Business Process Mapping (BPM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
If your business is considering implementing or upgrading its ERP solution, then you’ll ideally need to map all the business processes first. Here’s a look at the basics of business process mapping and how it’s beneficial for your organisation.
What is ERP?
An ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system consists of integrated management applications that support a number of industries, including:
- Industrial machinery
- Electronics and technology
- Aerospace and defence
- Healthcare and pharmaceuticals
- Farming and agriculture
- Food and beverage
- Clothing, consumer goods and retail
ERP systems store data, including real-time and transactional data, which allows organisations to track business activity. These systems come with a range of innovative features that enhance business operations, among them inventory management, sales and marketing, manufacturing, financial management, customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM), Business Intelligence (BI), project management, and human resource management (HRM).
What Is Business Process Mapping In ERP?
Essentially, this is the act of mapping all processes performed by your organisation and displaying them in an easy-to-visualise diagrammatic form. The mapping includes the capture of all inputs into outputs, the flow of materials, business information and the inter-relationships between processes. Business process mapping will provide insight into how each task is accomplished and how it will be achieved in the future.
What Are the Benefits of Business Process Mapping?
There are many reasons why you’d want to implement process mapping alongside your ERP solution. Here is a look at some of the reasons:
Process mapping allows everyone in the organisation to easily visualise how all the processes within the business actually flow together. This means even those who are not in top management can get an idea of how everything works.
Business compliance, no matter the industry, is vital for legitimate operations. Whatever the required compliance regulation, business process mapping will ensure your company is always on track.
Whether you’re introducing new employees or need to train existing employees, having your business processes mapped in a flowchart or diagram is much easier to comprehend than reading through an entire document. By introducing business process mapping, you’re enabling consistent training and reducing errors.
4. Refining processes
In addition to letting you identify and eliminate bottlenecks in workflow, business process mapping will allow you to automate processes and improve efficiency. Through business process mapping, you’re able to discover areas of improvement, streamline operations, benefit from cost reductions as well as setting and tracking Key Performance Indicators.
5. Business Innovation
Through the refinement of processes, this form of mapping will also identify areas where you can adopt new technology to further streamline operations. In the current climate, business innovation is key to remain relevant, and this means adopting the latest technology where possible.
6. Working Together
A cohesive work environment makes for a much more productive work environment, which is why business process mapping is so beneficial. The visualisation and ease of comprehension means everyone across the board is on the same page. This builds understanding across all your departments, but more than this, it also focuses stakeholders on the processes and gives an accurate reflection of the current state of business.
What to Consider When Process Mapping
Before delving in, here are some of the principles that need to be followed in the mapping process:
- You may need to hire someone or outsource the process.
- Consider what the bigger picture is so you know what needs to be included.
- Define every step of the mapping process clearly.
- Involve all employees in the process and ensure you get their feedback as well.
- Make sure you keep the process simple and accurate.
- Include accepted metrics in the process such as rates, equipment, and time.
- Ensure the processes are all customer-centric.
- Whenever possible, utilise technology to enable processes.
What Are the Four Levels of Process Mapping?
It’s clear that business process mapping is essential for your organisation, particularly when implementing or upgrading existing ERP solutions. But before you get started, you’ll need to understand the various levels and how they could work for your business. Here’s an overview of each level.
– Level One
The first level of business process mapping is about creating broad sections relevant to your company. This outline includes the primary functions that relate to your customers and the internal administration. It’s a high-level map that provides broad outlines, rather than detail.
– Level Two
This is also a high-level (or top-down) process map with minimal detail, but it will also show end-to-end processes across the operational areas that were identified in level one. This top-down process map is quick and easy to draw up. An example is purchasing equipment – here the process map will show operations such as purchasing, accounts payable, maintenance and asset management.
– Level Three
This level adds more detail to the process map, including the individuals involved, the tasks required, as well as any other resources needed to ensure the process works efficiently. This level indicates all the inputs and outputs, as well as the roles and steps required within operational areas. This level of mapping will have sufficient information for areas of improvement, however insufficient detail for training or operational documentation.
– Level Four
This level will complete the business process map by detailing the systems and procedures of your operation. In addition to the inputs and outputs, there will also be decision points and other useful factors outlined in a detailed process map. The level of detail in this business process map makes it resource-intensive, and are great when used as an excellent training or reference material.
For the ultimate in ERP solutions that allow for effective business process mapping, contact Omni Accounts today. Our systems are all highly efficient, affordable and easy to use with the necessary training and support to aid in your business process mapping needs.