Business processes have arisen as the primary structuring object for enterprises (Davenport, 1993; Hammer & Champy, 1993; Scheer, 1999b). They overcome the recent function-orientation that leaded the organization of the enterprise since the industrial age in the 18th century (Wardell, Steiger, & Meiksins, 1999). However, current economic trends foster a specialization of the enterprise’s portfolio towards its core competencies (Prahalad & Hamel, 1990) and a simultaneous intensification of the inter-enterprise relations (Perry, 1999). Consequently, current value-generating structures consist of a set of highly specialized enterprises that intensively collaborate to create the intended products for the markets. Thus, the producing business process spans over multiple organizations. Therefore, the concept of business processes originally conceived for single-enterprise-purpose has to be extended to usage scenarios where multiple organizations jointly process outputs.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Value Chaining: The coupling of business processes via purchaser-supplier-relations along the added value generation. This requires that the exchange in this relationship is a core element of this value.
Business Process: A logically ordered collection of activities with the ability to provide an output requested or ordered by an internal or external customer.
Output Cross-Linking: A tight interconnection of complementary business processes. It aims to improve the processing quality by intensive mutual coordination.
Output Pooling: The merging of processing capacities of multiple enterprise in order to improve the utilization ratio of business processes. Pooled processes provide the same output however, the generation could possibly be performed in different ways.
Cross-Organizational Business Process: A business process, where multiple enterprises jointly work in the provision of an output. Due to this structure, such processes can be discretely partitions in process parts that are distinctly assignable to a single organization.
Outsourcing: A scenario where parts of the business process of an enterprise is performed by another enterprise, regardless if the outsourcing enterprise is capable to execute the parts itself or not.