In this report the existing Business process of Somewhere University has been depicted, by analysing how all the activities and tasks are performed for its support processes to acquire materials and goods. The Somewhere university’s management undergoes an analysis of issues and problems of the process currently followed and would also like to redesign it. Further, three main problems in the business process have been analysed and discussed in detail. This will help the university to keep pace in improving the overall efficiency and minimising delays in material acquisition and maintaining records within the university.
The report also sheds some light on the background (structure and culture), the level 1 BPM model with detailed explanation of the business process layers of the existing process followed by Somewhere University.
SOMEWHERE UNIVERSITY’S BACKGROUND (STRUCTURE AND CULTURE)
Somewhere University was established in early 1960’s and since then it has been leading its way towards innovation, industry engagement and social inclusion. It’s has total 4 campuses in Australia and worldwide, and three being in Melbourne itself, where Hawthorn one is the biggest. The university is ranked in top 100 young universities worldwide, and has a world ranking between 400-450 which has been possible due to its high-quality education standards, research and industrial partnerships which has benefited students, making them work ready prior joining an organization (Swinburne.edu.au, 2018).
With the increasing strength of students in the university since a few years, the management decided to redesign their existing support process to benefit the potential and existing students, which involves improving the acquisition process of materials, services and goods from respective vendors, to ease up the clumsiness faced by staff and students in the long run.
BUSINESS PROCESS LAYERS (AS-IS LEVEL 1 MODEL EXPLAINED)
The business process model has been explained in the form of various business process layers as follows:
Ø The first stage of this acquisition process is when an employee (both academic and administrative) initiates a Purchase requisition when there is a need to purchase equipment’s, materials or services, for which he or she fills a PR form, may do a vendor nomination and get the quote as well.
Ø After fulfilling all the formalities of the form, a copy is send to both finance and procurement department managers to get their approval.
Ø Approval must be from both the managers, if even one of them rejects the PR form, it doesn’t get approved and the whole process of PR must be repeated.
Ø After getting the approval from the managers, the employee further notifies the purchase order clerk, whose duty is to enter the purchase requisition in the enterprise system.
Ø Next, task of the purchase order clerk is to check for vendor nomination. If the vendor is nominated by the employee, and its an existing vendor, then vendor gets confirmed, otherwise if the vendor is unknown, then an agreement is negotiated with the new vendor. In some cases, if the vendor is not nominated by the employee, then the purchase order clerk., selects a vendor from the master vendor list and confirms the vendor.
Ø After vendor selection, the purchase order clerk requests the vendor for a quote and thereby gets a quote from the concerned vendor.
Ø Thereafter, the enterprise system generates a purchase request, and if the goods are material goods, it is retrieved by the goods department clerk, otherwise if the goods are not material goods, they are directly delivered to the employee, who later receives the delivery internally.
Ø Talking about when goods are material, in this case, the goods department clerk demands for the purchase order from the enterprise system. If the purchase order is not found the shipment is returned to the vendor and the order gets terminated.
Ø If purchase order is found, then the goods undergo a quality and quantity check. If issues are not found, the order gets cancelled and the employee and accounts payable clerk is notified and again the order is terminated. Otherwise, if no issues are found, the purchase order gets confirmed and the goods shall get delivered internally when received.
Ø After goods being delivered to the employee, he or she acknowledges the goods department clerk who further generates goods receipt which shall be used by the accounts payable clerk to authorise the payment.
Ø Accounts payable clerk, does a three-way matching by comparing purchase order, with invoice and goods receipt form and after a successful match, payment is authorised to the vendor.
PROBLEMS AND ISSUES FACED
As such there were many issues faced in the existing business process, but there were three major problems which hold a paramount importance to improve so that the acquisition process can get smoothen.
1. No instant notification between managers for PR approval
Generally, a PR form gets approved by the managers, but in some cases when PR form gets rejected by any one of the managers, then comes the real challenge. Because it might be a case when one has rejected the form and the other is still processing it, being unaware of the rejection of purchase requisition form, hence leading to delays in the whole process.
If this problem gets resolved, the managers would get notified of the disapproval quickly, hence fastening up the whole process and reducing any delays caused. Even the other purchase requests in queue would get sorted instantly.
Disadvantage to implement this new method is that there should be a constant communication between the managers, so that decisions can be taken in a coordinated manner.
2. Lack of verification, leading to faulty goods delivered to the employee
The goods and receipt department has lately been asked to reduce their costs and finances which has impacted them a lot. They became very lazy and ignorant in terms of crosschecking the goods before passing them to the employee of the ordering department. After the employee finds about the faulty goods, it leads to hampering and delaying the acquisition process.
The problem shall get sorted if the goods receipt department undertakes their duty very seriously and verifies the goods there and then, hence avoiding all these delays. After the problem gets sorted the overall time for delivery to the employee will reduce manifoldly, as every process wouldn’t take unnecessary time due to cancellation of orders.
The drawback of this process is that the goods department will get more workload, leading to more delays in the whole process.
3. Online payment mode might lead to faulty goods, due to lack of verification
In terms of marketing campaigns, these days purchase from internet is coming with assurance of quality. The goods ordered is less in price when compared to the quotes taken in the existing process, the employees just need access to the credit card number from the finance manager.
This whole process if approved would reduce the delays which lead to approval from the finance department for proceeding the payment thereby saving huge bucks of the university.
The method of payment is electronic which though seems easy, but somehow involves huge risks as the goods cannot be verified. It is solely based on trust and if the goods turn out to be faulty, it will put the money spent at risk.
After going through a detailed analysis of the existing business acquisition process, we need better and efficient ways which is possible only by implementing business process re-engineering to the existing process. There is a strong need of reduction of organizational layers and elimination of unproductive activities so that service, cost and quality of products can be improved immensely (Bain.com, 2018).
The redesigning of the whole process must be done by keeping in mind of the university’s goals and vision so that the redefining procedures can be implemented based on the existing business process followed by the university.