BUSINESS PROCESS CHANGE PLAN
Q#1 Provide the name of the organization (this must be a real organization); describe the organization’s size and summarize the primary mission of the organization. Don’t simply copy from the organization’s mission statement.
For purposes of this assignment, I will use Earl’s Baby Land clothing located in Louisiana. Earls’ Baby Land clothing provides services to the Louisiana residents. They stock all kinds of clothing for young kids and ladies in Louisiana (Earl’s Baby Land, 2015). The mission of the company is to provide quality clothing that both trendy and also maintains their heritage by providing traditional attire that has been worn for generations. They stock variety of clothing and also accept special orders from their clients which are then made and delivered within two weeks (Earl’s Baby Land, 2015). The company carries girl’s sizes from infant age through to 6 years. They also have boys clothing sizes from infant through to 4 years.
Q#2 From your research of the organization, identify a single Business Process Change that the organization will need to contemplate and undertake in the coming year. These changes can result from new technologies, economic issues, or changes in the marketplace.
The single business process that the company must consider making changes is the sales ordering process for all the clients making special orders and in-stock orders. The company has always maintained its manual ordering process for both services offered to their clients. This has often resulted in inefficiency in delivery of service to its clients. The ordering process has been handled in a manner that could also result in delays to the clients particularly special orders. Several attempts have been made to automate the entire inventory and ordering process but the results have always been poor.
With the increased use and adoption of information and communication technology in businesses, automation of the sales management and ordering processes is inevitable. In order to alleviate the delays experienced during special ordering and the store purchases, the company has to automate the process to effectively track inventory and ensure timely delivery of orders to their clients. Some cloths have been sitting on the company shelves for long without any purchases and others are completely purchased off the shelve. With the knowledge of such purchase trends, the company can capitalize on fast moving clothing and hence increase their sales and profits.
The sales ordering management can be effectively implemented utilizing the use of the internet to allow users to make orders and purchases from wherever they are. Online shopping and ordering is a growing trend in retail service establishments which allows easy delivery of service to a wide range of clients.
Additionally, most companies in the same service industry are rapidly embracing the use of information technology for inventory and sales management. This creates stiff competition to the company and hence they too must embrace the use of technology. Other companies have gone to an extent of allowing online shopping and simply delivering the purchased products to their clients wherever they are.
Q#3 Utilizing the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) outline briefly what changes need to be undertaken at each of the 5-stages.
Based on the Capability Maturity model (CMM), Earl’s Baby Land need to undertake several changes at each of the five stages. These changes are explained below:
Level 1: Initial- the company has been in existence for over 25 years and during this period they have not implemented any management system for sales and inventory management. All activities are done manually. It is common for most business to resist change and maintain traditional business processes as long as it is working for them. Consequently, the company simply performed its processes on paper. As a startup business the company did what they had to, provided they made profit from their services.
Level 2: Repeatable- with the growth of the business over time, several repeatable services were introduced in the organization. Such services included ordering services and inventory management. They also introduced the special ordering process that allowed the customer to make a special order that is delivered within two weeks.
Level 3: Defined- Earls’ Baby Land main goals was to provide services to clients within Louisiana and serve the needs of children between ages 0 to 14. This was realized over time with increased sales, and improved profits as they entered level 3. The process used for inventory management and sales management was now dependable and reliable.
Level 4: Managed- The management of Earls Baby Land realized along the way that the ordering process inherent in the company took a lot of time and was inefficient with the increasing demands. The process thus was not in line with the organization goals and objectives. The company therefore saw the need to make changes to the sales management process in the organization. Research of systems available to the company is important at this stage and how the identified sales system would be beneficial to the company.
Level 5: Optimizing- The company will have to monitor and maintain the new system and use the resulting feedback to make the requisite changes that may be needed. Purchasing and implementation of the system is the first step towards realizing the needed efficiencies in the company. Hence, attention is given to the performance and the ultimate success of the changes made to the company.
Q#4 Evaluate Porter’s three-phase process (page 32, figure 2.1) for defining a company strategy and create a simple chart of the recommended change addressing issues in each phase.
Porter defined business or company strategy as the broad formula for establishing how a business in going to run and compete, what are its goals and what policies will be required to implement the goals (Harmon, 2010). Porter recommends that for formation of company strategy the following three phase process should be followed;
Phase 1: The first phase of the process involves the determination of the current state of the company including the current strategy and the assumptions that the managers have about the company. It will include the current company strength, weaknesses, competitors and the current industry trends (Harmon, 2010).
