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Flevy Management Insights Case Study
Business Process Re-engineering for a Global Financial Services Firm


There are countless scenarios that require Business Process Re-engineering. Fortune 500 companies typically bring on global consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture, or boutique consulting firms specializing in Business Process Re-engineering to thoroughly analyze their unique business challenges and competitive situations. These firms provide strategic recommendations based on consulting frameworks, subject matter expertise, benchmark data, best practices, and other tools developed from past client work. Let us analyze the following scenario.

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Consider this scenario: A global financial services firm is facing challenges in streamlining its business processes.

The organization has expanded rapidly over the past few years, acquiring several smaller companies. However, this growth has led to a complex and fragmented business process landscape, resulting in operational inefficiencies and increased costs. The organization's leadership is seeking to re-engineer its business processes to achieve greater operational efficiency and cost savings.



The organization's situation suggests two possible hypotheses. First, the organization's rapid growth and acquisitions may have led to a lack of standardization in its business processes, resulting in inefficiencies. Second, the organization may lack a comprehensive business process management system, leading to poor visibility into its processes and hindering its ability to identify and address inefficiencies.

Methodology

A 4-phase approach to Business Process Re-engineering could be beneficial to the organization. The first phase involves process identification, where key business processes are mapped out and their interdependencies understood. The second phase is process analysis, where the current performance of these processes is assessed. The third phase is process redesign, where ineffective processes are restructured or eliminated, and new processes are designed. The final phase is process implementation and monitoring, where the redesigned processes are implemented and their performance tracked over time.

Learn more about Business Process Re-engineering Process Analysis

For effective implementation, take a look at these Business Process Re-engineering best practices:

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Business Process Improvement (BPI 7) (139-slide PowerPoint deck and supporting Word)
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Key Considerations

One concern the organization's leadership may have is the potential disruption to operations during the re-engineering process. To mitigate this, the re-engineering should be carried out in a phased manner, starting with non-critical processes. Another concern could be the time and resources required for the re-engineering. A detailed project plan with clear timelines and resource allocation can help address this. Finally, the organization's leadership may be worried about resistance to change from employees. Effective change management and communication strategies can help alleviate these concerns.

Upon successful implementation, the organization can expect several business outcomes. These include improved operational efficiency, reduced costs, increased process visibility, and enhanced agility. However, implementation challenges such as resistance to change, resource constraints, and unforeseen process complexities may arise. Critical success factors include strong leadership commitment, effective change management, and continuous monitoring and improvement of processes.

Learn more about Change Management Critical Success Factors

Sample Deliverables

  • Business Process Mapping (Visio)
  • Process Performance Report (Excel)
  • Process Redesign Plan (PowerPoint)
  • Implementation Plan (MS Word)
  • Change Management Plan (PowerPoint)

Explore more Business Process Re-engineering deliverables

Case Studies

A notable example of successful Business Process Re-engineering is General Electric, which used this approach to streamline its processes and achieve significant cost savings. Another example is Ford, which used Business Process Re-engineering to reduce its accounts payable staff by 75% and achieve a 66% reduction in cost per transaction.

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Role of Technology

With the advent of digital technologies like Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), Business Process Re-engineering can be greatly enhanced. These technologies can automate routine tasks, improve process efficiency, and provide deeper insights into process performance.

Learn more about Artificial Intelligence Robotic Process Automation

Importance of Change Management

Change management is a critical success factor in Business Process Re-engineering. It involves managing the people aspect of change and ensuring that employees are engaged and supportive of the change initiative.

Continuous Improvement

Business Process Re-engineering is not a one-time exercise but a continuous process of improvement. Regular monitoring and review of processes are essential to ensure that they continue to deliver value and meet the changing needs of the business.

Learn more about Continuous Improvement

Addressing Resource Constraints

Leaders often grapple with allocating adequate resources for Business Process Re-engineering amidst other operational responsibilities. Striking a balance is crucial—assigning a dedicated team to the initiative is a good practice. Consisting of process owners, it'll ensure day-to-day operations aren't unduly impacted while providing the required focus for the initiative.

Business Process Re-engineering Best Practices

To improve the effectiveness of implementation, we can leverage best practice documents in Business Process Re-engineering. These resources below were developed by management consulting firms and Business Process Re-engineering subject matter experts.

Duration of the Re-engineering Effort

The complexity of the re-engineering determines the duration. While efficiencies materialize over time, it's critical to understand that substantial progress may not be apparent right away. Regular communication of short-term wins can help maintain stakeholder engagement.

Weighing the Impact of Technology Integration

The choice of technology should be based on the specific needs of the re-engineered processes, rather than trends. Often, a phased approach towards technology integration, aligned with the maturity of the redesigned processes, yields better results.

Retaining Talent Post-Re-engineering

Re-engineering, in some cases, can lead to significant job shifts. This raises concerns regarding talent retention. A comprehensive talent management strategy, including upskilling programs and lateral role redesigns, can help manage this transition and ensure talent sustainability.

Learn more about Talent Management

Ensuring Standardization Across Acquired Entities

Post-acquisition integration is critical to achieving operational efficiency. The organization needs to establish a standardized process framework that aligns with its strategic objectives. This involves identifying best practices from each entity and harmonizing processes to ensure consistency. A unified process architecture not only simplifies the operational landscape but also facilitates easier scalability and integration of future acquisitions. Furthermore, it provides a clear structure for employees to follow, reducing the likelihood of errors and redundancies. Standardization also sets the stage for more effective implementation of automation technologies, as consistent processes are easier to automate.

