Process mapping techniques are a well-established method for boosting efficiency and productivity. However, taking the time to map out all of your processes can feel overwhelming – especially at a larger organization.
At Nintex, we see successful process mapping examples within our customers’ businesses every day. Let’s look at what business process mapping actually is; then look at how it can help you. We’ve also provided some examples to show just how much time and money it can save your business.
What is business process mapping?
Business process mapping is a technique that aims to represent your company’s workflows in a visual manner. By breaking down all the steps and representing them visually, the business process mapping techniques make it easier to identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, redundancy, and repetition. After mapping them out, you can improve your processes and make them more efficient.
There are many different business process mapping techniques out there – from simple hand-drawn flow charts through to highly sophisticated process mapping software. Which technique you use ultimately depends on the size of your business and the complexity of the processes you need to map out.
Deep dive: What is process mapping?
Process mapping example
Tesco is one of the biggest grocery chains in the world. The multinational organization is currently going through a major business process mapping project which is attempting to map processes from thousands of documents. The project will take three years to complete but is expected to result in a 7% reduction in costs – or over USD $5 billion.
Seven process mapping benefits
Conducting a full process mapping project is a major undertaking. Nevertheless, it can deliver some serious benefits beyond ‘just’ cutting costs and saving time.
Here are seven process mapping benefits:
- Standardizing processes
A process or customer journey mapping tool allows you to visualize all the individual steps in your company’s operations. By completing a process mapping project, anyone can review the process map to learn what they are meant to do next. That cuts out discrepancies and encourages best-practice methodologies.
Digital customer journey mapping example: A new employee in your customer service department has just received an unusual request from a customer. They can refer to the process map to figure out what to do next.
- Employee onboarding
Perhaps the most time-consuming part of joining a new company is learning how processes work – who to go to for help, which departments are responsible for what, and what the chain of command is. Process mapping provides accessible, visual information on where each department slots in, and who oversees different processes – shortening the learning curve.
Onboarding process mapping example: Amy is a new remote worker at your business. She’s unsure who to ask about getting approval for a new expense she’s recorded. Fortunately, she can check your process map and see who she’s meant to send the request to.
- Analysis and improvement
With processes clearly mapped out, it’s easier to analyze and pinpoint problems that may have been too vague to tackle before. You can then develop a plan for constant improvement and cut out any steps that have become obsolete or that are unnecessary.
Business process mapping example: After a process mapping session, your finance team realizes that supplier invoice payments currently require three approvals. They decide to eliminate two of those approvals and get invoices paid faster.
- Identifying scope for automation
When you can see the process in front of you, and assess how each stage is being carried out, it’s easier to see which parts of the process could easily be automated.
Digital customer journey mapping tool example: Each time a customer makes a new purchase on your website, your eCommerce team must copy and paste the order from your website backend into a different inventory system. By being aware of this unnecessary manual step, it’s much easier to automate it out.
- Strengthen customer-facing roles
When sales, customer success, and support have a clearly defined process map to follow, they spend less time thinking about processes. They can instead focus on delivering exceptional service with confidence, knowing that they are following the correct protocol.
B2B customer journey map example: If you have mapped out a clear marketing funnel, all your customer-facing teams know what to do and when. For instance, the sales force know that if a customer has requested more information about your products, they know which brochures, eBooks, or technical documents to send (and where they’re stored).
- Creating a personalized experience
By mapping out different customer journeys, you can create experiences that are personalized for each type of customer, yet which are still standardized within your company.
Digital customer journey mapping example: An insurance company sells a wide variety of insurance types. One customer has recently signed up to your newsletter, and they have previously only bought travel insurance. Your email newsletter therefore might be segmented so this customer profile mainly receives offers about travel insurance deals – and not irrelevant offers they’re not interested in.
- Scale-up with ease
Knowing exactly how much of your resources are consumed in each stage of the process, and how many employees are required, means that you can scale up in a more logical manner.
Process mapping example: A company needs to hire thousands of new employees for seasonal work. Usually, this would require lots of manual work posting ads online, reviewing applications, onboarding the staff, and so on – and doing this would require more HR staff. However, if you could automate many of these processes, far more work could be done without having to employ additional HR professionals.
Ready to use process mapping techniques?
As the process mapping examples above show, carrying out a review of your current workflows then optimizing them brings so many benefits.
Want to see it in action? Try Nintex Promapp® for free today!