Great Clips Looks to BPM to Expedite Expansion

February 2, 2005

The applications of Business Process Management cross industries both vertically and horizontally. Opportunities to improve processes that run the business exist in all pockets of an organization, from back-office functions to customer-facing processes. Upside Research continues in its efforts to discover how companies are leveraging BPM for business advantages, and this Update takes a closer look at a company who is using BPM to continue its rapid business expansion plans.
If you’ve ever needed an affordable, quality haircut, than you’ve most likely heard of (or perhaps visited) Great Clips. With more than 2,300 salons across the United States and Canada, Minnesota-based Great Clips is the largest franchiser in the nation’s $50 billion hair care industry. With over 200 employees and more than 1,000 franchisees, Great Clips spends a significant amount of time establishing new franchises and managing its existing franchisee base.
Because expansion is such an integral part of Great Clips’ business goals, finding ways to better manage the many challenges that arise through adding new locations has been a key focus of the company in recent years. Like almost any franchise, there are hundreds of business processes associated with the establishment and launching a new store or a new franchise. Reducing the time required to open a store or to get a new franchisee up and running translates directly into additional revenue, for both Great Clips and the franchisee.
The Vice President of IT at Great Clips undertook a methodical approach to determining the best way to improve the current business processes at the company. He enlisted the help of a local consulting firm to assess the current environment and analyze current business processes, determining the best type of solution that would fit. The company considered building their BPM solution, but after looking at what needed to be accomplished, it quickly realized that building would exceed project budget and time constraints.
After an extensive evaluation process, Great Clips chose Metastorm’s BPM solution to assist in bringing efficiencies to its business processes. Great Clips liked the combination of a process environment with an application solution and the fact that Metastorm could integrate easily with the document management solutions the company was evaluating for purchase in the next year.
Upside Uptake
The “homework” that Great Clips accomplished prior to making its product selection is an important best practice that Upside Research believes others should study. By understanding exactly what the existing environment was doing and how it could be improved, Great Clips was able to move very quickly into production with its new BPM applications once it selected Metastorm. One of the biggest challenges that organizations have told Upside Research they face when embarking on a new BPM project is the discovery process, where they uncover processes and business rules that they hadn’t realized existed and must first take the time to understand them and incorporate them into the project plans. This causes unnecessary delays in BPM projects and can bring frustration on the part of team members as well as impatience by management looking for faster results.
Because of its thorough approach, Great Clips was able to get started with the Metastorm product the day the contract was signed, and is well on its way to meeting its eighteen-month project goal of automating almost 75 processes. Upside Research encourages other organizations to apply some of Great Clips’ best practices to achieve similar success with BPM projects.

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