Identify opportunities for improvement

This stage of the Business Process Analysis consists of analysis of the As-Is processes and identification of problem areas and potential improvements. Factors such as the need to accommodate regulatory changes, trade security issues, and a drive to ensure information arrives in advance of the arrival of goods so as to reduce delays, can lead to necessary changes.
Different factors drive process improvement, such as the need to fasten and simplify processes by reducing duplications and delays, the automation of parts of the process, the use of digital data rather than paper document, organizational changes, new or changing regulatory requirements, and the introduction of new and modernized procedures, such as pre-arrival clearance.

  • Performance measures: On the basis of the “As-Is” processes, determine the average time taken to complete the processes, the average number of consignments awaiting clearance, etc. Compare with targets set.
  • Identify bottlenecks: Activity Diagrams may help to identify bottlenecks. Can these be eliminated by additional resources, or by re-organizing the processes, carrying out processes in parallel rather than sequentially?
  • Best practice: Do the current processes use the best international practices and standards? Are UN standard documents, UN/EDIFACT standard messages or XML schemas used?
  • Reduce data requirements: Identify the minimum information needed to enable each process to be carried out. Can the amount of data be reduced from that currently demanded?
  • Harmonize data: Can the data required by different processes/agencies be harmonized to simplify the requirements of those submitting the data (traders, transport suppliers, customs brokers, etc.)?
  • Single Window: Can a single input be used by different agencies?
  • Electronic input: Consider changing from paper input to computer input to reduce delays and errors.

Deliverables and comments regarding this phase:

Deliverables Do's
A set of observations of the As-Is processes that have the potential to be improved. When conducting interviewing session and peer review activities, ask questions to interviewees, practitioners and experts about their opinions and observations on any bottlenecks and issues related to the process, documentary requirements, rules and regulations that should be improved, and how to improve them. Do not wait to the end to analyse and identify any bottlenecks and observations for improvement, but rather incrementally collect related opinions and observations throughout all phases of the process analysis study.

The next stage of the Business Process Analysis process is to specify the "To-Be" process, having identified improvements to implement.