The importance of automation designs in business process

Business process refers to the commercial activities connected with each other to deliver something of worth which includes products, services, goods, or information to the customer. However, the act of defining and realizing organizational activities which let company to perform certain organizational objectives is known as business process design (Obermeyer & Pinto, 1994). A business process design is linked with planning of the processes of business which ensures that the activities and process are adequate enough to meet the demands of the clients. Business process designs also make sure that all the functions of business are optimized and effective enough to support the sustainable growth and development of any business. A well designed business process can increased the productivity along with enhancing its efficiency (Huxhold, & Levinsohn, 1995). The most common plans behind any business process design include:

Opportunities for new business

Automation and integration of business process

Improvement of operational performance

Reducing production cost

Supply chain and customer management

Business process design fundamentally takes place as an important formative period in these plans, as opposed to being an end in itself. (Sexton, and Van Auken 1985, pp. 7-15) The ultimate objective of the project is the implementation of business change, be it mainly organizational by improving the business’ operating processes, technical by implementing or integrating software systems, or both. The business process design stage in a project improvement project is aimed at streamlining the process to evaluate the requirements and to avoid the risk of value loss that potentially could have been introduced by inefficient practices. The main concern in a technology implementation project is to understand the processes to be automated, and to ensure the selection, configuration, and implementation of appropriate technology for their support. (Schaper, & Volery, 2004)

In this study analysis of business process and its designs would be performed as to mention the importance of the issue. The study would highlight the importance of business process integration and automation. This is one of the major factors that have direct effects on business performance. (Rue, and Ibrahim, pp. 24-32)

Significance of this study

A number of researches have been carried out on relevant topics, but only a few has focused on the automation in business process. In this study business process in the context of automation designs would be analyzed to highlight its importance in the business improvement process and how such improvements can be sustained.

Thesis Statement

An analysis of business process and design in context of automation would be done in this study to mark out the role of automated business designs in improving performance and productivity.

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Purpose of this study

The main purpose of this study is to highlight the importance of automation designs in business process and how such design can add value in the existing system.

Aims and Objectives of the study

This research will help managers and entrepreneurs to improve the business process through applying automation business design.Literature Review

According to (Pleitner, pp. 8-14), literature review is the most significant part of any research as it defines the dimension of the study along with reinforcing the results of research.

The analysis of business process models is mainly focused on their completeness, i.e., what elements of reality to be modeled may be represented. The scope of modeling considers issues inherent in business processes and aspects of business process-related computer systems. A business process is a structured set of activities designed to produce a particular output or achieve an objective. Processes describe how work is performed in a company and are characterized by observable, measurable, improvable and repetitive activities. (Moyer 1982)

Structurally, a business process consists of a set of activities. Thus, the activity as a basic element, through relationships and dependencies with other activities forms the structure of a business process. On the other hand, a computer system is a collection of components organized to accomplish specific tasks, using other technology. (Mintzberg, 1994, pp. 107-114)

A computer system can also be seen in its operation as a set of operational capabilities. This concept relates to the feature set of information that is being required by the activities of a business process. That is, business processes require information functions, and operational systems deliver features that are supporting the activities of the processes. Operational functionality is defined a reporting function that is active or is part of the support given to computer systems processes. (Lyles, Baird, Orris, and Kuratko, pp. 38-50)

Above, forms the conceptual basis for identifying the elements that you need to be represented in business process models that explicitly consider their relationship with computer systems.

Elements which represent business processes or systems

It is essential to identify each of the business processes being modeled, so are basic elements of the process name and type. The classification of business processes is based on the proposed by (Kraus, and Schwarz, pp. 1-17)

Figure 1 describes the basic elements that allow us to know and understand what the role of each activity within a business process is.

The actor is the element responsible for the activity which can be an individual, groups of persons or organizational departments. The purpose of an activity is a characteristic that indicates the purpose of their existence within the business process to which it belongs. In general a resource is anything that is used or affected by the activities. They are often considered as inputs, outputs or outcomes, or tools.

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Dependence between activities and resources, according to (Kraus, Harms, and Schwarz, pp. 334-344) is a simple model of actions: the activities have preconditions (inputs to an activity) and effects (outputs of an activity). The preconditions or resource inputs are required, consumed or used by the activities. Tools or machinery needed to execute an activity, are resources that are not consumed but are used to carry out activity. The effects are resources created by an activity. A particular type of resource is made up of computer systems. These are characterized as non-consumable, reusable and sharable. (Johnson & Scholes, 1997)

Relationship between activities and resources

You need to know how they relate to the activities of business processes with IT systems, because in this way is possible to identify which elements are eventually represented by a model.

Relationship between multiple activities and resources

To simplify the relationship between various activities and resources, is considered only two activities and a common resource. There are three ways in which two activities may relate to each other, depending on the existence of a common resource: the resource sharing as input, the resource is the output of an activity and the input of another or the resource is the output of both activities. Figure 2 shows the possible dependencies between two activities and a resource that is common to both. (Honig and Karlsson, pp. 29-48)

Shared input

Two activities are interdependent if they both need the same resource as input, which may require an additional activity to achieve be shared. Clearly the nature of the asset determines additional work is needed. It is also considered two different dimensions within the shared inputs: share ability and reusability.

The share ability describes how many activities can use a resource simultaneously. Most of the resources as raw materials or tools are not shared. The information is an important exception that can be used for multiple activities while not altered by any of them. Note that a resource is shareable not edible.

Reusability describes the amount of activities they can use a resource already used. Some resources, such as tools or information may be used and reused, but others, such as raw materials may be used only once. Of course, the tools could eventually worn out and necessarily be replaced, but the important distinction is to identify whether other activities may use the resource if you wait, such as tools and machines, or if the appeal has simply been consumed, as applies to raw materials. (Heriot, & Campbell, 2004)

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If the common resource is shared, as is the case of information, there is no conflict between two activities for use at the same time. For example, the sales and production information can be used simultaneously without any problem, but we must consider the occurrence of conflicts, i.e., if the associated computer system has the ability to allow such information to be shared. (Gibson, and Cassar, pp. 171-186)

Producer / consumer

If the result of an activity is the input for another, then there is a precedence dependency between the two activities, which requires the implementation of activities in the correct order. This relationship often occurs between the activities of a business process, and is also called order relation. (Carter, Stearns, Reynolds and Miller, pp. 21-41)

Shared output

This situation occurs when two activities generate the same resource or output. In this case there is a possibility that the action resulting from the activities is the same or that the activities produce output collaboratively. (Bracker, and Pearson, pp. 503-522)

Methodology

Research Design

The research will be based on secondary data collection. The data will be extracted from various journals, articles and books. The secondary research data can be extracted from various journals, books, articles and other published or unpublished material.

Qualitative research approach will be used for proposed study. Qualitative research is more subjective as compared to quantitative research and uses different methods of collecting information which could be both primary and secondary. As already mentioned this study will choose the secondary method. The theme of this type of research will be investigative along with open-ended.

This type of research is often less expensive than outlines and is extremely effective by acquiring information. It is often the method of choice in the examples where quantitative measurementa are not required.

Literature Search

The criteria of selection for the literature will be relevance to the research topic and the year of publication. Both public and private libraries as well as online libraries will be visited to access the data. Some of the online databases that will be accessed are ebsco, questia, emerald, Sage and so on.

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