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Process and Business Process Engineering

Process & Business Process


A process is a set of activities with an objective, organized in a combination of sequence
and parallels. Processes get triggered off by an event or a set of events, real or notional,
and culminate in a situation or a set of situations.

Any process is triggered off by an event. For e.g., an event like a customer at the service
counter triggers off activities relating to the service at the counter. Sometimes, something
not happening is also an event which triggers off activities. For e.g., a service clerk not
being at the counter, is an event which makes the queue shift to another counter. These
two different events are spatial in nature.
Some events are temporal and are so intrinsic that we tend to lose sight of them. For e.g.,
the event ‘9 o’ clock in the morning’ triggers off activities for opening an office. Another
e.g. is that every half an hour, the system updates. Here the event ‘time’ triggers off the
process of updation.
Spatial and temporal events form the input events. Like triggering events, the
culminating situation is also an event or set of events. They can be termed as output
events of a process. The input and output events define the boundaries of a process. If
we change the input and output events, they change the process itself.

A business process is a collection of activities that takes one or more kinds of input and
creates an output that is of value to the customer. (Michael Hammer and James
Champy). A business process is a structured, measured set of activities designed to
produce a specified output for a particular customer or market. It implies a strong
emphasis on how work is done within an organization, in contrast to a product focus’s
emphasis on what’ (Thomas H. Davenport). A business process can be defined as a set
of logically related tasks performed to achieve a defined business outcome. (Davenport
and Short).

Business process is a set of activities performed across the organization creating an


output of value to the market or customer. Each process has a customer who may be
internal or external to the organization. The scope of the process runs across the
departments and functions and ends up in substantial value addition which can be
measured against the value expectation of a customer.

Processes may be defined based on three dimensions (Davenport & Short 1990) –
entities, objects, and activities.
Entities: Processes take place between organizational entities. They could be Inter-
organizational (e.g. EDI), Inter-functional or Interpersonal (e.g. CSCW).
Objects: Processes result in manipulation of objects. These objects could be Physical or
Informational.
Activities: Processes could involve two types of activities: Managerial (e.g. develop a
budget) and Operational (e.g. fill a customer order).
Processes are generally identified in terms of beginning and end points, interfaces, and
organization units involved, particularly the customer unit.

Examples of processes: Developing a new product; ordering goods from a supplier;


creating a marketing plan; processing and paying an insurance claim; etc.
(i) Credit card approval : An applicant submits an application. The application is
reviewed first to make sure that the form has been completed properly. If not,
it is returned for completion. The completed form then is verified by checking
a report from a credit company and calling references. Once the information
has been verified, an evaluation is done. Then, a yes or no decision is made.
If the decision is negative, an appropriate rejection letter is composed. If the
decision is positive, an account is opened. The process is usually done by
several individuals.
(ii) Renewal of a driver’s license : The applicant fills out a form and is given a
written test of driving rules. The test is checked. If the applicant passes, he or
she takes a vision test. Then a picture is taken, the appropriate fee is
collected, and a temporary license is issued (in some states, a permanent
license is issued on the spot).
(iii) Manufacturing a toy : A market research is conducted to determine areas of
demand. Designers prepare a prototype for which a marketing test is
conducted. If a go decision is made, design improvements are introduced and
pricing and advertisement strategies are determined. Production is then
scheduled, materials are purchased and other resources are planned for. The
toy is manufactured, tested and packaged. Shipments to warehouses are
made.

Problems of functional division


All organizations have both horizontal and vertical dimensions. The organization’s layers
(usually top, middle, and supervisory management) define the horizontal dimensions; the
organization’s functional departments define vertical dimensions. The vertical dimension
of the organization, primarily focused on functional specialization, has caused many
problems in organizations as they have tried to move into the information-based
economy. Such problems are sometimes referred to as “stovepipes” because of the lack
of cooperation between functional areas.

Interaction among vertical functions (across the stovepipes) turns out to be crucial for
organizations to operate efficiently and effectively.