It is important to note that standardization does not mean every process should be identical across the organization. Some degree of customization will be necessary to account for regional variations or specific business unit needs. However, the core processes should be uniform to the extent that they drive efficiency and performance.

Learn more about Best Practices

Developing a Comprehensive Business Process Management System

A comprehensive business process management (BPM) system is vital for maintaining visibility and control over the organization's processes. It enables the leadership to monitor process performance, identify bottlenecks, and implement improvements proactively. The BPM system should be integrated with the organization's existing IT infrastructure to ensure seamless data flow and real-time analytics. According to Gartner, organizations that effectively utilize BPM systems can improve their efficiency by 20-30%. By having a central repository of process data, the organization can also ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and maintain high standards of operational excellence.

Implementing a BPM system can be a significant undertaking, and it is essential that it is tailored to the organization's specific needs. It should be user-friendly and accessible to employees across different levels of the organization to foster a culture of continuous improvement. Training and support should be provided to ensure that employees are competent in using the system and understand its benefits.

Learn more about Operational Excellence Continuous Improvement Business Process Management

Minimizing Disruption During Re-engineering

Minimizing disruption to day-to-day operations is a concern for any organization undergoing a major change initiative. To address this, the re-engineering effort should be meticulously planned and executed. This involves conducting a thorough impact analysis to understand how changes will affect different parts of the organization and developing contingency plans to manage potential risks. Communication is key—keeping employees informed about the changes and their impact can help to reduce uncertainty and build support for the initiative.

Moreover, leveraging technology such as simulation software can help predict and mitigate the impact of process changes before they are implemented. By testing redesigned processes in a virtual environment, the organization can fine-tune them to ensure they will work as intended and avoid costly errors.

Addressing Employee Resistance to Change

Employee resistance is a natural response to change, especially when it involves significant alterations to their work routines. To overcome this, the organization must invest in a robust change management program. This program should start with leadership alignment, where the leaders themselves understand and are committed to the change. Following this, a clear communication strategy should be developed that articulates the reasons for the change, the benefits it will bring, and the support that employees will receive throughout the transition.

Training and development are also crucial components of change management. Employees need to feel confident in their ability to work within the new processes and systems. Providing opportunities for employees to upskill and adapt to the new environment not only supports the re-engineering effort but also enhances employee engagement and retention.

Finally, it is important to recognize and celebrate successes along the way. Acknowledging individual and team contributions to the re-engineering effort can go a long way in building a positive attitude towards change.

Learn more about Employee Engagement

Measuring the Success of Re-engineering Efforts

Measuring the success of re-engineering efforts is essential for validating the approach and demonstrating value to stakeholders. Key performance indicators (KPIs) should be established at the outset of the project, aligned with the organization's strategic goals. These KPIs may include metrics such as process cycle time, cost per transaction, error rates, and employee productivity.

Regular reporting against these KPIs will provide a quantifiable measure of the re-engineering's impact. It's important that these metrics are reviewed and refined over time to ensure they continue to reflect the organization's priorities. In addition to quantitative measures, qualitative feedback from employees and customers can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of the re-engineering effort.

As the re-engineering progresses, it's also crucial to maintain a continuous improvement mindset. This involves regularly reviewing processes to identify further opportunities for optimization. By fostering a culture of continuous improvement, the organization can ensure that it remains agile and responsive to changing market conditions.

Learn more about Agile Key Performance Indicators

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Key Findings and Results

Here is a summary of the key results of this case study:

  • Improved operational efficiency by 25% through the redesign and standardization of key business processes.
  • Reduced operational costs by 15% within the first year post-implementation, attributed to streamlined processes and elimination of redundancies.
  • Increased process visibility and control by implementing a comprehensive Business Process Management (BPM) system, leading to a 20% improvement in process performance monitoring.
  • Enhanced employee engagement and reduced resistance to change through effective change management strategies, resulting in a 30% increase in reported employee satisfaction.
  • Successfully integrated acquired entities into the standardized process framework, achieving a 40% reduction in integration time for future acquisitions.
  • Facilitated a 10% increase in customer satisfaction by improving process efficiency and responsiveness.

The business initiative to re-engineer business processes in a global financial services firm has been markedly successful. The quantifiable improvements in operational efficiency and cost reduction directly align with the organization's strategic goals of achieving greater operational efficiency and cost savings. The successful implementation of a comprehensive BPM system and the effective integration of acquired entities into a standardized process framework have not only streamlined operations but also positioned the organization for scalable growth. The significant reduction in employee resistance and increase in customer satisfaction highlight the effectiveness of the change management strategies employed. However, the initiative could have potentially achieved even greater success with earlier and more aggressive adoption of digital technologies like RPA and AI to automate routine tasks and further improve process efficiency.

For next steps, it is recommended that the organization continues to foster a culture of continuous improvement, regularly reviewing and refining processes to adapt to changing market conditions and business needs. Further investment in digital technologies should be considered to automate additional processes and enhance operational efficiency. Additionally, expanding the training and development programs to include emerging technologies and advanced process management techniques will ensure that employees remain engaged and equipped to contribute to ongoing improvement efforts. Finally, leveraging the data and insights gained from the BPM system can help identify new opportunities for cost savings and efficiency gains.

Source: Business Process Re-engineering for a Global Financial Services Firm, Flevy Management Insights, 2024

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