Business simplification

  • Many companies suffer from layers of complexity that have built up over the years
  • To stay competitive it is important to constantly find ways to simplify cost structures, customer propositions, processes and flows in the business
  • Our proven business simplification approach ‘connects the dots’ while reducing complexity

What is the challenge?


Companies have become more globalized, outsourced and technology-driven, driving complexity of the operations. The need for simplifications has become greater. As layers of processes, decision-making and IT systems swell to create an overload of complexity, business simplification is increasingly a strategic focus. The main symptoms of an overly complex organization are:

– Low effectiveness and efficiency
– Lack of transparency
– Lack of responsiveness and agility – Duplication of processes
– Extra process layers
– Process gaps
– Process variations where it is not clear if the value is really greater than the cost
– Guidelines and rules that slow the organisation down
– Low ability to capture digitalization opportunities, as processes are not ready for automation
– Reduced ability to integrate strategic acquisitions


Our approach


Business process simplification is a roadmap approach that allows companies to scope, structure and deliver simpler process integration across the company and with value chain partners:

– Conduct a scoping workshop with the leadership and process transformation teams
– Ensure the the business simplification efforts are connected to value (strategic objectives) and to processes, people and systems (capabilities)
– Prioritise the key processes and their value contribution
– Define guiding principles for process simplification
– Analyse priority processes: Current state using operational data, process maps (as per preferred or framework format, KPIs, Gaps)
– Assess the effectiveness, efficiency and triple value add of processes
– Determine the vision for the to be processes and performance
– Develop a business simplification roadmap to achieve short, mid and long term results
– Pilot business simplification in one of the key processes
– Conduct a retrospect on the pilot and adjust where required
– Scale from pilot to the business


Methods and tools


Our methodology SPEED uses a mix of own experience based approaches with industry leading frameworks and methods:
– Frameworks: EFQM, APQC, SCOR, VRM, ITIL, COBIT, …
– Complexity assessment
– Process simplification guidelines


The Benefits


– Improved transparency
– Reduced redundancy
– Improved speed through reduced cycle times
– Improved quality
– Elimination of time and resource waste
– Reduction, eliminations and avoidance of bottlenecks and mistakes
– Improved customer satisfaction (and higher net promoter scores)
– Clean processes as prerequisite for digitalization
– 60% productivity increase
– 20%+ cost reduction of the addressable cost base


Key success factors


– Define ambition and scope properly
– Connect back to the dimensions of value
– Use a best practice framework to get started
– Manage change carefully, as not everyone in the organization understands process over functional thinking
– Don’t go to steep, don’t get lost
– Reduce barriers to change and reward efforts to simplify

Michael D’heur
Expert for Strategy, Product Development, Supply Chain, Sustainability, Digitalisation