Business Process Re-Engineering For Sustainability

This is the final year MSc Research Project on re-designing a system for sustainability. The research work is on the 'Business Process Re-Engineering for Sustainability', re-designing the business process of system for sustainability (social, economic and environmental). The business process of the existing system (case study) is modeled in the initial stage using Business Process Modeling methodology; the major contributions will be redesigning the business process by adding sustainable business products, adding features that will provide better user experience for customers and increase profitably that contributes to sustainability. Having a new business process with added features, we measure the impact of sustainability on business in terms of social, economic and environmental terms. The impact of adding new features is looked into individually to see their advantages and disadvantages and their sustainability contributions to the overall business and to the consumers. Towards the end of the dissertation we evaluate the business process models; designed in the initial stages by using or adapting metrics and see how these business process metrics are related to sustainability. Finally we look for requirements which can be integrated into new business process pattern and a new design pattern

2. Motivation

It is often interesting and challenging in doing research in how existing things in real world can be improved. Sustainability is become one of the main areas of concern nowadays. Companies are looking at their business processes and trying to make them more sustainable. To know how some of the sustainability features can help in improving business processes is the main concern of this paper. The focus is on studying and researching on these effects to model and re-design an existing system by adding sustainable features to it, making business sustainable by incorporating the ideas of 'green business'. The motivation of the project is to incorporate features to the business process and the business process design that will facilitate sustainability by reducing environmental impact, improving economic returns and considering social wellbeing of the system users and the owners. We try to make use/adapt/develop metrics or patterns for facilitating sustainability. The hope is that it can be used to engineer better systems in future.

3. Project Aim

The aim of the project is to understand the business process (case study), research and find features that can be incorporated to the business process to make it a sustainable business process. By initially designing the business process with the new added features; we come with the set of metrics and patterns to evaluate and find how these changes affect the business process, the design and the sustainability characteristics of the system.

4. Objectives

The Project is based on engineering the business process of the system, to incorporate sustainability features at different level.

' Understanding sustainability, research on reports published by researchers and sustainability reports of various companies.
' Understand Business Process Reengineering and its importance.
' Modeling the business process of the case study (pet store), existing system.
' How and why business processes are re-engineered and what sustainability (social, economic and environmental) features can be adapted for the existing system and current business process to make it a sustainable business process and a sustainable system in future.
' Identifying relevant requirements for sustainable business process
' Modeling/designing the new business process for the system with added features.
' Evaluating sustainability of new business process by adapting few metrics and comparing their advantages and disadvantages for business and consumers in terms of sustainability.
' Evaluating sustainability of the business process design with metrics and patterns.
' Adapt/develop patterns for sustainability requirements and how these relate to the business process models.

5. Background Knowledge

To carry out the Re-Engineering process to make business sustainable certain terms and processes along with their features and properties should be understood and learned, so that we can have a clear idea of what work is being carried out in this paper work.

5.1 Business Process Re-Engineering

Business process re-engineering focuses on the analysis and design of workflows and business processes within an organization. Business Process Re- Engineering (BPR) aims in helping organizations to fundamentally rethink how they can work in order to dramatically improve customer service, cut operational costs, improve performance quality, services and speed and become world-class competitors in the market. Business Process Reengineering involves redesign of business processes to achieve improvements in productivity, cycle times and quality. Business process re-engineering (BPR) is the "fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes aimed at achieving radical improvements in essential contemporary measures of performance, such as cost, quality, service and speed" (Hammer and Champy, 1993).

5.2 Sustainability

Sustainability can be referred to how a system can endure to remain productive and diverse for long period of time. There are three different dimensions of sustainability; it can be taken in economic (production costs, consumer cost, investment stability), social (social justice, fair working conditions, gender equality) and environmental perspectives (reducing pollution, energy saving, recycling, reusability). It implies responsible and proactive decision-making and innovation that minimizes negative impact and maintains balance between social, environmental, and economic growth.

