The existing system in the organization is totally reexamined and radically modified for incorporating the latest technology. This process of change for the betterment of the organization is called as Business process reengineering. With Business process being reengineered, the organizations have to change the workflow and business procedures for efficiency in the organization. Latest software are used and accordingly the business procedures are modified, so that documents are worked upon more easily and efficiently. This is called as workflow management.
Business process reengineering is a major innovation changing the way organizations conduct their business. Such changes are often necessary for profitability or even survival. BPR is employed when major IT projects such as ERP are undertaken. Reengineering involves changes in structure, organizational culture and processes. Many concepts of BPR changes organizational structure. Team based organization, mass customization, empowerment and telecommuting are some of the examples. The support system in any organization plays a important role in BPR. ES, DSS(Decision Support Systems), AI(Artificial Intelligence) allows business to be conducted in different locations, provides flexibility in manufacturing permits quicker delivery to customers and supports rapid paperless transactions among suppliers, manufacturers and retailers. Expert systems can enable organizational changes by providing expertise to non experts. It is difficult to carry out BPR calculations using ordinary programs like spreadsheets etc. Experts make use of applications with simulations tools for BPR.
Reengineering is basically done to achieve cost reduction, increase in quality, improvement in speed and service. BPR enable a company to become more competitive in the market. Employees work in team comprising of managers and engineers to develop a product. This leads to the formation of interdisciplinary teams which can work better than mere functional teams. The coordination becomes easier and faster results can be achieved. The entire business process of developing a product gets a new dimension. This has led to reengineering of many old functional processes in organizations.
Business Process Reengineering (BPR) — The Current Focus
Apart from the usual ways of managing a process in any business information system, it is necessary to enhance the value of the process and also the methods used in improving the process. Some of the concepts of information management for effective information systems are the traditional concept of database, the emerging concepts of data mining and data warehousing.
- Concept of Database — Database is a data structure used to store organized information. A database is typically made up of many linked tables of rows and columns. For example, a company might use a database to store information about their products, their employees, and financial information. Databases are now also used in nearly all ecommerce sites to store product inventory and customer information. Database software, such as Microsoft Access, FileMaker Pro, and MySQL is designed to help companies and individuals organize large amounts of information in a way where the data can be easily searched, sorted, and updated.
- Data Mining – Data mining is primarily used as a part of information system today, by companies with a strong consumer focus retail, financial, communication, and marketing organizations. It enables these companies to determine relationships among “internal” factors such as price, product positioning, or staff skills, and “external” factors such as economic indicators, competition, and customer demographics. And, it enables them to determine the impact on sales, customer satisfaction, and corporate profits. Finally, it enables them to “drill down” into summary information to view detail transactional data. With data mining, a retailer could use point of sale records of customer purchases to send targeted promotions based on an individual’s purchase history. By mining demographic data from comment or warranty cards, the retailer could develop products and promotions to appeal to specific customer segments.
- Data Warehousing — A data warehouse is a copy of transaction data specifically structured for querying and reporting. The main output from data warehouse systems are either tabular listings (queries) with minimal formatting or highly formatted “formal” reports on business activities. This becomes a convenient way to handle the information being generated by various processes. Data warehouse is an archive of information collected from wide multiple sources, stored under a unified scheme, at a single site. This data is stored for a long time permitting the user an access to archived data for years. The data stored and the subsequent report generated out of a querying process enables decision making quickly. This concept is useful for big companies having plenty of data on their business processes. Big companies have bigger problems and complex problems. Decision makers require access to information from all sources. Setting up queries on individual processes may be tedious and inefficient. Data warehouse may be considered under such situations.