Business Process Reengineering

What is BPR?

BPR is a concept of the '90s, named as such by Michael Hammer and James Champy, which aims at the improvement of the business performance through rethinking and redesigning (if necessary) the processes the profit depends on. A BPR analysis focuses on the optimization of all the transactions involving the business resources (financial, material, human and informational) to cut the business costs and risks and in the same time to stimulate the sales.

Often BPR ends in redesigning standard operations procedures (SOPs), parts of the IT system of the organization and to the automation of certain tasks and work places. Elimination of certain work places is very probable; therefore employees are reluctant or downright terrified at the BPR analysis. This is one of the reasons for which a BPR is done by a neutral consultant and not by the managers of the organization themselves.

What are the BPR cons?

Many BPR projects failed and some of them even led to the weakening of the business, due to a mechanical approach to the organization. These consultants considered the organization as a piece of machinery they were disassembling in parts and then putting it back in a more coherent, more logical structure. Unfortunately, in this approach they had no cooperation from the employees, who were scared by the unpredictable consequences. An employee is usually afraid of any changes, and he or she would choose the status quo, even a not favorable status quo. Moreover, there are published scientific research results on the correlation between changes at the office and the stress.

Why are changes useful though?

The company and the employees need at times rethinking of the business process, with changes and the subsequent stress these changes are bringing. In the end, cost cuts and sales increases are in the interest of all stakeholders (shareholders, majority of employees, customers, suppliers, local community etc.).

A successful business is expanding rapidly and sometimes, this growth rate is not sustainable by the existing organizational structure. From our studies, a potentially successful business should by designed as a flexible, adaptable structure, more change tolerant than a stagnant one, and on the other hand, a BPR analysis is necessary at every tripling of the turnover in real terms.

A mature business does also benefit from a BPR analysis on medium term (3 to 5 years), because from our experience, a natural decline in profits occurs. The "free" dynamics of the business system is a decline in sales, whereas the expenses grow up to catch up with the sales. In other words, a business left alone will "drift" to zero profits, to consume all the economic resources it creates. The management tries to correct these undesired natural tendencies, by applying more and more powerful command impulses. At some point in time, it is important that the natural dynamics of the business system to be changed, as the management would start from zero with the correction effort. Thus, BPR reduces the stress of the managers, their daily struggle to keep the company on course and consequently boosts their efficiency. This change is what we take BPR for.

Our vision on BPR

We started from an analogy between organizations and life forms. As a physician does not disassemble the human body to build another new structure, neither should we do this with organizations. Our BPR interventions are subject to a debate with the beneficiary of the consultancy (business proprietors or managers) and are then applied in a "surgical" manner. Our goal is the maximum outcome of the changes for the business, and yet the minimum costs and risks of the intervention. The flawed BPR interventions that we studied were caused by traumatic interventions on the organizations. Although the changes were made with the best intentions, the defense reactions caused by the traumatic intervention led to failure. There is no failure risk with us though. As a patient has the right to be informed on the risks and the consequences of non-intervention as well as the intervention, in order to get his participation in the medical act, in the same we our consultancy tries to focus the interest of the members of the organization to the business redesign process.

In this field of consultancy, the first failure is also the last, the credibility of the consultant being so much at stake. Unlike big consultancy firms, we could not possibly survive such an accident, and this is a good reason to avoid it.

Our experience and competencies

The Brainbond senior consultants have 15 years of experience in designing and redesigning business systems, they are graduates of top 20 MBAs in the world, and have extensive top management experience both in Romania and the United Kingdom, with expertise in information systems, systems engineering many other fields.