Thursday, January 13, 2011

Re-engineering Business Processes

Existing Business Process
We are often asked to layer on unique web-based toolsets to an existing business model. Such initiatives can include a combination of: database management, e-commerce, e-marketing, product knowledge and content management systems. Because of the complexity, demand on resources and the cost, clients may also want to implement such initiatives over time; and customers assume that these initiatives can be added easily, like the layers of a cake. Now just because you can do something (and someone will always tell you they can) …does not mean that you should.

What is really required is a business process assessment where the company can work with a web development partner to carefully consider the short and long term goals while mapping out the existing business process model for the organization. Once the existing model is defined we can then layer on a secondary map showing how the business process will change with the addition of new layered web initiatives. The unseen effects on an organization can be significant and the more we understand the objectives of such initiatives the better we can recommend streamlined solutions that consider unique business propositions that may not have been considered in the original plan.

New Business Process
Monetizing the business processes in an online environment is the one of the most attractive initiatives in this process and should be considered an enterprise level enhancement of the business model. With the advent of tablets such as the I-Pad and Playbook as well as a host of others, coupled with a do anything anywhere attitude that is beginning to grip the marketplace, companies are beginning to realize that if they embrace online sales initiatives through a well thought out initiatives they will reap the benefits for years to come.

As in any well designed growth initiatives, companies and organizations have to consider the many effects of changing the business model. Businesses have to ask themselves: How will we support online customer service in areas such as: returns or exchange policy, warrantees, product knowledge, delivery times, packaging, postage, etc. These are just a few examples that affect only one part of the business; many others parts are affected, such as: banking & currency exchange, company culture, human resources, accounting, product knowledge, marketing and sales, franchising and distribution; all with significant impact on the existing business model.

Taking the time to consider the broad ranging impact in planning an online implementation will ensure that the money you do choose to spend is well suited for your goals and objectives and generates results that will benefit any company or organization.

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