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Business Process Automation

Intelligent Process Automation

BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT (BPM)

Business Process Management is professional discipline displayed by people, to improve and manage an organization’s processes in order to achieve performance-driven working, goal-driven strategies, optimum utilization of resources and standardization in day-to-day functions.

Business process management is a methodical approach to identifying, understanding, documenting, upgrading, implementing, measuring & reviewing each and every process within the organization.

As each business activity flows, in line with the goals of the organization, several stake holders are involved in accomplishing them. There are customers, employees, vendors, partners etc. whose activities have to be monitored at every procedure within the firm.

Business Process Management is a defined approach to accomplish one-time as well as recurring activities in a format to be able to ensure its consistency and targeted results. BPM involves concerted, technologically competent systems that create value within the organization and enable organization to achieve excellence and agility.

Each department or function within the organization are responsible to achieve their KRAs within a stipulated time, with optimum accuracy and optimum utilization of resources. These KRAs would be achieved by carrying out stipulated set of business processes. Business process Management captures these processes and integrates these processes with the IT systems to ensure these processes are carried out with precision, in time and by the right resources.

What are Business Processes?

A business process is a set of procedures or tasks to be carried out by defined designations&functions in an organization, in specified time frame to achieve a definite output. A collection of several procedures makes it a “Process”.

There are hundreds of business processes continually carried out across the organization, with different inputs and different outputs. All these processes are invariably moving towards taking the  organization towards its objective.

Some business processes are recurring while some are non-recurring. Some are people-dependent while some are system-dependent.

Lack of efficient BPM is a sign of an unorganized business. While every process is carried out by varied people within the organization, if the process is not well defined, it is performed in an unorganized way, with lack of standardization and inefficient& non-measurable output.

Unorganized way of carrying out processes leads to the following symptoms within the organization:

Lack of Accountability

Be it an executive or a manager, there will not be any accountability witnessed across the organization as the roles and responsibilities are ill-defined, the processes are not mapped and the reporting structures are not carved.

Lack of Performance Management

Without structured processes, the only way to measure the performance of an individual would be based on instincts and judgement. Without BPM, there would not be any parameters through which we can give justice to the performers and pull up the performers from the team.

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People-Dependant working

Lack of BPM makes the organization people-dependant and not system-dependant. What happens when a new person joins the organization? What happens when the way of carrying out the process is not downloaded to the new joinee? Lack of BPM makes the top management completely dependant on the person in that position rather than the system, which poses threat to the growth of the organization.

Lack of Effective Time Management

Spending excessive time on activities of lower importance and spending no time for activities of most importance is an ideal scenario when the processes are not chalked out. There is no parameter to measure the effectiveness of the process and the time frame in which it is carried out.

Lack of Productivity

Since the processes are not defined, the productivity of the team cannot be assessed. This leads to discrepancies in the output & compensation, motivation & productivity.

BENEFITS OF BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT

Optimum Utilization of Resources

Resource Planning is the most important aspect which requires constant attention from the middle to top level management of the organization. BPM helps in optimizing every resource within the organization, from the moving to the non-moving ones. BPM helps in best use of skills & knowledge which ensures controlled cost and maximum output.

Process-Driven Company

BPM helps to make the organization process driven & not people driven. It manages the job profiles, authorities & responsibilities through the software so even if a new person joins in, his learning curve is reduced and the output is faster. The approvals and escalations are position-driven & not person-driven.

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Compliance Management

Most industries struggle to keep a track on the weekly, fortnightly, monthly or yearly compliances. As compliance data is linked with multiple departments, following up with them and getting it done in time becomes the biggest challenge. BPM structures the flow of processes required to fulfil the compliances along with mapping it with the designations and time-lines. This not only eases out the follow-up process but also quantifies the non-performing functions/ people.

Ease of getting Approvals

The biggesthurdle when it comes to execution of processes is getting approvals at the right time from the right person. In most organizations, approving authority is either not aware or not intimidated in time about the approvals to be given. BPM maps the processes and an intimation is sent to the approving authority in time to ensure the processes are not delayed due to approvals.

