Supplier selection criteria and models

Purchasing is among the most important activities in supply chain management, since it is the primary point of contact with most supply-chain partners. A major area in purchasing management is that of Supplier Selection Problem (sometimes called the Vendor Selection Problem). Research in this domain started in the early 1960s and over 175 studies have attempted to address this highly critical issue of procurement management. “Vendor selection criteria and methods” have reportedly been the highest area of interest in operations management research.

A wide variety of selection criteria have been used in different studies for the evaluation of suppliers which have varied due to the differences in requirements in different industries and also often had been purely firm specific. Typically the variety of supplier selection criteria that has been used has exceeded 50 criteria in over 65 research papers working on finding new criteria for evaluation of suppliers. These criteria have been enlisted in the matrix shown below.

Some of the most popular criteria in supplier selection which has been used in over 10 research papers and have also been widely cited are relative price, compliance with the delivery schedule, quality of the delivered goods to specifications, production capabilities of the supplier, geographic distance (of the warehouse), technical capability of the supplier, management capability of the supplier  and financial position of the supplier. All these supplier evaluation criteria have found massive application in the studies in this domain and are marked by subtle differences in terms of relative importance, as perceived by senior procurement practitioners.

Similarly another area of keen interest is the models which has been used to provide decision support to the supplier selection problem. Over 35 different mathematical models have been used for providing decision support to this extremely critical issue of procurement management. A study by Ho, Xu and Dey (2010) reveals that the Analytic Hierarchy Process, Mathematical Programming and Data Envelopment Analysis are the top 3 modeling paradigms used to provide decision support in supplier selection problems. Many other novel techniques like multi-attribute-deterministic models; mixed mathematical programming, outranking techniques; weighted sum of products; interpretive structural modeling; fuzzy set theory, neural networks; intelligent agent based techniques; TOPSIS, fuzzy multi-attribute frameworks; rule based reasoning models and multi-objective programming models have also been used. Typically the evolution of supplier selection models have been as described pictorially below, due to the evolution of the nature of selection criteria, from quantitative to a mix of quantitative and qualitative criteria.

As the trend highlights, there is a paradigm shift in the nature of the mathematical models used for supplier selection with a change in the requirements in the nature of business, mostly in the manufacturing industries and the maturity of the discipline. No wonder the area has attracted so much of attention to the consulting practitioners and theory developers in academia alike.

Do mail me if you have any queries regarding this post.

The content in this article is an original piece of research made to further the purpose of education only. You may NOT copy, distribute and transmit the work for any purpose without the express written permission of the author. Neither you may alter, transform, or build upon this work without express written permission from the author (arpan.kumar.kar@gmail.com).

BSC – The Balanced Scorecard

The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is a framework for strategic management, used to monitor and align performance of an organization or a division of the same. It is a semi-standard yet more or less structured report, supported by some established design methods and tools, that can be used by management executives to keep track of the execution of plans / assignments by the staff within their control and to evaluate the possible consequences arising from the execution of these plans. Introduced by Robert Kaplan (Harvard Business School) and popularized by Bain & Company, the Balanced Scorecard has become one of the most popular frameworks for project monitoring and management and align the same to the vision and mission of the organization, be it an industrial, government, or nonprofit organization.

Ref: Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, “Using the Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Management System”, 1996, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 76.

There are 4  major process that needs to be balanced in BSC:

  1. The Learning & Growth process
  2. The Business process
  3. The Customer process
  4. The Financial process

The learning and growth process involves all the plans and programs an organization or a department is undertaking in terms of training and development related to both individual and corporate self-improvement. It extends the concept that in a knowledge based organization,people or the human resource is the most critical resource to organizational development.  This section posits the use of metrics to evaluate performance, progress and development of the human resources of an organization.

The Business Process takes into consideration to develop metrics to measure the performance of the internal processes of an organization. It helps to map development in process efficiencies with incremental changes in internal processes. Process management metrics and workflow management metrics are used in this process to evaluate performance vis-a-vis improvements. Incremental improvements the the processes in terms of meeting targets (say process efficiencies) are measured and how the implementation of plans to meet such targets were conducted, is scrutinized in this process.

The customer process takes into account the philosophy of customer orientation in an organization. In current times, there has been an increasing realization of the importance of customer focus and customer satisfaction in any business. The focus in this process is predominantly Customer Lifetime Value management and in the next stage, harness the Customer’s network value. Incremental improvements in each objectives in terms of meeting targets is measured and how the implementation to meet such targets were planned, is scrutinized in this process.

The financial process is another crucial dimension in the BSC. Although managers using the BSC do not have to rely solely on short-term financial measures as the most important indicators of the division’s performance, financial measures are none the less, extremely relevant and are often recognized as the most critical process by many practitioners. Measures such as financial ratios, total revenue from sales, total cost, cost structure improvements, and indirect sources of revenue are scrutinized against their targets, in this process.

