Global Business Processes: the means to succeed in the 21st century.


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Companies with a worldwide presence face many challenges such as globalization, regional trading agreements and the uncertainty of the economic markets. These challenges require a coordinated approach which maximizes the benefits of a world-wide presence and at the same time provide a local focus. Global processes are the way to achieve this balance and include front end activities like customer acquisition or new business processing, support processes like information systems right the way through to back end customer retention and financial management.

Co-ordination. Teams need to develop a common process approach which regardless of culture speaks the same language i.e. what is the successful customer outcome (SCO)? Figuring out how work gets done and achieves the SCO is key to global process success. Implementation needs a pragmatic approach which acknowledges cultural perspectives. Bringing a strategic multi disciplinary team together led by qualified process leaders familiar with cultural and economic challenge is a starting point. Rolling out that discipline and process approach through geographic teams provides a means to learn and exchange and grow key processes to maturity.

Getting everyone on the same page. Even the way we think and speak of processes is different and so developing a common way of looking at work is critical to a successful operation. For instance the ‘collecting the money process’ has a very specific objective however each location may have different custom and practice – how do you ensure a uniform and yet different approach? The underpinning technology that supports a global process can be common, however the business rules that we operate to make sure our endeavour is successful often need to be different.

What is the relationship between global processes and performance improvement?

The relationship is absolute. In the 20th century we may have talked about standardization and conformity. Performance is now much more driven by the capability to act in the moment e.g. a US insurance company has the slogan ‘think global, act local’ which provides both a degree of uniformity and empowers the people locally to act in the best interests of the business – there and then.

It is the understanding that there is a framework and common structure to running the business successfully that provides assurance that senior management knows what they are doing and are operating as a team. Process is the way we get work done. It is the way we deliver value to our customers. It’s the way we create profits for our shareholders. This can then be encapsulated in our rewards systems and provide a framework for success, both in process, people, systems and global strategy.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steve Towers
A seasoned practitioner with over 30 years of hands-on experience, Steve Towers is one of industry's noted experts in BPM, Customer Expectation Management and Performance transformation. Towers heads the Research & Professional Services network within the BP Group, the world's first and premier network for Process & Performance professionals.


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