Often the difference between duties of functional units and business processes in an
organization is confused. Some organizations can have vertical functions but have
processes that transcend departmental boundaries. These are sometimes referred to as
cross-functional activities. Product development, order processing, planning, resourcing,
control, and customer service are processes that can transcend the functional boundaries
of distribution, purchasing, research and development, manufacturing, and sales.
 Improper organizational structure of supporting information systems: The
problem of the stovepipe can intensify if the supporting information systems are
structured improperly. An example of a stovepipe problem is : a customer places an
order with sales. After a few days, the customer calls sales to find out the status of the
order. Sales division starts to call various departments. Frequently, it is difficult to trace
the order. People push the order from place to place and feel only a small sense of
responsibility and accountability, so sales may not be able to give the customer an answer
in time, or may even give an incorrect answer.
 Fragmented piecemeal information systems: Organizations have operated and
built information systems along functional boundaries. For e.g., a budgeting system was
perceived to be primarily that of the finance department, even though all functional areas
of the organization do budgeting. A net effect of focusing on vertical functions and on
corresponding information systems to support the business has been fragmented,
piecemeal information systems that operate in a way in which the “left hand doesn’t
know what the right hand is doing”. Hence integration of information is required for
good decision making.
 Creation of difficulties in the integration of information: Besides creating
inefficient redundancies, the independent subsystem structure causes difficulties in the
integration of information that is required for decision making purposes. The systems
and files have been developed along departmental or functional boundaries. For e.g.,
account numbers are not logically related and cannot be used for cross-referencing a
customer’s accounts. This seriously limits reporting capabilities. A loan officer, for
instance, may want to check information pertaining to a loan applicant’s savings
accounts. However, there is no linkage to these data from the loan system. Indeed, the
loan officer may have to ask the loan applicant if he or she has a savings account with the
bank and what his or her account number is.

Consider a case where the management of the bank wants to increase the offering of
mortgage loans to utilize large savings deposits. Management decides to send letters
encouraging specific customers to consider buying homes, using convenient financing
available through the bank. Management also decides that the best customers to which to
send such letters are – (1) Customers who do not currently have mortgage loans or who
have loans for a very small percentage of the value of their homes, (ii) Customers who
have good checking account records (i.e., few or no overdrafts), (iii) Customers with
sufficient funds in their savings accounts to make a down payment on a home, and (iv)
Customers who have good payment records on any installment loans with the bank.
Because that data necessary to identify such customers may be available in different files
of different information systems, there may be no convenient or economic way to
integrate them. Using innovations such as data warehouses and special integrated
software can be helpful but expensive. Therefore, extensive programming and clerical
work are required to satisfy such an information request. Management is understandably
disappointed and unable to function effectively. The scenario of the bank can be
translated into other organizational settings.
Process view of an organization
A process view of an organization gives a snapshot of the way that things are done; the
way that the organization works and the way that it delivers to its customers. It gives a
cross departmental view of an organization – which is the view that the customer sees.

The process model of the organization for business process reengineering (BPR)
considers only those processes where the ‘end’ of each process produces a result whereby
the customer concern, interest, expectation and perception are affected. It considers only
those processes which produce value for the customer.

The differences between Department-oriented (functional division) organization and


Process-oriented organization are given below:
Department(Function)-oriented organization Process-oriented organization
Hierarchical structure Flat structure
Departmental Multidisciplinary skills mix
Control and command Self-regulating
Rigid organization Flexible organization
Project-based improvement Continuous improvement
Limited information distribution Free-flowing information
Individual focus Team focus
Procedure orientation Customer focused
Precedent led Adaptive and innovative

An organization operates several business processes designed to attain its goals. For e.g.,
a manufacturing organization includes the following processes : (1) customer ordering,
(2) work orders, (3) manufacturing, (4) distribution, (5) logistics, (6) accounting and
finance, and (7) inventory. These processes involve customers, suppliers, employees,
management, and possibly government agencies.

For constructing the process model, the processes which are essential for the smooth
working of the business such as the employee related processes, audit, budgeting and
accounting, security, canteen, general administration, etc. are not considered. Such
processes contribute to substantial overheads and could be considered for cost control in
second phase.
CEO PROCESS STREAM

A B C

A1 B1 B1 C1 C1 VALUE
A1
STREAM

A2 A2 B1 B2 C2 C2

Figure : Process view of Organization


The need for constructing a process model of the organization is to force some
fundamental thinking, and redesigning that will bring a dramatic change in the working
and the end result of the organization. It will not permit thinking on the task basis within
the confines of the function or department. It will help to redesign the process in terms of
input, process and effectiveness and productivity. The process view of the organization
will prevent functional and local sub-optimization, and promote process optimization,
where the resources are used intelligently and productivity is the highest.

