How Business Process Optimisation Can Drive Top-Line Growth
This blog post has been contributed by Grace Chen, SGK Consulting Senior Associate, SGK
With a rise in empowered consumers, fiercely innovative market players and stringent regulations, top-line growth is becoming increasingly more challenging. For any brand organisation, they will need to evolve to be more agile and productive than ever to better meet the needs of their consumers. One of the ways to do so is through business process optimisation of workflows across functions, markets and platforms.
Traditionally utilised for the manufacturing industry, over time process optimisation has expanded to be used in other areas including online content. Areas of exploration can be cross-functional, physical and online platforms and across borders; with the intent to make it easier for anyone to get more out of the target processes.
In terms of marketing this could mean getting a product from design to shelf in less time, doubling the volume of photography assets produced in a set time, reducing the time taken by a brand manager to find their brand assets, quicker development of assets for publishing online or printed on pack; and almost endless other improvements.
Business process optimisation provides an invaluable opportunity to elevate efficiencies across teams and systems. But what are some key points that brand organisations should take note of? We look at three essential steps for streamlining process optimisation to improve productivity and output.
1. Collaboration starts from a better understanding.
Business process optimisation involves an analysis across teams and working groups. It starts with determining the process steps, identifying the output of each stage and ways of working across teams. This allows a check for duplication and an audit of content usage to determine where that content is utilised (both offline and online).
Teams involved in this process will get an opportunity to understand how they impact other teams and teammates. Not only will they get to see opportunities for improvement, but this will help them identify how they can better support others. Thereby inspiring teams to focus on creating value more efficiently and freely make impartial decisions. The main focus is on value creation, which ultimately benefits the consumer.
2. Slash it if it does not add value.
Once the mapping and analysis of steps are completed, teams can step back and understand the big picture. A crucial step in optimisation (and a very satisfying one) is to examine and eliminate non-value adding steps.
This could result in reduced steps involved in briefing, less time taken to gather data for both physical pack and e-commerce, or fewer locations where online content is stored internally—or even all of the above. With this, teams will be more agile and can focus on consumer-centric innovation; thereby creating more value.
3. Manage efforts strategically, or it could backfire.
One of the few pitfalls of business process optimisation initiatives, especially when run separately in parallel streams, is when their benefits negate each other. When process optimisation initiatives run independently, we're looking at duplication of effort, implementation of isolated technology, confused teams, unclear roles and responsibilities and additional costs.
Achieving top-line growth will always require a lot of innovation, time and effort—none of which can happen unless organisations can let go of the non-value adding activities that take up the time and energy of their teams. By implementing an optimised process, it will generate greater transparency and value for all; and will make it easier for organisations to achieve top-line growth through higher productivity across functions, countries and platforms for the physical and digital shelf.
Business process optimisation is not the only solution to achieving top-line growth. However, it is a cost-effective driver of top-line growth and one of the first that brand organisations should address, as it sets teams up with a strong foundation for implementing other technologies like AI and automation.
About Grace Chen: Grace Chen has more than 8 years’ experience implementing cross functional and multi-market projects in the areas of consumer engagement/marketing, IT and operations management in various industries. She has a love for understanding what initiatives truly motivate markets/countries when undergoing business transformation and what are the factors that could speed it up. Grace is Prince2 Practitioner certified, lean six sigma trained and is a Prosci Change Management practitioner.