These processes are mapped against each other to check how the organizational vision and mission are being adhered to within a division while implementing ploys and strategies. These help in providing a way to construct a concrete step-by-step path of development for the executives of a division or of an organization.

However, the limitation of the Balanced Scorecard is that it has been severely criticized by scholars  for its inability to link a company’s long-term strategy with its short-term ploy. It has become overused in many organizations, sometime not in the most desirable way, as it was conceived when developed.

industry, government, and nonprofit organizations

Services Process Mapping

Typically services are characterized by the 7 Ps of services marketing namely Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical evidence.

One of the crucial success factors for a service to gather acceptance amongst its target market is that of a proper mapping of one of the crucial dimensions of the 7 Ps, namely the Process.

Process mapping in services marketing is simply a sequential workflow diagram to display a clearer understanding of a series of sequential processes or series of parallel processes that takes place while a service gets delivered to the customer. Processes are important to deliver consistency in quality in a service. Services being intangible, processes become all the more crucial to ensure standards are met with.

Relative to a services marketing strategy, mapping of service processes ensures that a quantifiable way is used to determine where and in what amount current resources are being allocated. Once a service delivery manager knows exactly how the current resources are being used, he can optimally allocate resources in the future. It also helps to uncover inefficiencies and non-value added activities.

Service process mapping also helps move services process from a reactive to a proactive mode. Bottlenecks in service delivery may be identified and the exercise helps to ensure that quantifiable structured improvement in the service delivery may be achieved by the service provider.

The above framework gives a step my step description of how services should be mapped to ensure consistency in service quality delivery, which plays a key role in fulfilling customer expectations and thus ensure customer satisfaction.

The benefits of following a services mapping exercise are as follows:

  • Focuses the workforce on the customer’s perspective of the service process.
  • Ensures more reliable and consistent service delivery processes across all units.
  • Increases cross-functional communication.
  • Improves the start-to-finish project time.
  • Serves as an excellent training aid for new employees.
  • Uncovers inefficiencies and non-value added activities.
  • Identifies obstacles and bottlenecks that are hampering the service delivery.
  • Provides management with the scope to make structured improvements.

I hope the details provided in this article would be sufficient to chalk out a mapping for the processes of a service, prior to delivery. Do let us know if you have any query.

Globalization – Impacts & Effects

Globalization is the unification of the economies across the world beyond the barriers forged by the geographies, so as to to stimulate wealth generation, exchange of goods and services and mutual inclusive growth through an division of labor across nations characterized by efficiencies arising from international relations, specialization and competition. Typically the forces of globalization are driven primarily by economic, sociocultural, political, and technological factors although other factors have also played a significant role in the process.

Although the empirical evidence on the benefits of globalization on inclusive development is not very clear, the share in aggregate world exports and in world output of the developing countries has definitely increased due to this phenomenon. The emergence of global markets which has triggered a much wider access to a range of products both for consumers and firms has definitely triggered a kind of major industrial revolution. There has also been a stimulated growth triggered by access to better financial resources due to the liberalization of economies and thus the increased liquidity of financial resources.

A major impact of the globalization has been the stimulation of the Green Revolution, which has managed to address the needs of the burst in population globally. It is felt that without the green revolution, stimulated by the exchange of information, agro-products, fertilizers, seeds, bio-technology and expertise, much of the sudden burst of population growth would have suffered severely from lack of access to food, clothes and medicines.  The development of agriculture and agro-based industries has had a major positive effect on the lives of billions of people on this planet directly and even more so indirectly.

The realization of a global market, based on the freedom of exchange of goods, information and capital, and thus setting up the preconditions for perfect market conditions  has been one of the major benefits of globalization. This has actually stimulated a shift of monopolistic economic power from the United States (and European nations) to fast developing economies like China, India, Brazil and other similar countries, which are growing at a rate exceeding 8% year on year. The emergence of China and the Eastern tigers (Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore) as a manufacturing super-power and the emergence of India and Brazil as a services hub has been extremely significant in this shift of political power.

A major trigger in the impact of globalization has been the adoption of internet based products and services. This has triggered a substantial increase in information flows between geographically dispersed locations and stimulated the formation of global markets. Today, consumers of lesser developed economies have access to all the products of developed economies through the establishment of e-markets like Amazon and e-Bay.

The social effects have been significant too in the context of globalization. English, although the third most popular language in the world, after Mandarin and Spanish, has become the Lingua Franca (official language) of the global economies. The access to global information, products and services has triggered the growth of cross-cultural relationships and facilitated the development of a new order consciousness and life-style stimulated from cultural diffusion, improved standards of living and access to foreign products, services and ideas. This development of “World culture” has been most significant among the Netizens triggered by fraternity shared on online forums which has stimulated the exchange and diffusion of ideas.