Workflow Automation

Workflow automation enables easy, pick and click process display with monitoring of each procedure and incorporating escalations, deviations & exceptions if any. BPM helps in creating forms, formats & supporting documents through the system which facilitates creating, reviewing & auditing documents in accordance to the process requirements. BPM notifies the assigned tasks of the workflows, via email to all its users. Workflow Automation aligns the business processes with the goals of the organization & tracks the achievement.

Implementation of BPM revolves around the defining the processes in the following way:

1. Trigger of the Process
2. Input of the Process
3. Departments Involved
4. Output of the Process
5. Process Lead Time
6. Process Owner

Organizing should be focused around outcomes of the processes and not task-based for best results. BPM can function in the most optimum manner only when every processes are system-driven & not people-driven, failing which we can only achieve speed with lack of accuracy.

Assigning the procedure owners and escalations is of utmost importance while measuring the success of BPM Implementation. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are a must, & to be created before implementation of Business Process Management (BPM). These processes must be drafted in black & white to be understood easily, managed efficiently, followed swiftly and reviewed periodically.

BPM is not a one-time activity and must be a discipline which needs to be followed and continuously improved upon. SOP upgradation in terms of technology, people, flow, use of resources must be taken up on a regular basis so that the company can introspects its operations and improvise them incessantly.

This activity leads to a perpetual cycle of PLAN-DO-IMPROVE.

Flow of information is one aspect of process automation. BPM helps in gathering the accurate data, required when, for what purpose, at which moment, how and the reason why the process is being performed. IT Integration is one of the most important aspects for increasing the efficiency and accuracy of processes within the organization. IT Integration is an inevitable precursor of BPM.

BPM not only helps in designing & automating the processes but also helps in getting the best-of-the data analytics reports. These reports help in decision making across various functions and authority levels. BPM makes the data usable and actionable. To achieve these results, your input methodologies have to be extremely precise and measurable.

BPM can achieve real-time tracking of processes, the exact point of delay and the responsible person for the same.

BPM allows integrating workflows where several procedures of a process are being carried out simultaneously. Manually there is a huge flow if data as well as documents across various functions which causes tremendous delay in implementation, blame-game, lack of sense of responsibility and loss of time.

Workflow connects several functions across the organization and moves from one person, place or document to another, when a task is completed by “A” only then can it be begun by “B”. The intimation of task completion by A shall be given through the BPM real time to B, so we work on optimum utilization of resources.

There are processes where parallelly multiple tasks are carried out by multiple functions & it gets manually impossible to monitor, BPM can send trigger to all of these functions simultaneously with the lead time to complete the said task. It can also pull out data from Software/ERP at whichever stage required.

BPM itself is a “SOP Improvement” tool as it overtly expresses the intricacy of cross-function, inter-function & intra-function processes, along with their supporting forms & formats, on a continuous basis.

These business processes involves a lot of operational charting, analysis and review management. SOPs ease out the application of these processes into BPM as SOPs are elaborate enough to consider different permutations and combinations, which are going to be most suitable for the existing infrastructure.

BPM ensures your strategy is aligned with your goals and helps you monitor every activity within the organization, within each function and across various organizations. BPM makes the organization achieve more qualitatively and quantitatively.

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We work only for Visionaries.

PROCESS AUTOMATION

The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.

VIDEOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHY

No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

Photography includes the following steps:

  • Cataloguing your products
  • Cataloguing your images
  • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
  • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)

DIGITAL MARKETING

Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.

IT INTEGRATION

Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.

WAREHOUSE & LOGISTICS PLANNING

  • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
  • Where should your Warehouse be located?
  • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
  • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
  • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
  • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
  • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
  • How much space do I require for warehouse?
  • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.

 

At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.

UI & UX DESIGNING

This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

Part 2: UX Designing:

“UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

“As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

Part 3: UI Designing:

UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!

SAMPLING & PRODUCTION

This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.

PRODUCT DESIGNING / SOURCING

Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

  • In-house Design Team
  • Freelance Designers
  • Outsourced Design Team
  • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.

BRANDING

Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

It is an integral part to attract the target audience.

ORGANOGRAMS & SOP’s

Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.

CRITICAL PATHWAY

Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.

BUSINESS STRATEGY & BUSINESS PLAN

Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.

MARKET RESEARCH

Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.