Vlerick was one of the first to set up a Centre for Excellence in Business Process Management. Over the years it has acquired enormous expertise in both business process management (BPM) and business process innovation. The Centre is about to celebrate its tenth anniversary, something it has in common with our new Prime Foundation Partner and sponsor of the Centre, ViCre.
And that’s not the only thing we share. Eddy Helsen, Managing Director of ViCre, and Professor Stijn Viaene tell us why and how the partnership came about and what they plan to achieve. “All too often BPM falls short of delivering on its ultimate objective of end-to-end transformation,” explains Stijn. “Its impact then remains limited to either piecemeal or continuous improvement efforts. We felt it was time to set the agenda for a new era of BPM – transformational BPM. Our white paper Transformation through Process brings together a series of interviews with academics and practitioners arguing in favour of using BPM to support innovation and transformation, by leveraging new technologies to fundamentally rethink BPM and by adopting a holistic, outside-in approach to business transformation. Rather than starting from your own processes, you should consider the processes of your customers or other players in your ecosystem. These are not necessarily revolutionary ideas, but the practice lags behind.”
Business transformation should lead to innovation
It’s a match. Stijn and Vlerick senior researcher, Joachim Van den Bergh, the driving force behind the Centre from the start, were convinced that despite the discipline being around for so long, there was still enough to be done. They set out to find a new partner who shared their vision and in ViCre they found their match. Eddy agrees: “We’ve become a partner because we empathise with the School’s mission. Enjoy change is also what ViCre is all about. And we’re definitely on the same page as far as business transformation is concerned. It’s not about inventing or developing new processes for the sake of it. Business transformation should lead to innovation.” He pauses before adding: “I feel this partnership is also the reward for years of hard but smart work. We’re pleased to be able to work with an academic partner of this calibre.”
Together with ViCre, we’ve set the agenda for the years to come
Have a say. The Centre brings together three complementary parties: the member companies looking for fresh ideas and actionable insights to help them solve their issues and challenges, a business partner with hands-on expertise, i.e. ViCre, and practice-oriented academic researchers, i.e. Stijn and his team. “Together with ViCre, we’ve set the agenda for the years to come,” he says. Eddy nods. “Which is exactly why we’ve opted for a Prime Foundation Partnership, because it gives us a say in the direction of the research. Also the fact that there will be frequent contacts between us and the research team as well as periodic, tangible deliverables appealed to us.” He smiles as he adds: “After all, we’re business people, we’re result-driven.”
Great expectations. “We’re really looking forward to participating in applied research into business transformation and innovation, in an environment of co-creation and open innovation that will also involve our clients,” says Eddy. “The exposure to new knowledge and insights will be exciting and invigorating, as will the many events, networking opportunities and access to Vlerick’s talent pool.”