However, globalization has also triggered the brain drain from developing economies to developed economies to access better employment opportunities and also the formation of Sweatshops by the advanced economies in developing economies to take the benefits of cheap labor. The globalization of the jobs has a negative impact in developed countries where many of the jobs (especially the low knowledge centric ones like BPOs and KPOs) have been outsourced to economies where labor is comparatively much cheaper. Also, many argue that globalization has actually a negative impact on inclusive development of backward economies and the rich gets richer by taking advantage of the resources in the disposal of the poor by utilizing it better. Also, globalization has triggered many illicit trade activities involving drugs and trafficking and this has added to the woes of under-developed economies.

Windows 7 – The Mango Phone

Microsoft has finally launched the next generation operating system for the smartphones.

Once the leader in the Smartphone operating system developers, Microsoft has currently a penetration lower than 5% in the smartphone market towards the end of 2011, currently ruled by Android. Android now has a third of the global market share  (33%). RIM’s share has plummeted to 29%. Apple is barely holding at 25% and Palm, which is barely worth mentioning anymore, fell another point to 2.8%.

Microsoft is targeting to gain considerable market-share upto 10% for the time being and slowly regain its otherwise lost competitive advantage. By collaborating with HTC (Radar), Samsung and Nokia, Microsoft is targeting a mass market where it can reach out to its potential customers.

A question that may worry many technocrat is that with all the added GUI that microsoft has pumped into the Mango phones (Windows 7 and Windows 7.5), how will the added power consumption be handled by the high end processors added to these really smart phones (1 GHz processors are the norm now). Smartphone users are often plagued by the battery support that forces them to recharge their phones every alternate day or even everyday, if one talks for 4-5 hours. While, due to this very specific need, smartphones from Blackberry (RIM) and Nokia Symbian Smartphones are still in the market, its time to realize that business users of smartphone often value these hard performance factors over GUI improvements.

Another major area of focus is connectivity, especially over web. Most of these smartphone sucker out while being connected over 3G. If you are online, in most phones, if not all, you are likely to need to recharge your phone everyday, and effectively after a year, your battery starts showing signs of stress. I personally sometimes miss those days when I could charge my mobile once a week and that would satisfy all the phone-calls I needed to make. While I thrive on the web, it has its costs too.

With other features in the mobile market going for a rat race (like cameras, internal memory, etc), a major decision point in the purchasing behavior may be these factors. Also another decision factor may be the accessibility to services and distribution channels, something which Microsoft is targeting in a very focused manner by collaborating with Nokia, which has one of the most extensive servicing and distribution channels.

While in the days of cloud computing, what everyone else is using is also adding drastically to the experience of using a smartphone, it is necessary to understand that jumping into the smartphone bandwagon should be a decision taken more judiciously for every user, based on a smart analysis of one’s actual needs.

It remains to be seen who will win this fight for market-share in the operating systems market. It indeed is getting intensely competitive. Will Microsoft be able to turn over its bad times with this Windows 7 series? Only time will say. What do you think?

PEST Analysis

PEST analysis stands for “Political, Economic, Social, and Technological analysis“. It is a framework for Strategic analysis of markets to evaluate macro-environmental factors used in the environmental scanning component. Some analysts add the Legal factors to the analysis.

Thus when the PEST analysis is expanded to incorporate legal and environmental factors; this is called a PESTLE analysis or a PESTEL analysis.

  • Political factors pertain to how the government intervenes in the economic functioning of the country (market) and more specifically how it affects the firm strategic decision making. Political factors such as tariffs, tax policy, labor laws, trade restrictions,environmental law, and political stability. Political stability is a major factor which affect the firm’s strategic decision making and overall legal framework.
  • Economic factors consists of interest rates, government bond rates, risk free rate of interest, economic growth, inflation rate (adjusted) and exchange rates.  These factors have major impacts on how a firm can operate in a market. Inflation rate and potential GDP affect the demand and prices of goods.
  • Social factors include the cultural dimensions of the population in which the firm will operate and include gender consciousness, gender based product/service bias, population growth rate, age spread, health consciousness, career attitudes and risk appetite of the target segment.
  • Technological factors consists of factors such as research and development focus in general industries, intellectual property protection laws, technology adoption rates, change assimilation culture, automation and the rate of technological change. They affect entry barriers, technology enabled products and service assimilation,  product prices, quality, and innovation.
  • Environmental factors consists of factors like ecological and environmental aspects such as forestry  and  climatic conditions which may especially affect industries such as tourism, farming, and insurance.
  • Legal factors focus on discrimination laws, intellectual property protection laws, labor laws, consumer laws, antitrust laws, employment laws, health laws, safety laws and social security laws which can affect how a firm operates, its bottom-line (cost structure) and the demand and distribution for its products and services.

The PEST framework has been recognized as an extremely popular framework for market analysis. It is a part of the external analysis conducted while demonstrating an in-depth strategic analysis during new market entry or doing market research for a new product launch or even sometimes during a product extension, and gives an overview of the different macroenvironmental factors that the company has to take into consideration. It is a useful theoretical tool for estimating market growth or decline, business position, potential and direction for operations.

It is an important complementary extension of the Marketing Mix strategies and often it is used as an alternative analytical tool for Porter’s 5 forces model (although not appropriate for the same).

