Degree project saves money for industry
There is no doubt that many companies have processes that could be streamlined – but it is not always obvious at which end to start. Now, two students at Linköping University have produced a model that helps companies choose the order in which processes should be improved in order to create maximum profitability.
“This ought to be an eye-opener for the entire industry. Prioritising business processes is often tricky. Now there is a simple tool that makes the selection process quick, accurate and, in particular, economical with regard to resources,” says Novacura Managing Director Johan Melander.
In their degree project “Identification and analysis of processes in need of a business process management tool,” Linköping University students Elin Andersson and Johanna Boström, with SAAB Support & Services as a case study, looked at how to choose which processes the process tool Novacura Flow should be applied to for optimum benefit.
The background to the study was that the familiar method for managing and improving a company’s processes is based on a planning phase where the processes to be improved have already been selected. But many companies that need to develop their processes do not know where it is best to start.
“It is not certain that you can improve all processes at the same time, so it’s important to know where efforts should be concentrated in order to get the best possible impact. We found a lot of research on how the implementation of one business system, BPM, should be successful, various success factors and so on, but not much about how processes are chosen, and that is where we started from,” says Elin Andersson.
The essay is divided into three questions: how can processes be ranked based on their need for a BPM tool, how will use of the BPM tool change process interactions, and how will quality and efficiency in the processes be changed with the help of the shell software?
The selection model produced by the students is based on five criteria: process maturity, contribution to strategy, perceived problems, the frequency of the process and type of process.
“The developed selection model can be used to choose processes to which to apply Novacura Flow, and it can be further refined. With the help of Novacura Flow, processes can become more logical and costs associated with quality defects can be avoided,” says Johanna Boström.
“Processes often become simpler and more efficient, with better follow-up and less duplication. Users do not need to run around as much, and processes are less dependent on individuals when they are easier to follow.”
During the work, costs associated with quality defects reduced for the four processes analysed. Efficiency factors in terms of the number of clicks, number of error sources and flow times also went down in all processes. In one of the processes, the costs for administering Novacura Flow were greater than the profit afforded by the time savings, but despite that, it may pay to implement the flow.
“All four processes together provide a payback and the more flows created, the more processes there are sharing the administration costs,” says Johanna Boström. ROI and payback calculations do not show costs associated with quality defects or any benefits, just pure time savings.
For Novacura MD Johan Melander, the study is very welcome.
“It’s great that we have been able to be the basis for the study, and the results are both clear and welcome. An adequate model for choosing which processes to focus on makes Novacura Flow easier to absorb, which in turn produces better results for our customers.”
In their degree project, Linköping University students Elin Andersson and Johanna Boström present a model that makes it easy for companies to choose the right order for improving their business processes. The study was performed at Saab. Photo: Saab
For further information
Novacura is a humane IT-company using services and software to streamline and simplifie their customers’ business-critical processes and ERP platforms. Novacura is privately held and has offices in Sweden and Poland. Their software solutions are sold through partner companies in Europe and the U.S. Novacura has 30 experienced employees and is headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. www.novacura.com