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Business Functions vs Business Processes

Business Functions vs Business Processes 5
Business functions from business processes telling them apart

For a company to run successfully, it requires a combination of various systems. All models must work together towards specific goals. Business processes and functions are some of the primary elements on which every company must focus.

Understanding the two areas makes it easy to work on enterprise resource planning. The problem, however, is that not every person gets the distinction between processes and functions. Although the two are almost similar in some ways, businesses owners, managers, supervisors and other stakeholders should know the differences. 

The success of any business process or function depends on how effectively it’s implemented. For that, you have to know what works where.

What are Business Functions

A business function consists of activities specific to a certain operation. It is usually carried out by a department and occurs regularly to help a business accomplish its mission. Functions can be internal, meaning that they are part of the organisation, or external, which are supplied by a third party. 

The different areas of a business function are interdependent. Therefore, they require data from each other. The success of a company, workflow and communication all depend on how well functional areas are integrated. Function fall into two categories; core and support.

Core functions are the activities directly responsible for the production of goods or services either for the market or a third party. So, tense functions are part of the main activities of a company. 

Companies can have a single or several primary functions. Support functions are secondary or ancillary, hence, contribute to the success of core functions. The outcomes of these activities don’t have direct contact with the intended market.

 Regardless of the business type (private, non-profit, government), industry or size, an enterprise has three standards functions – operations, finance and marketing.

What Are Business Processes

A business process involves various activities that use available inputs to create an output that contributes to a specific objective. For this reason, successful business operations and growth rely on the effective execution of processes. 

Through business process management (BPM or BPMS), enterprises can deliver their best value. The generated value has to take the customer into consideration. Like with functions, business processes have internal and external customers. Depending on the elements involved, a business process can be simple or complex. 

How are business processes different from other tasks, though? A process is flexible, measurable, repeatable and specific.

Examples of Functions and Processes

A practical scenario of each area gives a better comprehension of how they both work.

Business function example: Let’s take marketing and sales as the functional areas. In such a case, the functions include; marketing a product, taking sales orders, customer support, advertising and sales forecasting.

Business process example: Consider the sale of a smartphone. The functional area is accounting and finance. Here, the input is financial help to buy a phone, while the process is a business arranging financing options in-house. Thus, the output would be a customer receiving financing through the tech company.

Importance of Business Functions and Processes

Business function sets the framework for the activities in an business, thus, helping identify responsibility areas. Functions can be separate from the product or service they are responsible for creating. Therefore, when an organisation’s needs shift, the functions can be adjusted, as well, to meet the new demands.

Business processes facilitate communication between customers, suppliers and stakeholders. All the infrastructure a company builds should be aimed at enhancing processes. Improved business processes boost productivity by eliminating redundancies and unnecessary tasks.

Picking between business processes and business functions can be difficult, especially when the distinction between the two is unclear. Processes transform inputs into services and goods, while functions are specific to a particular area. Both elements are critical to business operations, which is why a company must work on improving business processes and functions.

How do you identify a business function?

Business functions are split into core functions and support functions.

Operations: Core business processes

Human Resources: Employees

Sales and Marketing: Generating new business. Advertising

Finance and Accounting: Managing budgets

Research and Development: Innovating new business products and services.

Information Technology (IT): Systems and applications (apps).

Customer Service: Managing customer relations

Checkify Business Processes

Checkify offers a way to manage business processes with checklists. 

Checklists enable you to store processes and launch them to use anytime so tasks are completed the best way every time.

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