Business Process Re-engineering (BPR)

What is BPR? How is BPR different?

There was a postman who always delivered the letters and parcels within the same day the consignments reached the post office. But as the number of residents increased in the locality over the years, there was also an increase in the workload of the post office. The post office kept upgrading itself over the years with the aid of technology and additional manpower. To keep up with the additional workload, the postman got himself a bicycle. But soon he realised that the load of the parcels was too much for the bicycle. It was tiring as well. Then he bought a motorised two-wheeler that helped him proficiently manage both work and commute. What will you call it – process improvisation or process re-engineering or better tactics or better strategies? Irrespective of the nomenclature, the end result or the objective is the maintenance or even improvement over the status quo. And in the case of BPR, we are talking about this from the perspective of process and operational planning.

Business Process Re-engineering (BPR)

In business, strategic or operational improvisations or adjustments are required from time to time. If the adjustment in operations requires fundamental or structural changes, it is referred to as Business Process Re-engineering (BPR). A term that is often used with BPR is ‘radical reorganisation or business process redesign’. Smaller changes come under the category of Business Process Improvement. Business Process Management is the broader umbrella concept that covers both BPR and BPI. While BPM is an ever-going activity, BPR reflects a very specific effort on the organisational timescale.

A business example of BPR would be the restructuring of the home delivery process to shorten the delivery time to, say 15 minutes. 

Smaller changes like providing the delivery team with GPS-aided devices or removing process owners in the process would come under BPI. Here, BPR would involve rethinking and reassessing the entire process from scratch and in light of the new circumstances and objectives. It is close to the redevelopment of the process itself.

When or why a Business Enterprise needs BPR?

Adaptation to external changes

In an altered business environment, businesses have to change their internal processes. A good example of this is the GST implementation in India. Every small and big business had to redefine their accounting/finance operations in varying degrees to ensure compliance. And this could not have been achieved without BPR whether or not it was called that way.

Support expansion projects

Sometimes the existing business processes do not exactly meet the requirements of expanded business operations. For example, when businesses adopt the franchisee route of expansion, their operational planning now has to include the operations of the franchisees. Although the degree of this change will vary depending upon the kind of franchising, the change has to be incorporated. For instance, the reporting mechanism of the parent company has to redefine the reporting parameters for each department or business process. And this affects how different departments collect different reports in different formats from different locations at different intervals.

Increase operational effectiveness and efficiency

A business enterprise is run by a team of tens, hundreds, or even thousands of employees executing various business processes. If these processes are not designed to achieve efficiency and effectiveness, the enterprise eventually suffers. Think of a hiring process. By not aligning it with the onboarding and training processes, the hiring team will have difficulties coordinating with the new recruits and the rest of the organisation. This will slow down the manpower allocation and eventually, the business will bear the consequences. Applying BPR helps businesses make such structural process makeovers.

Operational realignment for automation and digitisation

Well, if you buy yourself a car or motorbike, would you be able to commute the same way or manage time as earlier? It will add many new tasks to your work schedule like cleaning the car, filling gas, mechanical servicing, and so on. You will also have more time now. If your objective was to also drop/pick up your family to/from school or work every day, it will call for more detailed operational planning. The same goes for businesses when they plan to bring home some new tech solutions. And BPR is the way to go.

Organisational restructuring

Now that is a term we often get to hear. When businesses go through difficult times in terms of revenue generation, profitability or any other situation that weighs them down, they resort to many tough decisions. Organisational restructuring is one of them. Companies try to give a new shape and structure to their organisational framework. It could mean a smaller workforce, merger of departments, job redesign, adoption of matrix format, etc. These new changes have big implications on the business processes to the extent that they must be redefined at the fundamental levels inviting the need for BPR.

Reduce operational costs

The objective of reducing operational costs is a very specific one. But it can entail enterprise-wide re-engineering of one or more processes. When it comes to reducing operational costs, making small improvisations in a process hardly ever helps businesses accomplish it. For example, if a company wants to reduce its cost per hire, it will have to examine its entire hiring process as well as the strategies behind it. Reducing the strength of the hiring team could be one of the tactics. But there may be other areas like using the internal database of resumes or starting an internal referral scheme. Or the company may decide to work aggressively on social media activities that will affect the processes involved in digital marketing. And the decisions made in this regard must reflect in the new hiring process.

Integrate new processes

Let us use the example in the previous point on enhanced digital marketing for hiring benefits. The digital marketing team will now have closer strategic and operational linkages with the HR team. The DM team may require inputs from the HR team who may have to source the same directly from the employees. Now the activity calendars of these two teams have to stand synchronised as per their separate individual but interlinked processes. The application of BPR is instrumental in such intricate process integrations.

How BPX can help

With more than 10 years of experience in delivering process solutions, BPR is not a new concept for us. Every solution designed by us goes through a set of planned and proven methodologies refined over the years. Since every solution varies, given below is a generic representation of how we approach developing BPR solutions.

We define and map the existing processes and their capabilities. In doing so, we have two objectives. The first is to optimise the need for change. And the second is making identifying the deviations or areas of improvisations easier. The workflows are mapped. The resource requirements for process execution are identified. When we are talking about BPR-level changes, it is critical to examine and establish the existing processes to the highest detail but this must also be done in a well-defined output format as it becomes the source of inputs for the later phases.

BPR is done to achieve certain specific goals and objectives. These intended end results constitute the new operational specifications. In this stage, we carry out the reverse engineering of the new business objectives to identify and define the new process and operational requirements.

We then move to the process gap analysis and development of the new processes using Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). SOP development & implementation is one of our flagship skill sets. Even if it is not BPR, we help organisations develop their business processes from scratch. Coming back, the new process definitions become the to-be processes.

If required, we define and assess the new processes in terms of technology – digitisation and automation leverage.

We also define the capability and competency requirements as per the new process and operational requirements.

To know more on how we can help your business implement BPR, please reach out to us via our website.

About BPX

BPX is a management consulting brand with expert capabilities and rich experience in developing business process management and SOP solutions and services. From planning to implementation, our services are designed and delivered in adherence to proven principles and planned processes. Our projects are handled by a team of expert and experienced business process consultants. Today, we are a brand with a scaling international presence and we continue to keep moving ahead in that direction.

Warehouse Healthometer

Start Free Assessment


Please check the blog under the heading – What is BPR? How is BPR different?

(One way to look at a BPR process or BPR model)

  • Defining the as-is process
  • Gap analysis and new process development
  • Implementation

(Another way to look at a BPR process or BPR model)

  • Defining and mapping the as-is processes
  • Reverse engineering/operational interpretation of the new business goals and objectives
  • Gap analysis
  • Development of the to-be processes
  • Technological dimensions
  • Required capabilities and competencies
  • Pilot and Final Implementation
  • Adaptation
  • Support growth & expansion
  • Achieve operational proficiencies
  • Operational realignment for technology adoption
  • Organisational Restructuring
  • Reduction of operational costs
  • Integration of new processes
  • Errors in interpreting business objectives
  • Faulty business process redesign
  • Misjudgements in technology selection and resource assessments
  • Risk of operational disruptions during BPR implementation
  • Change management
What BPR is does not change with industry or the type of business or service. The concept of BPR in eCommerce could be applied to procurement, inventory management, warehouse/FC management, order fulfilment, recruitment, payroll, agency management, CRM, etc.
BPX can help your business with expert BPR solutions.

Please get in touch with us to know about our solutions and charges.

Enquire Now