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Former Member

The series, Strategic Imperatives for the Chemical Industry, published by Stefan Guertzgen in 2015, discussed the issues that industry organizations were most concerned about going forward in 2015. These issues were based on extensive research performed by the Eventful Group, and came directly from players in the industry.

Part three of the series discussed the points of interest in optimizing and streamlining business processes, and was called Strategic Imperatives for the Chemical Industry – Part 3: Business Process Standardization, Automati....

One of the questions posed by the chemicals industry players during the Eventful Group’s research sessions was “what are the best practices in defining and mapping processes?”

In this series of 5 blogs we will address how to do this:

Part 1 - How to develop a business process framework

Part 2 - What is the quickest method to document your process flow diagrams

Part 3 - How do you prioritize what processes to develop and improve?

Part 4 - What content or data do we capture for each Business Process, and how do we link technology to the business processes?

Part 5 - How Best Practices and the Process framework can be used together.

Part 1 - How to develop a business process framework

Firstly, lets describe what a business process framework is. A process framework is a hierarchical list of processes. The framework starts with 12 to 15 level 1 processes (for example. Market & Sell Products and Services), which can then be decomposed to lower level processes, sometime up to 6 levels deep. Below is an example, where the Market and Sell Products process is decomposed to four levels.

Next, we should discuss why an organization would want to develop a process framework: In my opinion, it is the best way to start any business process initiative, as it facilitates the identification of all processes, and it provides structure to any Business Process initiative. Developing a process framework first will accelerate any business process initiative.

Steps to develop your business process framework:

  • Start the process with a small team.
  • Select the industry template closest to your industry (For Chemical companies, I recommend starting with the CPG or Pharma APQC models).
  • Eliminate processes you don’t need.
  • Add processes that are missing. (For supply chain processes, I recommend checking the SCOR model from APICS, for content)
  • Extend the framework to your predefined number of levels (I recommend maximum 6 levels).
  • Validate the framework with a larger group.

There are multiple ways an organization can use a process framework, one example is during a Mergers or Acquisitions, the organizations can easily map their capabilities, and identify areas of differences. 

Benefits of developing a business process framework include: provides an organization with a common frame of reference for its Business Processes, reduces the time it takes to develop Business Process Flow Diagrams, and provides structure to business process Optimization and Improvement Initiatives.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

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thanks for referencing my blog series and contributing to our communications on SCN for Chemicals!

As you correctly stated in your blog - there is no chemical industry template in APQC, however, please note we have built a template for chemical companies capturing best practice processes the chemical industry is using and helping customers to get rapidly implement the key scenarios for the chemical industry "out of the box" at low cost and low risk. We just created a version on S/4HANA. Details you can find in Doreen Baselers Blog from July 8 on this page.


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