Business performance improvement (BPI) is the process in which organizations leverage the data they’re already capturing, such as from customer conversations, and uncover insights that improve business decision making across enterprise-wide departments.
From assisting contact centers with agent specialization practices to encouraging creative gamification of production lines for better throughput, embracing the idea of business performance improvement can help organizations of all sizes gain ground on the market and better serve their customers.
Definition of Business Performance Improvement
Business performance improvement is the understanding and measurement of KPIs for a particular business function or department, and then using data and insights to make tangible improvements through better business decisions across departments, such as marketing, finance, product, sales, risk and compliance, and more. This includes the rapid and continuous improvement of management, operations and support processes within an organization.
Companies embrace business improvement initiatives to streamline necessary processes for greater throughput and improved productivity. How this key technique allows organizations to do such things varies by type, but the reasons it works are easy to identify.
Waste is the enemy of improvement. When a company wastes resources of any kind, it bleeds revenue and limits its growth potential. This makes achieving little to no waste of resources in the pursuit of a given goal essential to all BPI approaches.
In most cases, part of BPI includes identifying significant bottlenecks in your organization's daily operations. Through insights from key data sources, such as customer conversations through tools like conversation analytics, even seemingly minor excesses can be trimmed to maximize the value derived from every resource available to your company.
Bolster Product Quality
From tailoring administrative tasks to fit long-term business goals to encouraging upgrades in technology and infrastructure, BPI should include improving the end product or service you take to market.
Through customer insights, companies can create and deliver better, more appealing products or services for their customers without ramping up spend.
Reduce Risk and Facilitate Compliance
To reduce risk throughout your organization, you need a comprehensive framework for analyzing, implementing and experimenting with change and ultimately improving all of your company’s ongoing operations.
Complying with local and international legislation eliminates legal risks, allowing your organization to focus on its customers and their needs.
Call centers, for instance, must comply with a variety of regulations depending on the nature of their business. Contact centers that handle customers’ cardholder information must comply with PCI-DSS, while collections call centers must comply with the FDCPA and other consumer protection regulations. When understanding how these conversations are executed, organizations can understand where potential risk exists and take tangible steps to drive improvement.
Business Performance Improvement Methodologies
Leveraging BPI methods can make a major difference in the way your company does business. The following examples are among the most widely employed.
This method came into existence with the creation of the 1930 "Toyota Way." Toyota's approach to manufacturing identified wasteful practices and eliminated them, allowing the company to excel at producing more vehicles in less time and at a significantly lower overall cost which they then passed on to their customers.
The lean methodology centers on five distinct principles which are all applied through precise practices that any business in any industry can potentially benefit from. These principles are as follows:
- Identify the value customer's desire in your product.
- Determine what the value stream (production steps or overall process) for your product is and optimize wasted steps.
- Create a continuous flow of your product through whatever steps survive.
- Introduce 'pull' between the remaining steps.
- Aim for perfection of the above to achieve optimal customer satisfaction.
Motorola-employed engineer Bill Smith created the Six Sigma method to optimize part production processes and prevent defects to a remarkable degree. Despite being invented as recently as the mid-80's, this BPI technique gave companies the granular control over part production outcomes needed to amass a collective $100 billion in savings by the year 2003.
The core concept this method is guided by is called the Sigma scale, which describes the percentage of defective parts per million that a company has produced over a given period of time. To improve performance in accordance with the Sigma scale, organizations are encouraged to follow either the 'DMAIC' (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) method or the 'DFSS' (identify, design, optimize, validate) method.
Total Quality Management
Shortly after its inception, this approach to BPI was actually implemented across Japan, catapulting the nation to the status of a worldwide quality leader in production.
Total Quality Management focuses on defining quality by customers' requirements and involving upper management in quality improvement processes. Systematic analysis coupled with a continuous commitment across your entire organization is encouraged to make this approach work.
Being focused on business performance improvement makes it possible to connect the dots between insights and action, and achieve impressive productivity and efficiency improvements without necessarily increasing spend.
How does your business embrace BPI?