Process and capability improvement is a practice that involves analysing how a company carries out its activity and what resources and expertise are available to support it, with the objective of determining where productivity, efficiency and quality of output can be improved. An effective, data-backed approach for process and capability improvement will optimise efficiency across all business areas.
Using our comprehensive consulting experience and in-depth understanding of the procurement process, we support our clients to evaluate their procurement function, internal processes and tools, and staff capability. With this analysis, we help companies streamline their activity and identify areas where upskilling is required, enhancing their workforce’s capabilities and improving the effectiveness of operations to drive business growth.
By implementing six key stages in process and capability improvement, we can ensure the measures taken are sustainable, minimise future issues and deliver against your procurement and overall business objectives.
Map the business process
The first step involves identifying what needs to change. This includes mapping the steps in the business process and visualising the workflows or activities that are included.
Investigate the issues
Using the outputs created in mapping the business process, we explore where the problems lie within the process and identify areas where there are inefficiencies, duplications, frustrations or lack of expertise. We involve relevant stakeholders in this step to gain a comprehensive understanding of what improvements are needed.
Restructure the process
To set about restructuring the process, we help businesses establish the output required from it and develop methods for achieving this output. We use our consulting expertise to provide fresh perspectives on how a process can be improved while involving stakeholders who are directly affected by these changes to ensure their buy-in is achieved.
Carry out a risk analysis
Conducting a risk analysis on the restructured approach is crucial for understanding the impact of the changes, where there are any potential points of failure or any unforeseen negative consequences.
Implement the new strategy
Implementing the new strategy may involve acquiring new resources or personnel, changing existing systems or delivering training. We collaborate with teams beyond procurement, such as HR and IT, where relevant changes are deployed to ensure a smooth roll-out of the strategy. We work with clients to implement the new processes and support the process of internal adoption as employees adapt to the changes.
The level of success of the process is evaluated against predetermined metrics to ensure it is performing to expectations and working towards the goals set. Ensuring a review is completed in the early stages of implementation allows issues to be resolved quickly. Once the process is established, we support our clients in establishing a continuous improvement strategy to check that the process continues to meet expectations and remains relevant to business activity and any influencing external circumstances.
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The benefits of best practice
The central benefit of process and capability improvement is increasing efficiency within a business to support its growth. However, employing our extensive experience in delivering this practice, we ensure our clients experience a variety of other benefits that impact wider business activity, including:
Enhanced customer experience
More efficient processes, greater capabilities and a reduction of errors throughout the business’s processes will improve customer service delivery, thus increasing levels of satisfaction, loyalty and repeat business.
Better employee experience
A key component of process and capability improvement is identifying areas where upskilling is required. Providing your employees with these professional development opportunities enhances their experience as employees and their perception of the business. Furthermore, process and capability improvement seeks to support improved employee productivity with streamlined workflows and better resources.
Improvements in product quality
Removing inefficiencies and improving capabilities and resource accessibility also supports improvements in product quality. For example, more efficient manufacturing of a product and more streamlined transport and logistics allows the product to reach the end-user in a better condition. With better product quality, businesses are more likely to see increased sales and accelerated growth.
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Supply chain deficits, such as semiconductor and chip shortages, have had a huge impact on businesses in recent years.