Business processes have a huge impact on the environment. Environmental sustainability is concerned with protecting the natural world from pollution and other harmful things that might cause damage to the environment by any means; the emphasis is on preserving the capability of environment to support life and nature time by decreasing or eliminating the use of environmental hazards. It is about making wise and responsible decisions to reduce negative impact of business on the environment.

Social sustainability is about collaborating with local communities and social bodies to identify the needs to satisfy the human needs like social justice and human dignity. This can be monitored by impact of social behavior on the progress of the companies.

Economic sustainability is about making use accessible resources to their best advantage in a way that it is responsible and skillful promising to deliver benefits for long term.

5.3 Business Process Re-Engineering for Sustainability

Sustainable business development involves incorporating sustainability principles to business decisions and business operations. Much of the improvements in business practices have come from new ways of thinking about meeting customer needs, and redesigning production operations with environmental, social and economic concerns in mind.

Business sustainability is an approach that creates long-term employee and consumer value by creating a strategy aimed towards the natural environment, but taking into consideration every dimension of how a business operates in the social, economic and cultural environment.

Business processes relay on environmental and societal resources to sustain their operations and generate profits, therefore it is their responsibility to contribute to the well-being of the ecosystem. Incorporating these values in their business rules will ensure the long-term sustainability of the corporation. Sustainable business is any organization that participates in environmentally friendly or green activities to ensure that all processes, products, and manufacturing activities adequately address current environmental concerns while maintaining a profit. In other words, it is a business that 'meets the needs of the present world without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs. It is the process of assessing how to design products that will take advantage of the current environmental situation and how well a company's products perform with renewable resources.

5.4 Incorporating Sustainability to Business Process

Sustainable business should have minimal or least negative impact on the global and local environment, society, community and economy. This can also be termed as green business. The following criteria are considered mandatory for businesses to be sustainable:

' Business should incorporate principles of sustainability into each of the decisions related to business processes
' Business should use environmental friendly products like reusable and bio degradable products and services that replace demand for non-green products and services.
' Business should be greener when compared to the traditional similar businesses.
' Business should make a commitment to environmental principles in its business operations.

The most important aspect of re-engineering business process re-engineering is re- engineering the work processes which involve the customers directly and provides the customers with value. Always customers are the focus and success of an enterprise. Sustainable development within businesses ensures to create value for customers, investors or stakeholders and environment. A sustainable business must meet customer and social needs, reduce environmental impacts and bring in economic benefits.

To improve the business process, the following should be considered:

' Understand and model the current business situation
' Model Future (improved) business situation
' How to get there
' Evaluate the improved business situation

In the case of business processes, some basic things are to be considered; who are responsible for each and very task, when and why the task is being performed and how each task is being automated by the system. Business involves different types of models such as charts, graphs, business processes, etc. These models need to be closely integrated. Every business has different perspectives when it comes to the individual organizations, stores and other business firms, while modeling solution these perspectives should be taken into account. To make the business unique and competitive to similar businesses in the market, the modeling solution should be able to specify detailed view of the processes.
By considering making a business sustainable it has a lot of benefits, most of the businesses focus on short term success and immediate profit making. But this is not a good strategy to be followed to be while considering starting a business. Nowadays for business to be successful and to stay in the market incorporating sustainably features to our business is a must. Sustainable business practices may take time to be successful in market in short time, but in long time they going to draw a huge amount of profit and will continue to stay in the market.
' Sustainable business helps in increasing the number of customers by promoting and spreading awareness in consumers and encouraging them to purchase sustainable products to reduce the carbon footprint
' Retain customers by providing good customer service, security and customer satisfaction
' In long run, sustainable business will profit by reducing its operating costs by adapting environmental friendly initiatives that will help in reducing water, waste and energy consumption.
' Increase long-term profitability of both the business and customers by adapting environmental friendly plans as for now that will contribute future savings by reducing the travelling expenses, transportation pollution and will help in reducing the use of energy which can be saved for future use.
' Attract employees and retain existing staff by adopting valuable policies that meet and serve company's employee concern.
' Attract investors and from other similar businesses to join hands with companies' sustainability plans that will help in minimizing the operating and maintenance risk of the company in the future.

Source: Essay UK -

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