Business Process Experts becomes bpExperts

-Jochen König

Working to support our customers in business transformations with services and products we have updated our company name and graphic design to express our focus and dedication: bpExperts is clearly to the point and driving business process innovation.

2012 when we decided to create our own firm we had a very clear idea of what the core of this company should be: Consulting customers on analyzing their existing business processes and catalyzing the design and implementation of new and improved ones. And it would have to be done based on a thorough methodology and honed in years of hands-on expertise of what actually works.

Brooding about potential names for the enterprise we first tried all sorts of acronyms and puns based on the founders names and even experimented with creating a flashy neologisms as has been fashionable at the time with companies in life science and finance. But none of the options outperformed the down-to-earth descriptive name we eventually went for: Business Process Experts

This name describes perfectly well who we are and indicates what we do. The only drawback is: 24 characters, not even counting the 5 additional needed to append the " GmbH"! Ever tried to fit that into a visitor reception form? Forget it! Our customers quickly took a pragmatic approach and referred to us by our web domain and so did most colleagues internally.

Valuing experience-rooted, goal oriented pragmatism over blind orthodoxy we feel it is high time to formally adopt the name that expresses our origin and ambition, and that clearly works: bpExperts

Seizing the opportunity we also brushed up our logo and web appearance harmonizing it with our Business Flows brand. The new design expresses the clarity and stringency we implemented in our business process reference model and project operations. The bright yellow and the interwoven arrows symbolize the agility we gain when working from a solid foundation and open collaboration.

I hope you like the new look as much as we do!

Go on a roller coaster ride with me!

- Do-Hee An & Marijan Divkovic

What's really odd about roller coaster rides is the fact that it brings up good and bad feelings to our bodies and minds. Experiencing the acceleration and loosing control of our own senses is a lot of fun and can make us feel terrified at the same time. And even if we know that we might leave the roller coaster feeling queasy, we still do not want to miss out on this type of experience.

A very special roller coaster ride that I definitely wouldn't have liked  to miss, was the recent bpExperts innovation event which I attended together with some of my colleagues, a group of young professionals called icons - consulting by students and customers of bpExperts.

The goal of the event was to answer the following breakthrough question:
"How can social media help to represent bpExperts and its values in an authentic manner and promote the work at bpExperts as attractive and fulfilling."

To find answers to this question, we followed an ideation method called "Riding the creative roller coaster" by Nowhere. To let our creativity flow, this special type of roller coaster ride was conducted in the middle of Bavaria´s nowhere where no disturbances of big city traffic can be found, and life is rather simple. The method, location and the whole setting around the event already made me feel very curious. However, looking at the agenda and getting to know that the curves and loops of our roller coaster ride will be determined by three main stages - Onboarding, Unknown, and Illumination - made everything sound very mysterious.

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At the beginning, I quickly found out that the purpose of the onboarding was to familiarize the group with each other. We did a short personal introduction during which each person characterized oneself in three words. Those key words helped us to identify our individual strengths and to define our group´s secret sauce. The introduction triggered a vivid discussion about personal values and helped to create a strong bond between the participants right from the beginning. The discussion was a very interesting experience for myself as I have never thought a lot about my personal values. Therefore, this point triggered me to think about things that are important to me in my life.

Shortly after the opening round we dived into the deep unknown.  In small groups we discussed different topics under the theme 7 generation mapping. The discussion challenged us to view things from different perspectives and decades. My group focused on the topic: what makes an employer attractive - in the past, present and future.  The exercise gave us all the opportunity to answer a question based on what we know and experienced in the past and present and also to create a vision about future developments of the same.

The 7 generation mapping and the secret sauce were only two of the activities that we engaged in our first day. Another very remarkable activity was the evocative talk that was introduced to us during dinner. For this task we were supposed to prepare a short speech for the next morning related to anything we found interesting during the first day.  The speech itself was supposed to be short and the goal was to move the audience emotionally rather than to convince the listeners with arguments. The evocative talks, as I could see in the next morning, were a very emotional and moving experience for all participants. One speech that still stuck to my mind was a story of one participant explaining that he cannot work with people who completely disagree with his values and even break them. This triggered again an inner discussion in my head about my own values and what is important for me. The participant´s words helped me to understand my own disappointments at certain situations and people. I understood that I feel hurt and even betrayed when someone I trusted before hurts the values that I believe in.  

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The highlight of the event was reached when we did the iteration in pairs. After doing a long inspiring walk - the intuition walk - in the surrounding area, each of us started to draw something that should answer the breakthrough question. After creating and discussing the picture we were grouped in pairs and created a new one. We continued this task until we finally had one group picture where the ideas of everyone were involved. The final picture does not only show our common idea of how to present our company values in a social media campaign, but it is also a collection of all our individual and common values and visions of how to live and express those.

This exercise finally helped us to overcome the border between the known and the unknown and finally to reach illumination. The innovation event was definitely the most interesting roller coaster ride I have ever experienced. The combination of the method we used, the broad diversity of participants as well as the location that was in the middle of nowhere were very significant factors that nurtured creativity and helped us to come up with innovative ideas. As a follow up of the innovation event, we kicked off the bpExperts social media campaign which will be presented to you very soon!

