Business process re-engineering: a case study of Kenya Power And Lighting Company Limited, institutional strengthening project.
Three forces in today's business environment have driven the search for a discontinuous approach to managing businesses; customers, change and competition. These three forces either separately and or in combination justify the need for intermittent reengineering of business processes of a going concern to ensure it remains relevant and thriving, in the present ,near and long term future. When embarking on process reengmeenng the biggest challenge that a business encounters is that of persuading people within it to embrace the prospect of major change .All people in an organisation become more of associates or partners as the nature of work changes in a reengineering firm. Corporate culture plays a role in this by moderating the conversion of employees to associates. Therefore an enabling culture consisting of appropriate work values and human virtues supports the whole : reengineering effort. In order to identify whether an organization is ready for reengineering a self assessment diagnostic test is illustrated with a holistic approach to the actual reengineering of processes being provided by the three pillars of B.P.R. The pace ,sequence ,feasibility and location of change in actual process reengineering can be managed usmg 'The . Matrix of Change' and 'Business Process Simulation'. Information Technology (I.T) makes possible discontinuous thinking inherent in reengineering by bre~1ng the rules that limit hl'w businesses conduct their work . It is not therefore the driving force but an enabler. Business Process Reengineering in conclusion is not a magic pill or magic chant like abracadabra. Reengineering will not happen just because you use the word. In fact it involves real hard work with the key to success lying in a company's' ability and willingness to manage the envisaged change and therefore emerge the better out of it. The objective of this project is that of identifying how actual process reengineering was carried out in Kenya Power m;d Lighting Company Ltd. , in contrast to the theoretical approach. Specifically two main aspects of these were studied: efforts of Kenya Power and Lighting Company Ltd. to ready itself for and to support Business Process Reengineering and it's approach to radically change processes with a view to attaining vi dramatic ,discontinuous and positive step change .On the first aspect KPLC Top Management spared no effort in: reinforcing the support functions of Software, Hardware and Telecommunications and contracting external outside help in this case Union Fenosa'. On the second aspect it was observed that radical change of the Business' Processes was achieved through the use of SAP R/3 software which in effect allowed sharing of information throughout KPLC and also reduced the cost and time of capturing information. This impacted positively on interdivisional communication and as a result business is no longer managed on departmental basis but on process basis through the various Integrated Information System's. This has translated to a step positive improvement in the performance of core functions around which the reengineering was designed namely customer service ,stores inventory and the management information system. Only proximal success of the other support processes was confirmed. Changes as a result of reengineering were noted in the organisations structure, work units, employees roles and the managers roles. Various problems faced during reengineering were identified with the most serious being interface and data integrity problems, resistance to change ,selection of suitable satellite systems to put in place and shortfalls with key parties and organisations involved in the various integrated systems. A number of recommendations that could lead to even better performance of the processes and solution '?f. s0211eof .the problems btng faced were noted .This include contracting out parts of the none core processes to third parties who can manage them better, switching to a sleeper mode or from real time to on-line processing, incorporation of synectics and group nominal techniques methods in meetings and the ensuring of documentation and authorization of all satellite information systems customization. Areas of further research were also identified .They include the replication of studies by Hofstede (1991) and Brynjolfsson, Renshaw and Alstyne(1997) in surveys in Kenya, .:.. ,; . investigation of the contribution of Information Technology and corporate culture to reengineering in Kenya and survey studies to identify Business Process Reengineering implementation methods in Kenya. I Union Fenosa, which is the consultant wing of Acex, a power utility from Spain was the consultant in Kenya Power and Lighting Companys' Reengineering.