At its most generic, a business process is:
Any set of activities performed by a business that is initiated by an event, transforms information, materials or business commitments, and produces an output. (from bptrends.com)
Every company has one or more business processes, because every business produces some output of some sort. The process is the underlying information, tasks and interactions that are used to create that output. Though every company has one or more processes, there is a wide range in the quality of those processes and the results they produce. Business Process Analysis is the task of helping businesses identify, refine and excute those processes to produce a desired business result.
Your Business Model
A Business Model is the method that a company uses to generate revenue, or to achieve primary business objectives. Possible business models include:
- Brokerage model - brings buyers and sellers together
- Advertising model - revenues are produced by selling access to an audience.
- Infomediary model - trade in consumer information to help buyers and sellers understand markets.
- Merchant model - sales of goods and services
- Manufacturer model - allows sales directly from the manufacturer of the product to the consumer.
- Affiliate model - provides commission based opportunities for others to sell your products and services
- Community model - revenue is generated through the sales of products and services to a loyal user community.
- Subscription model - charges users a periodic fee for access to a product or service.
- Utility model - allows products and services to be paid for as they are used.
[from Digital Enterprise...]
In each of these cateogries are many variations of these basic models. However most businesses will have a model that fits into one of the generic categories described above or its subsidiaries. Since many businesses fall into a few generic business categories, once would conclude that the actual performance or output would be the same. However, business models are executed in a market environment
in which there are economic conditions, business relationships, partnerships, and other variables that may impair the execution of a perfectly good business model. Business Process Analysis first answers the "what" questions about the business model, then seeks to help the business owner understand the "why" questions when it comes to the gap between intended results and actual performance.
In each solution we define, part of our development process is to develop an understanding of the business model and the processes that are at work to execute it. Technology is an enabler that helps business processes run faster and more efficiently, however, technology is cannot fix a process that is incorrectly designed or not utilized by staff. The process must be fixed, then accelerated using the technology. This approach results in fast ROI and user acceptance.