Phase 2: The second Phase is determining the current happenings in the business environment. Here the strategy team considers what is happening in the environment and ignores assumptions made by the company. At this phase, intelligence is gathered that will enable the company to formulate a current statement of environmental opportunities and constraints facing the industry (Harmon, 2010).
Phase 3: The final step is to determine the new strategy for the company. In this phase, the company compares the existing strategy with latest analysis of the current state of the company and the happenings in the environment. The company generated list of scenarios and alternative course of action that the company can pursue (Harmon, 2010).
The following is a chart of recommended changes that address issues at each stage/phase;
Q#5 Prepare two general process diagrams (see figure 9.2) for the Business Process Change you identified in question #2 in Unit 1.
Earl’s Baby Land services has a basic ordering and order processing process but no effective sale management control. The absence of the effective and efficient process results in the confusion, delays and subsequent lose of sales and profit to the company in the long run. It also increases the expenditures to the company.
Diagram 5a shows the current business processes at Earl’s Baby Land. In the current process, the customers visit the store and make purchases over the counter for their desired products. Additionally, the customers make special orders that are produced and delivered after two weeks. There is no current way of tracking sales and orders made by the clients in the company. Everything is manually done hence sales are not effectively managed likewise to special orders that are to be produced and delivered to the customers. Once the client makes purchase over the counter the products are packaged and delivered. For special orders, once the client has made the order, it is sent to the production house where the clothes are made and delivered after two weeks. Generally, the current ordering and sales management process is inefficient and unreliable.
5a. Diagram the current process steps taken by the organization for the process.
5b. Diagram any adaptations to the process steps after the change process is approved.
The processes change is to automate the order processing and sales management. The diagram 5b depicts the proposed system process that will occur after the automated sales and order processing is implemented in the organization. As demonstrated in the diagram, the customer chooses the items to purchase which are then keyed into the system. The total amount of items sold together with their prices are then displayed and printed on a receipt that is issued to the client. The clients can then make payments and receive the purchased items. The orders can also be received through the online platform where users make purchases of desired products which are entered in to the system and deliveries made to them.
Additionally, special orders are made to the company either in person, through the online platform or by email. This order is entered into the system and sent to the production house where the items are produced and sent to them upon completion.
All orders are queued using an order no and processed sequentially based on the order number. Once this new business processes is implemented, the company will save a lot of money by reducing unnecessary expenses and increase sales by expanding the ways of making purchases.
Q#6 Evaluate and address the importance of the existing and future diagrams and how they assist the organization in determining the validity of the suggested change (your response to this question should be 3-5 paragraphs in length).
Both diagrams are very important to the company since they show the current and intended state of the business process in the organization. Diagram 5a indicates the current business process in the company and depicts all the strengths and weaknesses of the process and how it impacts the organization. Despite the fact that diagram 5a is simple and straightforward, it indicates that the current order and sales process need to be restructured and improved to cater for the increasing user demands. Although the company may have operated comfortably over the last decade, the changing times and advancement in technology coupled with shifting consumer needs and demands forces the company to contemplate these changes (Finne, 2009).
Implementation of new processes and procedures are advantageous to the company since it enhances efficiency and growth in the company. The second diagram 5b, demonstrates how the changes to the business process will be implemented in the organization. Evidently, it involves introduction of new steps that eventually saves both the employee and the customer a lot of time and resources as compared to the existing process. It demonstrates how the customer makes an order and the order is allocated an order number that is registered in the system and processed. With the new process the order processing and sales management is efficient and very easy to follow. When we compare the two diagrams there is a clear difference and it clearly shows how the ordering process is simplified (Finne, 2009).
The company can evaluate the two diagrams to show the complete activity processes. Each row represents a step in the order processing and the arrows in the diagram are an indication of the flow of events. It shows how events transition from one to another until the entire process is complete.
Q#7 Assess one specific activity to be performed within the process change. From the
One specific activity that is performed within this process change is database management of the new sales and order processing system. The success of the process will depend on the proper management of the database holding all the data and information regarding sales and orders in the new process.
The ideal process to effectively manage the process is to assign each order an order number that uniquely identify each special order and can be used to access the order and the details involved more easily. Additionally, each sale is allocated a sales number to help in the effective management of all sales made over the counter in the company. With the unique numbers, the orders and sales can be tracked easily and services provided more efficiently.
