BPM Adoption and Business Transformation at Snaga, a Public Company: Critical Success Factors for Five Stages of BPM

Andrej Kovačič, Gregor Hauc, Brina Buh, Mojca Indihar Štemberger

Situation faced: Snaga is a Slovenian public company that provides a series of waste treatment services for 368,000 citizens of the Municipality of Ljubljana and ten other municipalities. In 2006, prior to adopting BPM and implementing a new information system, the company had obsolete and non-integrated IT solutions that did not provide sufficient support to the business operations. The existing business processes were not well organized, resulting in unnecessary duplication of work and excessive delays. The company also faced new challenges in waste management and new legislation that dictated the development of waste-processing technologies.

Action taken: The company’s executives were aware that the company’s way of doing business was inadequate and that changes were necessary if the company was to improve its business operations and maintain its competitive advantage. The company comprehensively transformed its business operations and adopted BPM in order to undertake the critical examination, rethinking, and then redesigning of current business processes, practices, and rules. The BPM project was conducted in three phases: (1) planning for strategic business transformation, (2) business process restructuring and information architecture development, and (3) information system development and implementation in six interdependent projects.

Results achieved: Adopting BPM brought considerable benefits to the company. A key change brought by the BPM adoption was the transition from a functional to a more process-oriented organization with an increased customer focus. The company implemented an ERP solution to support the redesigned business processes, established process ownership and a BPM office, and introduced KPIs to measure the performance and efficiency of processes and business operations using a business intelligence solution. BPM became a way of life at Snaga, and the company has undergone considerable transformation in the last decade, evolving from a traditional, functionally organised and managed company in 2005 to a process-oriented company in 2010. Today it is one of the most effective and efficient municipal utility companies in Europe. In the past 2 years, the company also transformed itself from focusing on waste collection and delivery to separate waste collection, waste processing and promoting a zero-waste society. The company’s operating results improved significantly from 2012 to 2015, and in the 10 years ending in 2015 increased the waste it processed after collected separately from 16 to 145 kg per user, which ranked the company at the top of the industry in Europe.

Lessons learned: The involvement—rather than just support—of top management is one of the most important critical success factors in all phases of BPM adoption. The role of the chief process officer, who was enthusiastic and encouraging during all stages of the project, and business drivers were particularly important, and the chief process officer’s communication approach contributed to the employees’ openness to change, which was essential for success. The professional guidance of external consultants was also helpful. Identifying key performance indicators and persons responsible for their achievement was the most important critical success factor I the production phase. The company also integrated the BPM philosophy with ISO 9001:2015 into a strong management system.

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