How many times have companies felt that there are processes that could be more effective, but they don’t really know what needs to be done to improve? Recipes and proposals to/from customers could be faster, New Business could create more business ... the examples are countless.
At other times, we want to start a new process, like a CRM and what we want is to better understand how to do it, who should be involved, etc. To answer these questions, we need to better understand the main processes of the whole company, as well as the relations established between the parties involved. A very good way to do this is through SIPOC (Supplier or Supplier, Input, Process, Output and Client). This is a method of mapping information that allows the connection between the main processes of the company, its suppliers and its customers.
Beyond being a group work, the SIPOC is above all a visual technique and to obtain it, it is necessary to represent in a diagram the different elements of the process:
- What the company produces (products and services) - outputs - and which customers should be involved;
- What the company receives - inputs - and which suppliers (that can be internal or external to the company) should be involved;
- Which processes turns into outputs - the workflow.
Since then, the SIPOC allows them to deduce the path between the inputs and the main outputs; apparent disconnections – which outputs should be produced and used; what are the critical interfaces and connections – actually, which cannot be missed. This allows us to challenge the current processes and identify opportunities for improvement in order to make the company more efficient.
Through the SIPOC, it is possible to obtain a better knowledge of the activity and it also serves as a starting point in, for example, the identification of outputs that are not being used, insufficient or excessive resources for a specific task, among other elements. This is an action that companies must do regularly, because we are only truly able to manage what we know.
Kaizen Institute is a multinational company that supports organizations in the design and implementation of processes that enable continuous improvement in a sustained manner.