Business Process Reengineering


Michael Hammer defines re-engineering as ‘the fundamental rethinking and radical
redesign of business process to achieve dramatic improvements in the critical
contemporary measures of performance such as cost, quality, service and speed.’

Reengineering is the radical redesign of an organization’s processes, especially its


business processes. Rather than organizing a firm into functional specialties (like
production, accounting, marketing, etc.) and looking at the tasks that each function
performs, we should, according to the reengineering theory, be looking at complete
processes from materials acquisition, to production, to marketing and distribution. The
firm should be re-engineered into a series of processes. Hammer and Champy argue that
far too much time is wasted passing-on tasks from one department to another and they
claim that it is far more efficient to appoint a team including suppliers, distributors and
other business partners who are responsible for all the tasks in the process.

Reengineering is the basis for many recent developments in management. The cross-
functional team, for example, has become popular because of the desire to re-engineer
separate functional tasks into complete cross-functional processes. Also, many recent
MIS developments aim to integrate a wide number of business functions. ERP, SCM, KM
systems, groupware and collaborative systems, HRMS, and CRM systems all owe a debt
to re-engineering theory.

Reengineering offers to them an easy way out. Reengineering calls for throwing out
everything that exists and recommends reconstituting a workable organization on the
basis of completely fresh ideas. The new business model is expected to spring forth from
the inspired insights of a new leadership team.

Characteristics of Business Process Reengineering (BPR)


 Several jobs are combined into one.
 Employees make decisions (empowerment of employees). Decision making becomes
part of the job.
 Steps in the business process are performed in a natural order, and several jobs get
done simultaneously.
 Processes may have multiple versions. This enables the economies of scale that result
from mass production, yet allows customization of products and services.
 Work is performed where it makes the most sense, including at the customers’ or
suppliers’ sites. Thus, work is shifted, if necessary, across organizational and even
international boundaries.
 Controls and checks and other non-value-added work are minimized.
 Reconciliation is minimized by cutting back the number of external contact points and
by creating business alliances.
 A hybrid centralized/decentralized operation is used.
 A single point of contact is provided to customers, called a “case manager” or a deal
structurer.
 The key activities of reengineering can be organized into three phases, referred to as
the 3R’s of Reengineering, which includes redesign, retool, and re-orchestrate.
Redesign of an organization must, first of all, have an ambitious, cross-functional
scope. Another key aspect is breaking rules or using breakthrough thinking. A key
component of reengineering is that it must focus on an ambitious outcome the
organization needs to achieve, such as 24-hour delivery to any customer anywhere in
the world, approval of mortgage loans within three minutes of application, or online
access to a patient’s medical records no matter where he is in any major city in the
world. The process of reengineering the information systems for effective support is
referred to as retooling. Retooling focuses on making sure the information systems are
responsive to the reengineering effort. To retool for reengineering, the key issue is
getting a good understanding of the current installed base of information systems
applications and databases. It is also important to understand the existing
infrastructure in terms of computing equipment, networks, and the like, and their
relationships to the current available software, procedures, and data. Re-orchestration
brings about the organizational change necessary to achieve BPR. It is important to
point that there are really two levels of reengineering. There can be an overall
organizational transformation for traditional hierarchical to a network-type
organization, which has a very broad impact on organizations. There can also be more
isolated, specific reengineering efforts pertaining to one (or a few) cross-functional
organizational process.

Case study : IBM Credit Corporation reduced cycle time by 90%


IBM Credit Corpn. provides credit to customers who purchase IBM computers. The
process of credit approval used to take an average of seven days. Because of the long
processing time, salespeople felt that they were losing many potential customers;
therefore, reducing processing time became critical.

Old process :
Step 1 – The IBM salesperson telephones in, requesting credit approval for a customer.
Step 2 – A clerk logs the call on paper; a messenger takes it to the credit department.
Step 3 – A specialist enters the data into the computer, checks creditworthiness of the
potential customer, and prepares a report.
Step 4 – The report is physically moved to the business practices department.
Step 5 – The business practices department modifies a standard loan to fit the customer’s
needs.
Step 6 – Using a spreadsheet, a pricer determines the appropriate interest rate and
payment schedule. Another piece of paper is added to the application.
Step 7 – An administrator uses the information to develop a quote letter.
Step 8 – The quote letter is delivered to the salesperson, who submits it to the customer.
Incremental attempts to increase productivity improved some of the activities, but the
overall time reduction was minimal.
The Reengineered process : One person, called a deal structurer, conducts all the above
steps. One generalist replaces four specialists. To enable one person to execute the
above steps, a simple DSS provides the deal structurer with the guidance needed. The
program guides the generalist in finding information in the databsases, plugging numbers
into an evaluation model, and pulling standardized clauses – “boilerplate” – from a file.
For difficult situations, the generalist can get help from a specialist.
The Results : The turnaround time has been slashed from seven days to four hours!
Furthermore, IBM credit can handle a volume of business up to 100 times larger now.

