Any activity related to processes in large companies is arduous. It's because of their non-linear and complicated nature. It took over a week to discover which one works like a Swiss clock or needs to be changed. It was like that earlier. Now thousands of large enterprises and organizations, including Elevations Credit Union, Sword Group, Pearson, CMI, Arla Food, use APQC PCF. "What?" - you might ask. Yes, it remains to find out what this definition exactly is and how such a tool simplifies business operating. So, let the journey begin.
What Is PCF By APQC?
We would like to start with the acronym APQC. It is the American Productivity & Quality Center. The nonprofit organization was founded in 1977 to collect and structure data, helping businesses to benchmark the processes performance. In this way, APQC helps companies be flexible, implement software efficiently, and quickly adapt to new market conditions.
The organization members tried to solve a problem of the process classification complexity and successfully did it. In 1992, APQC, together with 80 businesses, created the process classification framework (PCF).
"PCF is a list of business processes. It's not a model, it doesn't show you a visual representation. There is no flowchart nor business rules. Nothing. It's just simply-listed business processes that follow a couple of rules."
John Tesmer, Executive Director at APQC
The result of the work is a periodically updated list covering more than 1000 operating and management processes. They are divided into 12 categories. For 29 years, the PCF content has been changed a lot of times. APQC released the latest 7.2.1 version at the end of September 2020. The document is clearly structured, and all units follow a hierarchy. Processes are inherent in almost all companies, regardless of their size and domain.
With clearly classified processes, companies can easily define the current situation by identifying bottlenecks. Thus, work on improvement is optimized, and the result is more accurate through in-depth analysis of business processes.
To sum up, the APQC process framework is a business process taxonomy that allows management to compare the performance of processes within a company and across multiple companies.
How PCF Improves Retail Business Processes
The internal organization of large retailers is complicated. It includes financial, logistic, marketing, and other processes that ensure a consistently fast goods turnover. The software and employees of supermarkets perform thousands of different functions daily to support services. Therefore, to implement a new product, complete the digital transformation in retail, or any other action from the above ones, management will have to learn all the processes and determine where to start.
JEVERA specialists begin to work with the client, guided by this tool. Custom software development must fully meet the retailer's requirements and needs. We analyze its current situation first to determine what the company lacks and where its weaknesses. It allows forming the app business logic as well as defining a set of technical features. The framework makes it possible to obtain a large amount of accurate data. Thus, programmers understand what a solution will look like and what functions it will perform from the very beginning. Moreover, they can share this data with a customer, providing it with a prototype in a brief term.
Thus, the Process Classification Framework is a useful tool not only for us as developers (to get to know our clients better) and not only for our customers. It helps any company to become better by providing it with a single system of procedures and tasks. PCF is versatile, and this is its core value.