Business processes are divided into two primary categories: value creation processes and support processes. Value-creation processes are also referred to as core processes. They are necessary for running the business and achieving a sustainable competitive advantage. Core processes relate to the organization’s key competencies and strategic objectives. Value-creation processes play a key role in achieving the strategic goals of an organization by enforcing the development of products and services and ensuring quality for customer satisfaction. Examples of core processes are product design and delivery processes. Product design entails the tasks carried out to integrate customer demands, new technologies and organizational knowhow into the functional requirement of a product. Delivery processes are involved in the development and delivery of the product through activities such as manufacturing, assembly and distribution.
Support services, on the other hand, provide the infrastructure required for an organization’s value-creation process, personnel, and daily operations. Support processes do not add value directly to the product. They include processes of facilities management, human resource services, finance and accounting, public relations, and other administrative duties. Whereas core processes are governed by external consumer requirements, support processes are governed by internal consumer needs. Support services also require less attention than value-creation processes since they have a direct impact on the product.
National and regional quality award
The role of national and regional quality awards is to recognize various organizations that achieve exceptional standards in business performance. Business performance is assessed on various scales including organizational leadership, planning and strategy deployment, customer satisfaction, process management and innovation, and employee performance and satisfaction, among others. Regional quality awards like the UK regional quality awards are targeted at small and medium enterprises in order to make excellence accessible to regional organizations and companies. Regional awards are prestigious in the various regions, though they are seen as stepping stones to national quality awards. Examples of national quality awards are the Canada Awards for Excellence, the Australian Business Excellence Awards and the Singapore Quality Award.
The Canada Awards for Excellence are administered by the National Quality Institute (NQI). These awards are aimed at inspiring organizational excellence by applying quality principles, practices and certification through the NQI. The awards also include Certificates of Merit that motivate promising, upcoming companies to continue on that path. The Australian Business Excellence Awards are administered by Business Excellence Australia, which is a division of Standards Australia international Limited. Organizations are encouraged to show outstanding performance in terms of philanthropic ideals, environmental sustainability, ethical behavior, commitment to patrons and superiority of service. The Singapore Quality Award enforces visionary leadership, customer-driven quality, innovation focus, organizational performance improvement through learning, agility, knowledge-driven systems, and societal responsibility, among others.
How Internet technology supports communication and e-business
The Internet works by providing millions of users across the globe with access to a system of interconnected computer networks. The internet comprises various networks including public, private, government, business and library networks that use a standard Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP). The Internet provides users with information resources and services through the World Wide Web (WWW). This makes it possible for software and web developers to design applications and hypertext documents that assist in business operations. The internet also permits various forms of human interaction such as internet forums and social networking that have been beneficial in promoting e-business. Both large and small stores and traders provide their clients with online shopping platforms. Online stores also use the internet to conduct business-to-business and financial services. In addition, the internet provides the infrastructure necessary for communication through email and instant messaging.
Reducing variation in a business process
Manufacturing industries have used statistical thinking for decades to improve business performance. Statistical thinking and statistical process monitoring can also be used to enhance business performance for other sectors such as finance and health care. The automobile and electronic industries in Japan were the first to use statistical thinking to penetrate the market. The process involves the implementation of a management system that focuses on progressive enhancement of quality. Statistical control is administered to common cause variation, which is present in all processes after special (assignable) cause variation has been eliminated. While special cause variation can be managed by employees and midlevel managers, common cause variation can only be addressed by top management.
The process of statistical thinking starts with recognition and understanding of the processes and systems causing the variability. For instance, business process improvement in a bank can be achieved by monitoring for unusual variation in the inputs and outputs of the process using statistical process control. In the case of applying for a credit card, the inputs comprise features of the consumer such as credit score and consumer history, which the lender needs to identify. Outputs involve performance of the loan, which depend on changes in legislation, economy and industry rates. Another method that is used to enhance process improvement is the Six Sigma approach; however, it tends to inhibit innovation and productivity.