Methodologies and frameworks for BPR


Dozens of methodologies and frameworks for BPR implementation have been developed
since 1993. One example is the product-process change matrix (by Boynton et al, 1993).
It can help managers do the following : (1) assess their competitive position by
understanding where their firms have been in the past, (2) build a vision of where their
firms must be in the future, and (3) create a transformation strategy to turn that vision
into reality. But there is one common thread in all the methodologies and frameworks :
IT is the major enabler; without IT, BPR rarely succeeds.

Changes in the world of work


From Conventional To BPR
Functional departments Process teams
Simple tasks (division of labor) Multidimensional work
Controlled people (by management) Empowered employees
Training of employees Education of employees
Compensation for skill and time spent Compensation for results
Pay raises based on promotions& seniority Low pay + high performance based bonuses
Advancement based on ability Advancement based on performance
Protective organizational culture Productive organizational structure
Managers supervise and control Managers coach and advise
Hierarchical organizational structure Horizontal (flat) structure
Executives as scorekeepers Executives as leaders
Separation of duties and functions Cross-functional teams
Linear and sequential processes Parallel processes, concurrent processes
Mass production Mass customization
Working in the office; extensive Working anywhere; minimum
checks and controls checks and controls.

IT as Process Enabler
IT has been used for several decades to improve productivity and quality by automating
existing processes. However, when it comes to reengineering, the traditional process of
looking at problems first and then seeking technology solutions for them needs to be
reversed. Now it is necessary to first recognize powerful solutions that BPR makes
possible, and then to seek the process that can be helped by it. Such an approach requires
inductive rather than deductive thinking. It requires innovation, since a company may be
looking for problems it does not even know exist.

Case study : From McKesson Water products Co. (Pasadena, CA) Reengineers
Operation (where BPR efforts resulted in an annual cost reduction of $7 million; in
addition staffing was reduced by 60%).
IT supports
(1) changes in the organization structure (e.g., the sales organization, service, and
customer relations were consolidated in a single location by installing a
computerized telephone switch that routed calls from seven regional offices into a
teleservice centre.)
(2) changes in the business process (e.g. the teleservice centre staff now combines
the functions of sales, service, and customer relations. A GIS was installed to
optimize the process of adding new customers to existing routes. With GIS, route
allocation is fully automatic, while the entire route structure can be quickly
reconfigured automatically. Hand-held wireless terminals and pagers provide
instant information, and allow the central database to be updated at all times from
all locations, without depending on public telephones, paper records, redundant
data entry, and inevitable human errors.
(3) Shortening the time-to-market (e.g., the teleservice centre installed a standard
software package that automatically identified telephone numbers and displayed a
customer’s background information on the staff member’s screen. This
technology made data instantly available to the service representatives, and
therefore to the customer. Since all the data was available online, immediate
follow-up activities could be carried out, resulting in drastically reduced deliver
times.
(4) Customer-centered organizations (e.g., the integrated customer service centre is
focusing on improving customer satisfaction; faster order processing at lower
cost.
(5) Empowerment of employees (e.g., all sales, service, and customer service
information is available to all service centre employees. Enhanced team
operations resulted in greater productivity, employee morale, and independence.
(6) Enhancement of TQM programs (e.g., the integrated systems guaranteed
consistent, timely, and verifiable data, and resulted in improved quality and
efficiency.

