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Huge gains have been made possible in U. S. manufacturing by actively embracing the concepts of business process reengineering (BPR). In the book Reengineering the Corporation, Michael Hammer and James Champy define the term as "The fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical, contemporary measures of performance such as cost, quality, service and speed."
The term reengineering may be new, but the idea of process redesign, especially in manufacturing, is familiar to most IEs involved in fundamental process changes during implementation of technologies such as JIT, focused factories, synchronous manufacturing, etc.
In the 1980's, total quality management (TQM) led the way in process improvement technologies. BPR is also a process improvement methodology. However, unlike TQM, BPR is a top-down, vision-driven process led by senior management that aims at radical performance improvements over the short term.
BPR fundamentally deals with mapping and measuring business practices in order to have a better understanding of them to aid in their redesign. Since simulation models are tools used to describe systems and their dynamic behavior in iterative ways, they should be more widely used in BPR …