After describing all its processes, Curaçao-based Kooyman B.V., the Caribbean’s largest DIY retailer, took the next step to improve processes and the organisation as a whole. “Accurately described processes are the basis for improvement. They give you clarity on how a process runs now and how you would like it to run,” Business Process Manager Kim Moehamad explains.
Although Kim is in charge of BPM and improvement projects at Kooyman, she always tries to stay on the sideline and not get too involved in the contents of processes. “People have to do it themselves as much as possible. Only then will they really become committed to processes and the improvements!” For some time now, Kooyman has been running an improvement programme that looks at low-hanging fruit at each department, in search of quick points for improvement in processes. “This project has got a lot of people across the organisation very enthusiastic. Showing that you can seize small points for improvement yourself and make progress has led to more and more people in the organisation adopting a process-based mentality. People are getting first-hand experience of both the benefits and the necessity!”
The challenge that remains for the organisation lies in embedding organisational changes and improvements. “Our people have really taken to improving processes, they now identify points for improvement themselves and get to work on them. But we have to make sure these improvements are embedded, so that they are continued.”
To Kooyman, process automation is the next step towards a more consistent way of working and clarity in tasks and responsibilities. The organisation has mapped out those business-critical processes that lend themselves particularly well to automation. Requirements are specified based on the current process descriptions. “You can see very clearly what tasks and actions are required and which steps can be automated.”
The brochure process under control
The brochure process, i.e. the process of creating and producing a brochure, is one of Kooyman’s processes that was automated over the past year. “It used to be a series of highly error-prone administrative tasks. Now this process has been automated, there is, for example, always a link to the database of items and the purchasing system, ensuring that the brochure never contains products we do not have in stock. This gives employees a much better overview and the process runs far more efficiently,” Kim has found in practice. “The process we had described using the Sensus method formed the basis for the improvement. The bottlenecks in the process instantly became clear. This approach of describing and visualising the process has really helped us in automating this process and making it more efficient. We now have far greater control over the process!”
Professionalisation and customer focus
The plan is now to further professionalise the organisation. “As a retail organisation, our focus is always on our customers. But due to the plethora of administrative processes and tasks, you sometimes lose sight of the customer’s perspective. To be able to serve customers well, it is important that you have your back office in order. Thanks to automation and the solid foundations we have laid using the Sensus method, we have eliminated unnecessary administrative burdens, giving us more time to spend on innovation, and that is very important to us!” Over the coming period, more processes will be automated, including HRM processes.
BPM and IT go hand in hand
“BPM and IT really need to go hand in hand for optimum support of the business. Only then will you benefit enormously!” Kim adds. Kooyman’s initial reason for taking up process management was to make working methods consistent and embed them in the organisation. Following successful BPM projects with regular support from Sensus-methode consultants, the organisation has made huge progress. “We are now seeing that there is a lot more to process management than embedding knowledge. That is brilliant!”