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WHAT career opportunities exist for a business process manager? Please give us a rundown of a day in the life of a business process manager.
Many opportunities exist for a business process manager since every organisation, regardless of the industry, has business processes that can and should be continually evaluated, benchmarked and improved.
The exposure of a business process manager is multi-functional, with involvement in the scope of sales, distribution, warehousing and even administrative processes is not uncommon.
Working closely with IT, a business process manager can gain exposure to all areas of a business and thus develop organisation-wide and multi-functional experience.
Business process re-engineering is a function that all organisations globally require. Every day is different for a business process manager, depending on the tasks at hand.
I simultaneously manage pilot projects, execute benchmarking exercises, compile training material, perform analyses and research as well as write process documentation and compile maps.
Process audits are another part of the job - this involves travelling to branches and into the trade.
Why did you decide on this career?
This career allows exposure across entire organisations and their functions on both an operational and strategic level. I thoroughly enjoy the constant learning process as well as the scope for creativity to solve problems, make improvements and add value to the business.
How did you get into this career?
I initially started out in the shipping and logistics industry. Career opportunities resulted in me moving into the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry as a sales analyst. The opportunity presented itself for this position and I grabbed it with both hands.
What is most challenging about the job?
The most challenging part of my job is working on many different, but equally important tasks and projects simultaneously, as well as obtaining information as to how entire processes work.
There is never one person that you can ask for this information; it's more of an interview and research process.
What do you enjoy the most about it?
I enjoy the fact that each day is different, that I am not office-bound, meeting and working with many different people and that I am able to learn about different functions within a business. I enjoy the pilot project process (this is when we test a new process and evaluate the results to see if an organisation-wide roll-out should be done).
What type of person will make it in the FMCG industry - their characteristics and personality?
To make it in this industry, an enquiring and creative mind, as well as the need for continual self-development, will serve you well.
Tenacity, being proactive and a team player, as well as showing initiative, are other important qualities to have.
In this industry you are thrown into the deep end and only through your own perseverance, relationship building and confidence will you succeed.
What subjects do you need to pass in high school to be able to study towards this career?
There are no particular subjects you need to pass for this career, but mathematics, English and business economics are highly recommended.
A matric exemption is required though for tertiary education.
What does one study at tertiary level to be able to get into this career?
There is no degree in business processes but there are short courses that are available in business process re-engineering.
In addition, a BCom degree serves as a good foundation to understand business.
What growth prospects are there for this career?
The growth prospects in this career are more in functional, rather than line management.
However, one can progress into a senior business process manager role or a consultant. The prospect of moving into a strategic management position is also an option.
What is the starting salary for a business process manager?
The starting salary is usually between R270000 and R315000 per annum.