Business process reengineering (BPR)

Business process reengineering (BPR) is a method of examining processes to identify, and then eliminate, reduce, or replace functions and processes that add little customer value to products or services. The focus of BPR is on discrete initiatives to improve specific processes. Examples of processes include handling or storing purchased materials and components, issuing checks to pay labor and other production expenses, wrapping finished products for shipment to customers, recording journal entries, and developing an organizational strategic plan.

BPR is designed to bring radical changes to an organization’s operations; BPR is often associated with employee layoffs, outsourcing initiatives, and technology acquisition. Three major business trends are promoting the increased use of BPR in the 21st century.

The foremost trend is the modernization of technology. Neither the electronic remittance of trade and accounts payable nor the use of robotic equipments to move and assemble components in a manufacturing facility were possible 50 years ago. Both of these are commonly done nowadays, even in small companies, because of technological advancements. Because BPR focuses on alternative means to execute necessary organizational functions, it is useful in automating processes that cannot be eliminated. Advancements in technology have improved efficiencies throughout the supply chain. The feasibility of automating processes is constantly changing because technology is constantly evolving.
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