We offer process improvement services as part of our Business Performance Consulting offering and as a stand-alone service. We use methodologies, including Lean Six Sigma, benchmarking and value stream analysis—a technique for eliminating waste—to help organizations improve and optimize their business processes.
Conducting a process improvement assessment will uncover the details of existing business processes so they can be documented and examined for eventual optimization and improvement.
Documenting Your Processes Using Process Mapping
In order to improve a process, it’s vital to know exactly how it operates. Process maps capture the ‘as-is’ operation of processes for evaluation. Best practices include the use of new process mapping tools, process classification frameworks, and standard ‘languages’ of process symbols called BPMN and DMN.
Used together and led by experienced process improvement professionals, these tools can greatly improve the ability of an organization to:
- Document existing processes end-to-end, including organizations/roles, and manual or automated tasks.
- Organize all process documentation via a classification system such as the APQC PCF (Process Classification Framework).
- Provide both visual and data driven insights about the strengths and weaknesses of a process.
- Enable a range of improvement options to be designed, tested, and implemented.
- Transform the focus of an organization from traditional departmental silos to delivering maximum customer value via efficient and responsive end-to-end business processes.
Benchmarking and Value Stream Analysis
Once we have your organization’s processes mapped, our team will have a better understanding of how the process operates and how the current level of performance compares to industry benchmarks.
Through the APQC Open Source Benchmarking database, we can use more than 2,000 KPIs with performance data based on almost 30,000 company surveys to assess an organization’s processes. This approach allows us to know which processes are the areas of concern that need immediate focus.
Other techniques can then be applied to these processes, such as Value Stream Analysis. This involves collecting data on each major process step and inventory queue to determine the overall lead time and the percent of non-value-added time. Finding ways to reduce or eliminate the non-value-added activities can greatly improve the lead time as well as eliminate many other forms of process waste.
Click here to read examples of how process mapping leads to improved operations.
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The City of Moberly requested Brown Smith Wallace conduct an analysis of the city’s water and sewer billings and collections. The objective was to ensure billings and collections, as reported by the city, were reasonable and controls were in place, adequate and operating effectively to ensure the accuracy and proper reporting of future water and sewer revenues. Their team performed detailed data analytic procedures on water and sewer billing records between over two years. The results included recommendations to improve our procedures and internal controls over water and sewer billings and collections. Their analysis identified several potential data anomalies. Due to the nature of the utility billing process, these anomalies need to be further researched to determine if billing inaccuracies exist. A significant initiative being led by city management is underway to correct the various items identified during this assessment and other related projects. We are grateful for the work Brown Smith Wallace has done and continues to do for the City of Moberly.
City of Moberly
Mary West, Director of Utilities
Our organization has seen tremendous growth over the last three years and decided we needed to review the entire practice to ensure we were prepared for the future in all aspects. We decided to bring in the team at Brown Smith Wallace. The collaboration with Brown Smith Wallace has been vital in our reengineering process. Several strategic initiatives were developed as part of our Practice Review they successfully completed. The Review really looked at all aspects of our practice including our culture, operations, governance, finance, operational leadership and all the components of our revenue cycle. They worked with our physicians and staff in developing strategies and an implementation schedule of prioritized objectives. They used a Lean Six Sigma approach throughout the entire project and have been able to identify tremendous opportunity to improve our quality, cost efficiencies, cash collections and the patient experience. Further they have helped me identify leadership roles and appropriate structures. I highly recommend Brown Smith Wallace as they not only have helped transform our practice, but have done so with a clear understanding of our culture and opportunities.
Greg Thompson, Former President/CEO
We hired Brown Smith Wallace to help us through a multi-faceted business performance consulting engagement. Our initial need was program and project-level management to meet our transition timeline and minimize business disruption through our transition of IT and back-office operations, while focusing on a long-term operational effectiveness plan. Brown Smith Wallace was able to deliver timely and meet all Transition Service Agreement (TSA) requirements. They are now a partner assisting with productivity improvement efforts.
Brian Purcell, Former CFO
Brown Smith Wallace’s Advisory Services assisted the St. Louis Community College District in identifying internal control weaknesses and process inefficiencies and provided recommendations to improve controls and processes in the following areas: Control Environment, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, IT General Controls, Payroll, Purchasing, P-Cards, Bookstore/Auxiliary Operations, Facilities, and the Student Assistance Fund. The expertise of Brown Smith Wallace staff made for an efficient assessment that provided St. Louis Community College with a roadmap to improve controls and processes.
St. Louis Community College
Celeste Metcalf, Former Controller
As part of our strategic planning process and ongoing efforts to improve efficiency, effectiveness and service, St. Louis Public Library requested that Brown Smith Wallace assist with the implementation of a series of improvements to the Library’s core business services. Brown Smith Wallace assisted the Library with process improvement implementation and provided additional recommendations in investment policy, general internal controls, revenue process, ERP system, organizational structure and our accounts payable process. Their team continues to be a valued resource for us as we seek to improve how we operate and serve the public.
St. Louis Public Library
Justin Struttmann, Chief Operating Officer
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