What is Quality Research and a Good Research Paper

Often a question that plagues many a beginner research student is the major question: What is good research or How to write a good research paper. Often, this becomes a major headache for students striving to complete a dissertation for their masters programme or even their doctoral programme. So what are the dimensions of a high quality research or a high quality research paper that one needs to keep in mind while writing the same?

Typically, as I would go about it, a good research should follow a simple methodology which should transcend to a publishable good research paper. So here are the few basic steps which one should follow while writing a good research paper.

  1. First challenge is choosing the topic of the research. How does one identify what topic is actually a good topic of interest? A major point to ponder would be is the problem statement significant enough? How relevant is the context in the current scenario? If there is substantial past literature which has been already published, then it is likely that it is a good research topic, broadly. I would advise students who are yet to establish themselves in the academia to refrain from choosing topics which may be interesting, but would have very less literature to support the building blocks of the same.  Choose a title for your work, which brings out its essence within 5 to 12 (maximum 15) words.
  2. Research studies typically have 3 important dimensions: Applicability (relevance of the study to the outer world), Rigor of methodology (to allow replicability of the study and the findings and thus the falsifiability of the theory), and the generalizability of the findings/results/theory generated through the study. However, many senior researcher feel that it is difficult to address more than 2 of these dimensions stringently while conducting a research, without compromising the 3rd dimension.
  3. Next start with a thorough literature review in the area in which you are planning to do a study. Typically remember, most quality research papers would have more than 30-50 citations and these researchers would have gone through 3 times the number of cited literature while developing the study. Not only a detailed literature review clarifies what could be the possible contribution in the paper, but also will help you to get a very strong idea on what could be the possible ways to go about the research methodology for such a problem. While conducting a literature review, it is of paramount importance to validate the degree of authenticity of the sources based on which you would build your work.
  4. After a thorough review of literature is conducted, it is time to define the contribution of your study. Always remember, the best research works are often those which strive to make a small yet significantly clear contribution. Attempting a huge amount of contribution often affects the quality of the work.
  5. Next is the step of designing a research methodology.  Every research would be having an ideal methodology based on the focus of the study, the limitations of doing research in the problem domain and replicability of the methodology across other studies with a similar focus. typically research is often evaluated based on the methodological rigor with which the contributions are evaluated and subsequently highlighted.  However, due to practical reasons, one needs to remember that limitations of available resources like access to data, technology, connections and other factors often limit the scope of following a “tailor made research methodology” and this often is an inherent issue of the problem under investigation. Not all studies can follow the ideal path due to lack of resources available to travel on the same. However, research methodology is of paramount importance and care should be taken to ensure that the best possible methodology is undertaken while planning out the research design.
  6. Then comes the major question of going about with the planned methodology. In various studies, this phase would be different. Sometimes methodologies need to be modified from the one that was planned, in due course of progress in the study. In social sciences (business management, other social sciences) this would essentially be the data collection phase, while in the domain of technology, this may entail the development of algorithms/hardware to meet the objectives to extend existing theories. This is followed by the stage where the analysis is done (on the data collected, or through the new proposed algorithms or using new technology) and the results need to be rechecked with existing literature for their validity on how they concur yet extend the same. Every details in these steps should be noted so as to allow the replicability of the study by another research following your methodology on a similar problem.
  7. Finally the last question is how to go about writing a great dissertation paper. Ideally the paper should have few mandatory sections like a brief introduction to the topic highlighting its significance and what you contributed, and the boundaries of your study. Next important section is the detailed review of existing literature in the topic so as to be able to bring out the existing gaps in the same. Next important section is writing in details about the contribution of your research and compare the same with the existing literature, and highlighting what existing theories it takes forward or contradicts. Then comes the theory section where you should describe in details what is your main proposition (including the model) in the paper, by building on the blocks taken from existing literature. Then you should give a detailed explanation of your research methodology through which you attempted to provide empirical validation to your propositions in your study. Then you should discuss the results of the research after it is conducted. Finally in the conclusion section, you should discuss the significance of your propositions/findings and highlight how it concurs with existing body of knowledge and yet takes it further, or disagree with the existing body of knowledge, suggesting reasons for the the same. Some research papers would also like to end with few notes on the limitations of the study and future research directions for someone to extend your work.

Hope this helps all the students who are writing their dissertation paper. Do get back to me if you feel any important dimension which has been missed here, can be added back. Also, if you have any clarification, feel free to shoot them to me. Ph.D. with first class or equivalent at the preceding degree in the appropriate discipline. Research is an art which can only be guided by some professionals like PaperWritingHelp.net.

