There is no question that process maps are a vital part of any supply chain, big or small. They are an asset! Ask anyone who has ever bought or sold a business and they will tell you that a business with a complete set of process maps will garner a higher price in the order of 20% more, than those without.
So, does your business have a set of process maps which are in place and being used? Yes or No?
If yes, congratulations and well done. It means your business possesses a lot of traits that are driving value such as:
- Everyone in your business knows exactly what they need to do and when.
- There is no blame game being played. It’s simply only about improving the process.
- You have no people in place demanding that the whole business revolve around them!
- You have a solid foundation from which to measure and build improvements.
- You are firmly focussed on the future and how to continuously improve your processes so your business improves its performance.
If your answer is no, however, why is it so? What’s stopping you?
- Perhaps you didn’t think about it – but since you are reading this, you are now!
- You think process maps are expensive (which can certainly be a barrier).
- It also resource intensive and time-consuming (which can be a barrier as well).
Clearly, the main is how is one supposed to get these process maps and how is it done in an efficient and affordable manner.
Are you going to spend thousands of hours and waste valuable employee time doing this?
Do you employ a third party with the risk that nobody in the business ever knows the processes first?
Is there a viable alternative asides from these other two bad options?
Perhaps it’s time to question the conventional wisdom that requires companies to strictly develop these maps either on their own or give up vital processes entirely to third parties.
This is why some businesses offer the service of creating white-labelled process maps.
It actually isn’t so complicated. They have them and you need them. And in most cases, acquiring from such a service is better than trying to reinvent the wheel.
Now, there can be valid reasons explaining why other companies don’t immediately seek out third party consulting firms from which to buy these maps directly. Some might have an SOP that makes heavy use of the company’s intellectual property along with patented methods of production. (Which in turn, only gives more valid reason to not just give up the process by outsourcing it to third parties without thinking!)
But on the other hand, this is not always the case with every process found in the supply chain. Areas like logistics, sourcing or even the more mundane aspects of your product’s manufacturing will use the exact same processes that are used across the industry.
And even if this is the case, isn’t there a part of you that wants to know if a major successful competitor uses a slightly modified process that just might make a significant difference to your competitiveness?
In truth, the service of providing white labelled process maps bring to the fore more important issues and the way they address them can immediately the truly significant questions regarding your supply chain.
- How do you know that your process maps will work in your business?
- How can you make sure that your IP is protected?
iii. How can you make sure that your maps potentially fill knowledge gaps that crop up?
Iv. How can you make sure that your maps can tailor fit best practices and hybrid solutions?
- How can you make sure that the ideal state or future state is the most competitive possible?
#1. How do you know that your process maps will work in your business?
Suppose a process map creation firm has worked with major and minor players in every industry over the last 20 years. You have employed people from across your industry in the last 20 years.
Do you really think that your processes are so different from the best in class?
The answer is you will never know.
At least, you will not until you have someone who can easily give you that information in order for you to make an actual side-by-side comparison.
Here is how it actually works. If the process map vendor ever finds a difference in approach, you simply tell them and they will make that change to your own process maps as well.
All that is left is for you to insert your logo and voila, your current-state process maps are done!
Now, suppose you are a start-up,and have not been in business for the last 20 years. But as with most startups, the chances are that your team, with the very best of intentions, will throw everything away (the baby and the bathwater) and presume that every aspect of business needs to be reinvented.
And as always, this is the road that many said startups take to failure.
Some might resort to needless experimentation because they are unfamiliar with the industry-level SOP. This leads to them wasting a significant amount of time and money only to reach the same process that every other company has already figured out with a very significant expenditure that could have been better utilised on the idea/product itself, not everything else around it.
Acquiring white-labelled process maps is very reasonable way for organizations to avoid this problem.
#2. How can you make sure that your IP is protected?
The term white-label is for a generic product that has been developed to meet a need for not only one company but many companies.
The process is such that:
- You purchase the white labelled process maps.
- Compare the processes to yours.
- Adjust the maps to reflect exactly what you do.
- Send it back to the provider for their adjustment
- Installation of your logo to complete the product.
Incidentally, for supply chain process maps, the white-labelling also acts as an additional safeguard for sensitive intellectual property.
After all, when requesting process maps from an experienced consultant, that very same consultant will work to adjust these maps so that they exactly match your processes. A client still retains all rights to the products being adjusted for them and the methods being used. Applying the white-label process effectively ensures that a company can stamp its brand of ownership without suffering the disadvantage of costly experimentation and lack of knowledge regarding industry standards.
#3. How can you ensure that these maps fill knowledge gaps?
Some organizations, especially young ones, have a limit to their areas of expertise. In contrast, organizations that provide the service of creating process maps always have experienced supply chain experts at the helm. What is stopping you from accessing the best of the best at án affordable price?
Most of these organizations have spent hours developing process maps for at least a dozen different industries and have done the work of identifying common best practices that would otherwise take other companies thousands of hours and hundreds of person days to figure out.
By concentrating all this experience and expertise in one service, it is now possible to fill in any knowledge gap that an aspiring company faces, allowing their start-up idea to be front and centre in terms of beating the competition. (Not the failure of all other areas of their business.)
#4. How can you ensure that these maps tailor-fit best practices and hybrid solutions?
Of course, having a stock knowledge of industry best practices does not automatically mean that process maps will be created as one-size-fits all solutions. On the contrary, it is that very same industry expertise that allows a consultant to properly re-design a process map service to best fit any organization’s unique supply chain network and deliver on their strategic competitive advantage!
In a world where there is increasing competition in all markets, it makes sense that every company is trying to create a unique value proposition. However, this leads to a lot of hybridized models that only a well-versed supply chain consultant will be most familiar with. It only makes sense that they know just what kind of hybrid, process-mapping solution any particular organization will need with the current state of its supply chain (as well as its ideal one).
#5. How can you make sure that the ideal state or future state is the most competitive possible?
With the rapid pace of innovation shaping today’s businesses, there is less and less room for trial-and-error just so that an organization can create process maps that are already commonly shared among competitors. Fortunately, it is the same phenomenon that has led to white-label process mapping as a service and can help organizations get up to speed with an industry’s best practices.
And when your organization is up to speed, it becomes far easier to focus on creating the truly impactful, high-value innovations that take your supply chain to the next level that will be the gamechangers. The ideal state or future state, you will still need to do these yourself!
Many of these process mapping services are happy to send a consultant to assist you in taking your business to the next level, via future state or ideal state supply chain solutions. And naturally, these same solutions are made especially with, for and by you and your team.
Consider finding a consultant with white-labelled process mapping services today. It is high time to stop trying to reinvent the wheel in your business and pour its resources towards creating truly valuable innovations in its supply chain.