The role of IT can be very critical and it is increasing due to the Internet/intranet. To
reduce training costs, AT&T deploys an intranet that the operators can use to access the
experience of specialists which is now documented and catalogued in the intranet
database. Also the operators can share knowledge and experiences among themselves.
Using browsers and search engines operators can find quick answers to customer queries.
Also, the operators can train themselves by examining the databases and the answers to
frequently asked questions (FAQs). The system eliminated the need of 40-week classes.
IT can break old rules that limit the manner in which work is performed. Some instances
of enabling role of IT for BPR are listed below:

Old rule Intervening Technology New rule


1) Information appears in Shared databases, Information appears simulta-
Only one place at one time. client/server architecture, neously wherever needed.
electronic mail.
2) Plans get revised periodically. High-performance Plans get revised instanta-
Computing systems neously whenever needed.
3) Managers make all decisions. DSS, Enterprise support Decision making is part of
Systems, expert systems. Everyone’s job.
4) Information-based organi- AI, expert systems Knowledge-based organi-
zations and processes. zations and processes.

Business Process Reengineering (BPR) and Restructuring the organization


Reengineering efforts involve many activities and they include redesign of processes,
mass customization, cycle time reduction, and restructuring the organization.

Redesign of processes
Business Process Redesign is "the analysis and design of workflows and
processes within and between organizations" (Davenport & Short 1990). Teng et
al. (1994) define BPR as "the critical analysis and radical redesign of existing business
processes to achieve breakthrough improvements in performance measures."
To be successful, business process redesign depends on the commitment and imaginative
cooperation of your employees. Business process redesign must demonstrate that only by
working together they can improve their long-term opportunities. Business process
redesign relies primarily on the accumulated know-how of existing employees to find
conditions that will support the creation of new jobs, even if that means that in the short
run many of the existing jobs will have to cease to exist.

In business process redesign, the people directly affected by the potential changes study
the "as-is" conditions and propose "to be" alternatives to achieve the desired
improvements. In business process redesign everybody with an understanding of the
business will be asked to participate. External help is hired only for expertise that does
not already exist anywhere internally.

Business process redesign calls for applying rigorous methods to charting, pricing and
process flow analysis of "as-is" conditions. Process redesign is never finished during the
lifetime of a company. After implementing any major improvement new payoff
opportunities will always emerge from what has just been learned. The primary objective
of the business process improvement is to create a learning environment in which
renewal and gain will be an ongoing process instead of just a one time shock therapy.
Adopting formal business process flow methods and a consistent technique for keeping
track of local improvements allows combining later on processes that were initially
isolated for short-term delivery of local gains in productivity.
Business process redesign balances the involvement of information managers, operating
managers and subject matter experts. Cooperative teams are assembled under non-
threatening circumstances in which much time is spent and perhaps wasted in discussing
different points of view. Unanimity is not what business process is all about. Differences
are recorded, debated and passed on to higher levels of management for resolution.

Business process redesign requires that you perform a business case analysis, which
calculates not only payoffs but also reveals the risks of each proposed alternative. This is
not popular because the current methods for performing business case analysis of
computerization projects call for calculations that do not have the integrity for making
them acceptable to financial executives.

The overwhelming advantage of business process redesign, as compared with


"reengineering," lies in its approach to managing organizational change. The relatively
slow and deliberate process redesign effort is more in tune with the approach that people
normally use to cope major changes. Every day should be process redesign day, because
that is how organizational learning takes place and that is how you gain the commitment
of your people. At each incremental stage of process design, your people can keep up the
pace with their leaders, because they can learn how to share the same understanding of
what is happening to the business. They are allowed the opportunity to think about what
they are doing. They are not intimidated by precipitous layoffs that inhibit their sharing of
ideas how to use their own time and talent more effectively.

Mass customization
One of the most innovative concepts of the Industrial Revolution was mass production,
where a company produces a large quantity of an identical, standard product, The
product is then stored for future distribution to many customers. Because the concept of
mass production results in a low cost, products are relatively inexpensive and sold in
department or specialty stores to unknown customers. But, a major change in marketing
started about 30 years ago with the increased competition between automobile
manufacturers.

The concept of mass customization may be essential to the survival of many companies
as we enter the 21st century. The basic idea is to enable a company to produce large
volumes, yet to customize the product to the specifications of individual customers.
Mass customization enables a company to provide flexible and quick responsiveness to a
customer’s needs, at a low cost and with high quality. It is made possible by allowing
fast and inexpensive production changes, by reducing the ordering and sales process, by
shortening the production time, and by using prefabricated parts and modules.