How to write a Resume or CV – Tips and Sample

The most important facet while applying for a job is presenting one’s competency through a resume or CV. So how should one present one’s CV so that the first barrier, of getting noticed amidst hundreds of applicants, is successfully crossed. Here are few tips every professional should keep in mind while writing the curriculum vitae. Always remember, the first round while selecting a candidate through the CV is via elimination, while the second round to finalize a hire is through selection via interviews. Continue reading “How to write a Resume or CV – Tips and Sample”

Business Negotiation – Tips to improve Skills

The Art of Negotiation

A ‘negotiation’ is a conversation between two or more parties where the outcome has yet to be decided. Many people enter ‘negotiations’ with a clear and defined outcome in mind and the intention to accept nothing less.  Making demands and negotiating are not interchangeable or even similar and you should be clear which activity you intend undertaking.

Most negotiations are stunted or hindered as both parties seek to gain advantage over the other.  These ‘aggressive’ exchanges often result in the focus becoming personal and subjective rather than impersonal and objective. Properly conducted, a ‘negotiation’ can be a very positive experience for all parties involved and not just during but long after the discussions are completed.

Every negotiation will result in one of 4 outcomes.

The objective of all parties conducting the negotiation would be to arrive at a Win-Win situation for both.

So How to play a Win-Win game?

Be Yourself.

People like to do business with people they can engage with and trust.  Make sure you’re open, honest and be very conscious of your non-verbal communications too. Sitting forward and encroaching could be seen as aggression; sitting back and slouching could be seen as disrespectful and flippant.  Avoid looking disinterested or resting your head on your hands.

Be attentive, sit up straight and maintain friendly, comfortable eye contact.  Use active listening skills such as nodding in agreement, making audible sounds of acknowledgement, gently imitate body language and speech rhythms and ask relevant questions.
If it’s appropriate, share some personal information.  Talking about family or interests could establish a rapport but be careful not to offend or alienate the other party with extreme views.

Never Lie
Don’t overstretch the truth; don’t over exaggerate and never ever lie!  You will be found out at some point and, when you are, all trust will be lost and you will never be in a position to negotiate again.

Be Present
Be present and in the moment, listening to everything that’s said and picking up on subtle verbal and non-verbal clues.  Use questioning to ensure you understand everything and don’t make assumptions. Understand fully your opposite number’s position – what are they proposing; what are they asking for; what do they want and not want; why they want it.

Establish Common Ground
Establish the common ground and then use this commonality to build on.  Where are the shared interests, goals, objectives?  How can you help them whilst also helping yourself?
This also affirms your positive listening skills, demonstrating that you’ve placed the wishes and desires of your opposite at the very centre of the conversation.

Show Respect
Show that you respect your opposite by taking some time to consider their views, desires and perspectives.  Dismiss nothing out of hand and be prepared to explain why you are rejecting something, giving them the opportunity to understand what matters to you.

Make your offer
Now you’re ready to make your offer and this should be based on your expectations but also on the preceding discussions reaffirming that you’ve been listening and that you’re trying to encompass your desires with your opposite’s. This is also the perfect time to discuss where you could negotiate further and what’s non-negotiable but it also helps to explain why some aspects are non-negotiable.  If you can’t move on price because of overheads, say so but explore where you could offset this (perhaps with reciprocal marketing or something mutually beneficial).
The ‘Art of Negotiation’ is quite simply getting a good deal for all parties involved or reaching a consensual agreement for mutual benefit.
Be careful not to compromise too much – this is a business transaction and whilst mutual respect, honesty and flexibility will aid the process, the outcome may be that the deal on offer isn’t for you and you walk away, happy that you’ve explored all options and haven’t betrayed yourself or your organization. That doesn’t mean you don’t respect each other, in fact quite the opposite – you respect yourself as much as you respect them.

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This article was authored by Collin Millar (Twitter @colin_millar), a guest blogger at Business Fundas.Colin is the Chairman of Chartered Management Institute (CMI, Glasgow), an EFQM Business Excellence Practitioner & Accredited Assessor.  Colin Graduated in Management from the Open University Business School and has held several senior positions including Head of Criminal Records Bureau for a Scottish Police Force and Head of Operations for a Scottish based charity.

Business Process Re-engineering

Business process re-engineering is the analysis and re-designing of workflows and business processes within a firm. Business process re-engineering is also known as business process redesign, business process change management, or business transformation. Typically Business process re-engineering happens in 4 sequential steps , in a firm, as described below.

  1. Typically, the first step for a BPR is planning for the same. First of all the deliverable of the process under scanner needs to be clarified. Then it is important to define the scope of the project. Often it is seen that projects fail to have a well defined deliverable and scope, and this creates major management problems. Then within the project, identifying the critical mini-projects and their major drivers is crucial for success of a business process re-engineering operation. After the major drivers are identified, then the focus should be to identify the slack resources, which are less utilized and possible bottle-necks in existing processes.
  2. In the next step, a deeper study of the existing business processes is required. In this stage, normally the focus remains on gathering internal information about the processes, map existing capabilities with resources and more important map processes with under-utilized resources and slack variables. This often helps to determine the bottle neck in the operation of the macro process. Then a mapping needs to be done of the IT capabilities of the process with the process stages and internal capabilities (of the work force)
  3. In the third step, major process issues need to be identified. Often it may appear that there are multiple optimal solutions. Process gaps need to be identified and areas of major restructuring needs to be identified. Also focus should be to identify and nullify slack resources at every stage.
  4. Then a cost benefit analysis of all the possible optimal solutions needs to be conducted thoroughly. While analyzing optimal solutions, it is extremely crucial to investigate inter-process and intra-process linkages which may get disrupted during the implementation of the business process re-engineering plan. Finally a road-map or a blue-print for the implementation of the best business process re-engineering plan needs to be chalked out. Then a case study is developed in the last stage to set tangible targets during the business process re-engineering process implementation.

