technology is not in applications that make old processes work better, but in
enabling organizations to create new ways of working.
Information technology can provide, generate and collate real time data, can
help analyze the data/information for real-time decision-making. Not only has-
tening up the process(es), information technology helps the organization in quality
decision making. A good re-engineered process leverages information technology
to attain radical improvement. Employee empowerment can be really effective if
backed up by efficient real time information system. The scope of using IT in re-
engineering exercises is unlimited—its depth and breadth cover all aspects and
processes that a business encounters. Innovative re-engineered applications lever-
aging the power of IT can provide distinctive competitive advantages over the
nearest business rival.
A Few Wrong Notions about BPR
BPR is not aimed at automating things one is doing at present, nor is it about doing
things faster or doing what is being done now at a lower cost. Re-engineering is
not fixing a problem or making a patchwork. Many professionals think re-
engineering is a tool for getting rid of personnel, but it is not! It is not the same as
reorganizing, delayering or flattening an organization, though it is quite possible
that re-engineering may result in flatter and more responsive organizations. It is
no wonder then that this wrong perception on the part of some managers has
given an ‘initiative non grate’ stamp to BPR—the unions look upon the imitative
with doubt and fear. The opposition to BPR from trade union leaders is the result
of wrong application and in some cases the malicious intention of the management.
Leveraging BPR for TQM
Process re-engineering is not a straightforward matter of just following some set rules;
nor do all the re-engineered processes look alike or have all the characteristics
discussed above. Creating a new design requires insight, creativity and judgment.
Viewed from a right perspective, BPR is an essential program that helps an organ-
ization to maintain its process orientation through breakthrough process improve-
ments so that the company keeps pace with market changes. Readers need to see
that continuous process improvement is ensured through the combined effects of
breakthrough improvements, and continuous incremental improvement. The
breakthrough improvements after implementation need to be supported or
propped up by continuous incremental improvements to counteract the natural
‘sagging’ effect.
Selecting suppliers, and the developing and maintaining quality working rela-
tionship with them have become today an important strategic issue for business

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