Cycle time reduction


Cycle time refers to the time it takes to complete a process from beginning to end. The
current competition among companies today focuses not only on cost and quality but also
on time. Time is recognized as a major element that provides competitive advantage, and
cycle time reduction is a major business objective.
The success of Federal Express, for example, is clearly attributable to its ability to reduce
the delivery time of packages with complex computer-supported systems that allow
flexible planning, organization, and control.

Cycle time reduction can be very beneficial, but to obtain maximum results from
reengineering efforts, it may be necessary to restructure not just one or a few processes,
but the entire organization.

Restructuring organizations
We know that one problem in many current organizations is vertical structures. How
should a contemporary organization be organized? Answers come from two directions –
first, management theories advocate a structure that provides leadership and support for
critical activities and strategies (e.g., cost reduction can be achieved when some layers of
middle management are eliminated) and second, we can examine the relationships
between organizations and information systems.

Reengineering the organization : The fundamental problem with the hierarchical


approach is that any time a decision needs to be made, it must climb up and down the
hierarchy. All it takes is one person who does not understand the issues to say “no”, and
everything comes to a screeching halt. Also, if information is required from several
“functions”, getting all the right information coordinated can be a time-consuming and
frustrating process for employees and customers alike. Providing each customer with a
single point contact can solve the fundamental problem. Reengineering is not limited to a
specific type of organization. As a matter of fact, studies indicate that 70% of all large
US corporations are reengineering or considering reengineering.

How Does BPR Differ from TQM?


In recent years, increased attention to business processes is largely due to the TQM (Total
Quality Movement) and TQM and BPR share a cross-functional orientation. Quality
specialists tend to focus on incremental change and gradual improvement of processes,
while proponents of reengineering often seek radical redesign and drastic improvement of
processes.

Quality management, often referred to as total quality management (TQM) or continuous


improvement, refers to programs and initiatives that emphasize incremental improvement
in work processes and outputs over an open-ended period of time. In contrast,
Reengineering, also known as business process redesign or process innovation, refers to
discrete initiatives that are intended to achieve radically redesigned and improved work
processes in a bounded time frame.
Process Improvement (TQM) versus Process Innovation (BPR)
Improvement Innovation
1) Level of Change Incremental Radical
2) Starting Point Existing Process Clean Slate
3) Frequency of Change One-time/Continuous One-time
4) Time Required Short Long
5) Participation Bottom-Up Top-Down
6) Typical Scope Narrow, within functions Broad, cross-functional
7) Risk Moderate High
8) Primary Enabler Statistical Control Information Technology
9) Type of Change Cultural Cultural/Structural

The heart and soul of BPR lie in radical, process-oriented business solutions, which have
been greatly enhanced by the IT of client/server computing. Most of the ERP systems are
based on the client/server solution model and business engineering blueprint that
represent an advanced integration of business process reengineering and IT. With the
appearance of enterprise software systems, IT has now become a business-modeling
vehicle that can assist in the redesigning of those processes. Since ERP implements the
organizational processes, it is necessary to reengineer the business processes before
introducing ERP. Simple common sense will suggest that only efficient processes need to
be implemented using ERP.
Reengineering offered a unique opportunity to businesses to look at their operations in a
process-oriented way instead of the traditional function-oriented way. Globalization,
mass customization and liberalization witnessed by the industry in the 1990s reinforced
the needs of business houses to think about many of the traditional processes. BPR is
formal technique to re-assess the existing processes and devise new processes. Some of
the techniques of reengineering involve the replacement of old processes by new ones,
combining processes, re-distribution of processes, changing the sequence of processes
and in some cases complete elimination of the entire process. IT has played a major role
in enabling the BPR exercise in many organizations. Since ERP implements the
organizational processes, it is necessary to reengineer the business processes before
introducing ERP. Simple common sense will suggest that only efficient processes need to
be implemented using ERP.

The various areas normally covered under the concept of ERP are – Financials (financial
accounting, treasury management, enterprise control, and asset management), Logistics
(Production planning, materials management, plant maintenance, quality management,
project systems, sales and distribution), Human resources (personnel management,
training and development, skills inventory), and Workflow (Assignment of tasks and
responsibilities to locations, positions, jobs, groups, or individuals).

TQM is one of the strategic application area concerning resources. The strategic
execution applications are joined together by a facilities maintenance management
application. Maintenance management is critical in that it must provide a “bridge”
between the materials planning and maintenance planning functions, allowing planners
from both sides to communicate with each other.