The processes for a successful BPR has been described thoroughly pictorially in the diagram below.

After a business process re-engineering project is completed, a major challenge that the management faces is that of change management. Organizations have a culture and an identity of their own. After major changes happen through the implementation of a business process re-engineering plan,major disruption of the culture and organizational harmony is likely to happen if substantial measures are not taken for managing the change. Substantial effort has to be taken by the top management to drive home the change, without coercion. Extra efforts on training the work-force and regular intervention of the top management to facilitate the process will create a major impact on the success of a business process re-engineering process. Efficient change management is the biggest factor which causes a business process re-engineering exercise to be significantly successful.

Finally, it is important not to forget the main goals for which the business process re-engineering was conducted in the first place. The project needs to be managed and metrics should be driven in place to ensure the proper management of the project post re-engineering. Also it is important to remember that performing BPR as a one-off exercise with limited strategy alignment and long-term perspective is unlikely to deliver any real benefits for the firm.

Do let us know what you feel about the article.

Have you read this article : 4 Cs of Marketing – The Advanced Marketing Mix

Top Business Schools of India

The top business school rankings of India is again out. The rankings are based on the survey done buy Pagalguy, the premier platform where B-School aspirants, alumni, faculty and industry forms a part of the ranking. We agree more or less to the rankings brought out in this survey. The B-Schools have further been color coded in bands, based on our perception. The bands are made based on the perceived potential level of openings that a student coming out of these institutes may have, once he joins the industry. It has been assumed, that the opportunities within a similar band to top jobs or top career prospects, will be homogeneous for students within a band, in an abstract manner.

Those interested in what India has to offer in terms of Business Schools should not feel intimidated if they are located far from the area. It may not be as difficult as one would initially assume to plan a trip to India on the internet. There are plenty of travel services, like Expedia for example, that allow tourists (or anyone wishes to study abroad) to easily reach their destination while potentially saving them some money and time in the process. Simply looking at what is available is completely free, so don’t hesitate to look into a travel plan. It could quite literally change the course of one’s career.