Database management will be implemented at the counter desk and at the back office of the company. When customers walk into the shop they proceed to select their items of choice and present them at the counter desk. The shop attendant will enter the items into the cash sales interface of the system and print out a receipt. The items entered will be deducted from the inventory and the inventory is adjusted. On the other hand a customer may wish to make a special order, this is recorded by the clerk at the counter and an order number is generated. The clerk proceeds to key in all the order details and this is sent to the production house for production. The database is immediately updated once the order is received by the clerk and the delivery is scheduled.
Database management will be performed by the sales clerks and the shop attendants. The sales clerk updates the database with new items from the production house and also processes the orders that affect the inventory. They are also in-charge of special orders made by the customers and forward them to the production house.
The new process and changes and the subsequent database management is managed, measured and evaluated in order to ensure returns on investment. The sales and order processing system will be managed by the sales clerk. The sales clerk is in charge of all sales and orders in the company. The sales clerk is well equipped with the knowledge and expertise for sales management and order processing. They will receive all the orders and process them accordingly and produce reports of sales and orders periodically. The store manager will verify all the reports generated and determine whether there are any anomalies. He is the one to determine accuracy and completeness of all orders and sales.
Q#8 Delineate and describe the differences between measuring human performance and task completion.
Measuring a task completion involves determining whether the task at hand has been completed or not, this is totally separate from human performance. In broader sense, we will have to evaluate human performance in the completion of a task. Essentially, completion of a task does not necessarily mean that the ideal human performance was utilized.
A company should have a set of standards that are to be met by the employees of the organization. Successful implementation of the business process changes must be performed by not only completing the task but doing so while meeting the standards. The improvement of human performance will ultimately improve task completion.
Q#9 Explore Six Sigma as a method used to evaluate, measure, and encourage continuous improvement. From this exploration create a fishbone diagram that addresses one risk, a potential defect, or a problem that may result from the change which may impact goal attainment.
The six sigma model of evaluation is based on team work and focuses on the improvement process. It is an effective method of evaluating, measuring and encouraging continued improvement (Albeanu, 2010). The method centers on an approach known as the DMAIC which stands for;
D- Define customer requirements for the process
M- Measure the existing performance and compare with the customer requirements
A- Analyze existing process
I-Improve the process design and implement it
C- Control the results and maintain the new performance
The six sigma method can be used to implement the Earls Baby Land process change. the entire comprising of the sales clerk, the store manager, shop attendants and all other employees can work together and define the customer requirements , measure the current performance to determine the needed corrections, they can also analyze the current sales and ordering process, design and implement the new process change and control the results. They can also maintain performance by measuring and evaluating the progress making the desired changes (Albeanu, 2010).
Potential hazards and problems that could be faced during the implementation process and the deviations they could cause must be identified and recognized. These deviations can be effectively illustrated through visual aids such as the fishbone diagram. For this case the fishbone diagram below shows the potential issues that could occur with the new process change at the company. The diagram shows errors associated with inaccurate entries, training deficiencies and improper order processing. It is important to train and equip all the workers about the new process change and allow them to know how to use the new system. This eliminates human errors and deficiencies associated with the keying in and recording of orders and sales. For instance if a sales clerk wrongly records a special order, the wrong item could be produced from the production house and could be rejected by the client. Some of these potential elements are illustrated in the following fishbone diagram;
Q#10 Address the value of your fishbone diagram as a visual representation.
The fishbone diagram can be termed as a cause-effect diagram used to show how events can cause an event to occur. The diagram shows how a problem can occur in the processes and how it can affect the change process. This diagram is a valuable visual representation of the different variables that may cause unfavorable results and affect goal attainment (Albeanu, 2010).
Albeanu, Radford, Hunter. (2010). Six sigma in hr transformation: achieving excellence in service delivery. In Ashgate Publishing Ltd. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com.lib.kaplan.edu/ehost/ebookviewer/ebook/nlebk_389097_AN?sid=508616c6-da05-43f1-97d2-3ca5ee5e391b@sessionmgr12&vid=1&lpid=lp_13
Earl’s Baby Land (2015). Earl’s Baby Land. Retrieved on 15 July 2015 from http://earlsbabyland.com/
Finne, Sivonen. (2009). Retail value chain: how to gain competitive advantage through efficient consumer response. Philadelphia, PA: Kogan Page. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com.lib.kaplan.edu/ehost/ebookviewer
Harmon, P. (2010). Business process change. Burlington, MA: DBA Business Process Trends.