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A business process is a series of activities occurring within a company that lead to a specific end. Most often, it focuses on meeting the needs of the customer and delivering a good or service that will fulfill that need. This process is actually often a collection of interrelated processes that function in a logical sequence to achieve the ultimate goal.
Defining the exact steps of a business process will vary somewhat from one corporate structure to another, but there are some elements or sub-processes that can be found in most. To some degree, these sub-processes will always occur in an order that lead to successful completion of the manufacturing process.
The first step normally has to do with the acquisition of raw materials for the business operation. In order to maximize the benefit from them, efforts are made to secure materials of the highest quality at the most cost efficient price. Doing so increases the chance of achieving a higher amount of profit for each unit produced and sold.
Following the acquisition step, the process will move on to the structure and efficiency of the production structure. Here, the organization of the plant facility in order to allow raw materials to be processed with the greatest degree of efficiency becomes paramount. This is coupled with attention to such factors as employee training, setting reasonable production goals, and establishing a workable maintenance program for the production machinery.
The next step focuses on the sales and marketing effort. While it is established early on that the final product will be of value to consumers, it is often necessary to develop and implement creative strategies for making buyers aware of the product. As part of this effort, public relations, advertising efforts, and the establishment of a simple means of placing orders will often help to secure customers who are ready and willing to buy the produced products.
Once the goods are produced and sold, the final step of the business process has to do with delivery to the client. This portion of the process includes such elements as processing orders in a timely manner, advising the client of the scheduled delivery date, and making sure that date is met. On the back end, the delivery process also has to do with obtaining feedback from the customer regarding their level of satisfaction with the product and the efficiency of the physical delivery.
Depending on the nature of the industry involved, orders from clients may be secured before the actual process of production begins. Many companies operate with a business process that allows for the production of goods in anticipation of sales to consumers, however.