1  (IIM Ahmedabad) Indian Institute of Management –  Ahmedabad  
2  (IIM Calcutta) Indian Institute of Management – Calcutta, Kolkata  
3  (IIM Bangalore) Indian Institute of Management – Bangalore  
4  (ISB Hyderabad) Indian School of Business Hyderabad  
5  (XLRI Jamshedpur) Xavier’s Labour Relations Institute Jamshedpur  
6  (IIM Lucknow) Indian Institute of Management – Lucknow  
7  (FMS – Delhi) Faculty of Management Studies – University of Delhi, New Delhi  
8  (SPJIMR, Mumbai) SP Jain Institute of Management and Research Mumbai  
9  (IIM Kozhikode) Indian Institute of Management – Kozhikode  
10  (IIM Indore) Indian Institute of Management – Indore Indore  
11  (MDI Gurgaon) Management Development Institute, Gurgaon  
12  (IIFT, Delhi & Kolkata) Indian Institute of Foreign Trade New Delhi & Kolkata  
13  (NITIE Mumbai) National Institute of Industrial Engineering Mumbai  
14  (JBIMS Mumbai) Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies Mumbai  
15  (SIBM Pune) Symbiosis Institute of Business Management – Pune Pune  
15  (NMIMS Mumbai) Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies Mumbai  
17  (SJMSoM, IIT Mumbai) Shailesh J Mehta School of Management – IIT Bombay Mumbai  
18  (IMT Ghaziabad) Institute of Management Technology – Ghaziabad Ghaziabad  
19  (TISS Mumbai) Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai  
20  (XIM Bhubhaneswar) Xavier’s Institute of Management Bhubhaneswar  
21  (DMS – IIT Delhi) Department of Management Studies – IIT Delhi New Delhi  
22  (MICA Ahmedabad) Mudra Institute of Communication Ahmedabad  
23  (SCMHRD Pune) Symbiosis Center for Management and Human Resources Development Pune  
24  (IIM Shillong) Indian Institute of Management – Shillong Shillong  
25  (VGSoM, IIT Kharagpur) Vinod Gupta School of Management – IIT Kharagpur Kharagpur  
25  (TAPMI Manipal) TA Pai Management Institute Manipal  
27  (MBA, IIT Kanpur) Industrial and Management Engineering – IIT Kanpur Kanpur  
28  (KJ Somaiya, Mumbai) KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research Mumbai  
29  (SIIB Pune) Symbiosis Institute of International Business – Pune Pune  
30  (IRMA Anand) Institute of Rural Management Anand  
31  (IMI Delhi) International Management Institute New Delhi  
32  (SIBM Bangalore) Symbiosis Institute of Business Management – Bangalore Bangalore  
33  (IIM Ranchi) Indian Institute of Management – Ranchi Ranchi  
34  (Nirma, Ahmedabad) Institute of Management – Nirma University Ahmedabad  
35  (Great Lakes, Chennai) Great Lakes Institute of Management Chennai  
36  (IIM Raipur) Indian Institute of Management – Raipur  
37  (GIM, Goa) Goa Institute of Management Goa  
37  (IIM Rohtak) Indian Institute of Management – Rohtak  
39  (DMS – IIT Madras) Department of Management Studies – IIT Madras Chennai  
40  (XIME Bangalore) Xavier’s Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship Bangalore  
41  (SIMS Pune) Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies – Pune Pune  
42  (LIBA Chennai) Loyola Institute of Business Administration Chennai  
43  (FORE, Delhi) FORE School of Management New Delhi  
44  (DMS – IIT Roorkee) Department of Management Studies – IIT Roorkee Roorkee  
45  (BITS Pilani MBA) Management Group – Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani  
46  (MBE, Delhi University) Master of Business Economics – University of Delhi New Delhi  
46  (MIB, Delhi University) MIB – Delhi School of Economics New Delhi  
48  (We School, Mumbai) Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research Mumbai  
49  (LBSIM Delhi) Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management New Delhi  
50  (IFMR Chennai) Institute for Financial Management and Research Chennai  
51  (XISS Ranchi) Xavier’s Institute of Social Service Ranchi
51  (MHROD, Delhi University) MHROD – Delhi School of Economics New Delhi
51  (ICFAI Hyderabad) ICFAI Business School – Hyderabad Hyderabad
54  (MFC, Delhi University) Master of Finance and Control – University of Delhi New Delhi
55  (FMS – BHU, Varanasi) Faculty of Management Studies – Banaras Hindu University Varanasi
56  (BIM, Trichy) Bharathidasan Institute of Management Trichy
56  (UBS Chandigarh) University Business School Chandigarh
58  (SIMC Pune) Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication – Pune Pune
58  (SRCC GBO, Delhi) Sri Ram College of Commerce (Global Business Operations) New Delhi
60  (IMT Nagpur) Institute of Management Technology – Nagpur Nagpur
61  (IIFM, Bhopal) Indian Institute of Forest Management Bhopal
62  (SITM Pune) Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management – Pune Pune
63  (DMS – NIT Trichy) Department of Management Studies – NIT Trichy Trichy
64  (SIMSREE Mumbai) Sydenham Institute of Management Studies, Research and Entrepreneurship Education Mumbai
65  (SCIT Pune) Symbiosis Center for Information Technology Pune
66  (DSM – DTU, Delhi) Delhi School of Management – Delhi Technological University New Delhi
67  (BIMTECH, Noida) Birla Institute of Management Technology Noida
68  (PUMBA, Pune) Pune University MBA Pune
69  (SIOM Nashik) Symbiosis Institute of Operations Management – Nashik
70  (Christ MBA, Bangalore) Department of Management Studies – Christ College Bangalore
71  (ICFAI Mumbai) ICFAI Business School – Mumbai Mumbai
72  (VIT Vellore) Vellore Institute of Technology University Vellore
73  (NIBM Pune) National Institute of Bank Management Pune
73  (NL Dalmia, Mumbai) NL Dalmia Institute of Management Studies and Research Mumbai
75  (IMDR Pune) Institute of Management Development and Research Pune
75  (ISBM Pune) International School of Business and Media Pune
77  (ITM Navi Mumbai) Institute for Technology and Management Navi Mumbai
77  (DMS – NIT Durgapur) Department of Management Studies – NIT Durgapur Durgapur
77  (Alliance, Bangalore) Alliance Business School Bangalore
80  (IISWBM Kolkata) Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management Kolkata
81  (ICFAI Gurgaon) ICFAI Business School – Gurgaon Gurgaon
82  (SDMIMD Mysore) SDM Institute for Management Development Mysore
83  (Osmania University MBA, Hyderabad) Osmania University College of Business Management Hyderabad
84  (Amity, Noida) Amity Business School Noida
85  (SPM, Gandhinagar) School of Petroleum Management Gandhinagar
86  (NSB Delhi) NIILM School of Business New Delhi
86  (SIESCOMS, Navi Mumbai) SIES College of Management Studies Navi Mumbai
88  (BIMM, Pune) Balaji Institute of Modern Management Pune
89  (IP University MBA, Delhi) University School of Management Studies – Indraprastha University New Delhi
89  (NICMAR Pune) National Institute of Construction Management and Research Pune
91  (MET Mumbai) MET Institute of Management Mumbai
91  (IMS Indore) Institute of Management Studies – Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalala Indore
93  (IFIM Bangalore) IFIM Business School Bangalore
93  (AIM, Kolkata) Army Institute of Management Kolkata
95  (KIAMS Harihar) Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies Harihar
96  (NIASoM Pune) National Insurance Academy School of Management Pune
97  (IPE Hyderabad) Institute of Public Enterprise Hyderabad
98  (Asia-Pacific, Delhi) Asia-Pacific Institute of Management New Delhi
99  (PSG, Coimbatore) PSG Institute of Management Coimbatore
100  (SCMLD, Pune) Sadhana Center for Management and Leadership Development Pune

