similarities, operate in different ways. ...read more.

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