Are you interested in experiencing a similiar roller coaster ride? bpExperts also supports other companies in organizing and conducting such events.

Value Driven Business Transformation

How to foster seamless business steering through harmonisation of operating models, value flows and management reporting.

- Ikemefuna Allen & Sabrina Reitz

The situation

Business transformation, in essence, focuses on fundamentally changing processes, systems, roles and technologies across the entire organisation. Such initiatives are founded on the hopes of achieving measurable improvements in efficiency, effectiveness and stakeholder satisfaction. Naturally, the decision to enact business transformation must be based on a sound understanding of the required changes, how to implement them, and what the implications are once they are implemented. It is imperative to take an embracing approach involving and ensuring alignment between all the stakeholders impacted.

Experience shows that this is rarely the case, with disjunct and misaligned efforts from the two worlds of Operations, and Finance & Controlling. Typically, accounting departments are left in the dark about business operations during process design phases of major transformation initiatives, while professionals from purchasing, production planning, and sales & distribution often seem not aware how their business operations impact accounting.

What follows 

The far reaching consequences of misalignment between Operations and Finance & Controlling have been felt at all stages of major business transformation initiatives across many industries. Areas impacted range from process design and systems testing through to hyper-care and running the daily business. To demonstrate this, we present several examples from major business transformation projects, and show how things went wrong.  They demonstrate how an apparently isolated problem can have impacts far beyond the radar of those responsible for implementing and championing the change.


Case 1: Misalignment between procurement, logistics, and accounting impacts system testing

Because involvement of local tax and finance departments into the project happened too late, the entire procurement process for certain materials had to be redesigned during testing phase. While making up for this, realignment across all related streams resulted in extra effort and the risk of delays in  go-live dates.


Case 2: Misalignment between production, procurement, and accounting during process design phase impacts process execution during  hypercare

The weighting step that is executed by a subcontractor was part of a recipe. During the process design, the production team only focused on processes relevant for core business. Therefore, the weighting process was not designed and consequently not configured in the ERP system. There was no account assignment. This problem was noticed during hypercare when the process had to be executed. As a result, no sales order could be created. Compounding the problem was the fact that there was no process concept. The whole life cycle of the process had to be adjusted within a productive environment.


Case 3: Misalignment between logistics, procurement, and accounting during process design phase impacts process execution during daily business

Assignment of logistic expenses to the right positions are critical from an accounting point of view. These involve cost of distributors. Incorrect valuation of cost of sales, cost of production, and time of sales recognition poses a compliance risk involving tax authorities. This can also have COPA impacts (COGS vs Production Costs), causing dissatisfactions of responsible executives in case of variable salaries. During a business transformation project, there was a lack of knowledge on two sides. Logistics was unaware about the fact that such regulation exists, and  accounting unaware about different type of contracts SCM had with its business partners. This problem was noticed during daily business, i.e. after go-live and hypercare.


The way out

 In our Business Flows reference model we demonstrate the real-live integration of business and accounting aspects of enterprise processes. We have compiled relevant content from decades of project experience and modeled these based on established standards. First started as an internal toolbox and training facilitator, our model has reached a maturity we are confident to share externally and that is valued by numerous subscription customers.  Based on our industrial reference content and the profound insight of our partner SR Consulting Professionals in financial and management accounting and enterprise architectures, we have developed a concise and pragmatic methodology for representing both value adding activities and their finance & controlling impacts.

We are ready to help you implementing your transformation with a methodology that works. Consistently.

The solution approach

Value Driven Business Transformation ensures seamless process design and systems implementation through early alignment between operations and Finance & Controlling on key aspects of the business including financial steering, operating models, end to end scenarios and value flows. To accomplish this, we have developed an integrated approach that couples the separated views of operations and accounting. This integrated and aligned business transformation approach allows business steering through harmonization of operating models, value flows and management reporting.

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Business strategy forms the basis for aligning the operating model with the business & financial steering model. At this early stage, stakeholder from both Operations & Finance & Controlling come together and detail the future enterprise set-up. Based on the defined E2E scenarios and processes, posting rules are derived for the allocation of value flows.

  • Process specifies the interaction of people and systems when executing business operations.

  • Value flow is the set (scope) of postings resulting from business operations

  • Posting rules are business requirements on how the system is to be configured in order to reflect the business & financial steering model in the context of a given enterprise structure

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Deliverables

  • Business & Financial Steering  model

  • Enterprise structure

  • Value flows

  • Posting rules

In Summary 

An Integrated business transformation blueprint bridges the gap between finance, management reporting and operational streams during business transformation initiatives. In partnership with SR Consulting Professionals,  we have a comprehensive consulting offering including domain expertise, proven consulting approach and dedicated methodology. In addition, our reference content Business Flows provides accelerators which help kick-start your initiative. Get in contact now for a personal presentation on details of our offering.