Global financial & economic crisis in 2011

The financial crisis in late 2000, sometimes referred to as the Credit Crunch or the Global Financial Crisis, is generally considered by many economists to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The financial meltdown resulted in the collapse of super Financial institutions with power status, the bailout of mega-banks by the central governments, and plummeting stock markets around the world. However, in 2011, the world may be witnessing something which may be equally big, or maybe even bigger.  The WWII economic crisis and conditions are still extremely fragile. Probably turning short-term debt into long-term loans was the biggest trigger for this economic recession in 2011.

Some may call me to be somewhat more pessimistic in my outlook than is required, but here are my reasons to believe so.

  • The economy in US is in dire straits. The housing sector is yet to recover and high unemployment is troubling the super-power. The US is drowning in negative equity and job-less homes. Tax cuts may be short term evasive measure, medium and long term fiscal reforms may be necessary to pull US economy through this period. The recession in 2008-2009 is still making its presence felt in US, by depleting the reserves of the economic super-power. The tremble caused by BNP Paribas and Lehman Brothers is yet to subside full. Recently, US has been downgraded from its rating by Standard and Poor. The economists are suggesting long term reforms in banking,  such as raising capital ratios and switching from wholesale to retail funding, while filling in short-term gaps in capital. However, the banking industry would be subjected to a slow recovery in this track.
  • Japan has lost its AAA rating long back. The growth prospects for the once economic super-power is pretty poor.  Currently Japan’s national debt actually in excess of 200% of its GDP but its bond yields remain extremely low, since the growth prospects are not looking bright. As an effect of this, Japanese production has declined by over 15% in recent times.
  • The major debt that Greece is facing and the crisis thereof  not cured by the massive Eurozone and IMF bailout. The current bailout support may expire by 2013, and there has been no major financial restructuring in Greece. While the Greece government is sold out to Germany, this is even a bigger cause of concern because now the government will not even be able to print bills to increase inflation to depreciate its own assets. With the huge debt on Greece, the rest of EURO-Nations are equally strapped in the rear to come out with policy changes that may liberate them from this dire straits.
  • The crisis in the Irish national banking sector far from over. Even after receiving a staggering level of bailout assistance from the EU and IMF to cover the country’s insolvency, thanks to the Anglo Irish Bank and the other minor Irish banking institutions, the Dublin decision makers were forced to inject nearly $5 billion into Allied Irish Banks, another bankrupt institution. Ireland policy makers really need to figure out how to service this public debt, without triggering a shiver down its economy.
  • Europe in general is under severe economic stress. Without a major restructuring of debt, progress seems almost impossible. Debt burdens may continue to spiral upwards, and in several EURO using nations a debt write-down is very likely. German, French, and British banks hold most of the national debts, and a shiver there may trigger a collapse of the balance which apparently is resting on a spindle.
  • China, which seemed apparently less touched by the economic crisis in the west, is suddenly increasing its interest rates in an almost desperate effort to control price inflation. While China, the manufacturing super-power of recent times, strives to control the inflation within, this is almost an indicator of less attractive options to invest, outside the country, and even maybe within the country. Are we witnessing a scenario where the market demand has been saturated and the manufacturing sector is growing wary of the same?
  • India, which is evolving as an open market economy is not free from the crisis. Although Agriculture is still India’s most engaging “career”, most of the recent economic growth has been fueled from the services sector (IT, ITeS, Banking, or even tourism in few states). The welfare of these industries thrive heavily on the welfare of the counterparts in USA and to an extent in Europe, whose needs the service. The IT and ITeS alone has an average exposure of exceeding 52% to US markets and 34% to European markets, as per a report in Financial Times. On an average the services sector enjoy an exposure exceeding 82% to European and US markets. The meltdown of the economy in the western powers may be sufficient to trigger one in India.
  • With the advanced economies under such severe stress, emerging economies, may be slightly  insulated from major impacts, which can cause a huge eruption of their regular life. Worldbank says that the financial stress for the emergent economies may be over. However, since the development in these economies are heavily dependent on foreign direct investments from the economic super-powers, the development is likely to hit a stagnation. Is this an indication that the next financial tremble will arise from the developing economies?

Who knows how deep we actually are in this mess? Commodity prices are coming down, but that is probably the only brighter news in this downcast. Do let us know what you feel.