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Journal of Information Systems and Small Business Chong

2007, vol. 1, no. 1-2, pp. 41-58 BPM implementation factors for Australian wine SMEs

Copyright Ð'© 2007 Deakin University 41

Business process management for SMEs: an exploratory study of

implementation factors for the Australian wine industry

Sandy Chong

Curtin Business School, Curtin University of Technology

GPO U1987, Bentley, WA 6845, Australia


Received 10 August 2007; Revised 26 November 2007; Accepted 28 November 2007; Online 3 December 2007


Gartner EXPPremier (2005) identified Business Process Management (BPM) as the number one business

priority and building Business Process Capability as a major challenge for senior executives within the coming

years. The focus of BPM in practice and related research has been its application in large organisations. The

general value proposition of BPM, however, is also of significance for small and medium-sized enterprises

(SMEs). SMEs within the wine industry have only recently begun to apply BPM principles to their business. The

main motivating factors for this business improvement effort is a need to cope with consolidation trends and the

global grape glut, which are forcing wine businesses to increase operational efficiency. The wine industry has

been selected as a case study for this research not only due to its local significance, its growth driven by

globalisation and its contribution to the economy, but also the relative immaturity in terms of establishing

concepts of a process-oriented organisation. This study aims to explore and structure the major issues of BPM

adoption and implementation as the first such research initiative for SMEs in the wine industry. The research

was conducted in Western Australia and involved qualitative data collection including interviews and content

analysis of existing documentation. The study shows that the lack of financial resources, time, and knowledge of

BPM are the major factors inhibiting BPM implementation for SMEs in the Australian wine industry.


Business process management (BPM); small to medium-enterprises (SMEs); strategic planning; inhibiting

factors of adoption and implementation; wine industry; Australia.

Earlier version

There are no earlier versions of this paper published elsewhere.

1 Introduction

Business Process Management (BPM) is a structured method of understanding, documenting, modelling,

analysing, simulating, executing and continuously changing end-to-end business processes and all relevant

resources in relation to an organisation’s ability to add value to the business. It is the current term utilised to

encapsulate a process-driven approach to attain enterprise operational efficiency (Smith & Fingar 2003). BPM

covers the entire business process lifecycle and consolidates methodologies and techniques from a number of

previous approaches including Business Process Re-Engineering (BPR), Process Innovation, Kaizen, Lean

Management, Total Quality Management and Constraint-based Theory. BPM utilises current technology to

provide organisations with the ability to map and/or re-model their business processes, deploy processes as

applications that are integrated with existing software systems, and provide managers with the functionality to

monitor, analyse, control and improve the execution of those processes in real time. In fact, the BPM market,

which includes all communication, telecommunication, computer, internet and software applications that support

BPM system, was valued at approximately $1.1 billion in 2005 and is expected to reach $3.8 billion by 2012

(WinterGreen Research 2006). This shows the importance and international acceptance of BPM in the business

world today.

BPM seems to encompass the most important strengths and advantages of its predecessor BPR without some of

the limitations that would prevent it from being applicable on a universal scale (for a historical overview see

Harmon 2003; Smith & Fingar, 2003). According to Puah & Tang (2000), TQM and BPR approaches are the

two expressions of an increasing sophistication in management techniques and principles. Both approaches

claim to establish a framework for effective management action, only that BPR is intellectually different in a

fundamental way from TQM. By expounding on the two concepts and considering their differences in the

context of business excellence, the principles of BPM are established. The most important insight that

characterises BPM (as well as newer �revisionist’ variants of BPR) is a �process view’ of management that

Journal of Information Systems and Small Business Chong

2007, vol. 1, no. 1-2, pp. 41-58 BPM implementation factors for Australian wine SMEs

Copyright Ð'© 2007 Deakin University 42

eschews the functional boundaries of an organisation's



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