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Case Study: Consumer and Firm Process Mapping

Case Study: Consumer and Firm Process Mapping

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Author: Kate Eskra
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Compare the symbols with their meaning in a process map.

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Tutorial

Case Study: Consumer Process Mapping

Source: Image of Consumer Process Map created by Kate Eskra

Video Transcription

Hi. Welcome to economics. This is Kate. This tutorial is a case study on consumer process mapping. As always, my key terms are in red and my examples are in green. In this tutorial, I'll talk to you about what process mapping is and how it can be used to show a consumer's decision. I'll show you this symbols that are used in process mapping, which involve ovals, boxes or rectangles, diamonds, and circles.

So process map is a workflow diagram developed to document activities across a process. So since we're talking about a process map, what is a process, exactly? It's just simply a series of steps that we go through in order to complete a task or to achieve some specific purpose. So how do we get things done?

And our daily life involve a lot of processes, either at work or as a consumer. In this tutorial, we're going to focus on a consumer example. So how you would do this is you take a process, you break it down, and then you would show it pictorially. That's how you would create a process map.

So to start, you would write a detailed narrative of the process and all the steps involved. And then you would simply turn the steps into a pictorial diagram using symbols, and those symbols are these. An oval is used to start and end it, because it shows the inputs that are kicking off the process, and then at the end it shows the output or the end result of the process.

A box or a rectangle is showing each task or activity performed in the process. So even though more than one arrow can go into a box, generally only one arrows is going to leave each box. A diamond is where a decision is required, so usually this is a yes or no question. And then a circle with a letter or number can be used to show a break in the process map.

So I just made a silly little example here about being hungry for pizza because I was, in fact, hungry for pizza when I made this tutorial. So I'm showing you here with my oval, this is my input. This is what starts the process. Gee, I'm really hungry for pizza. What to do about it? Well, the first step in the process is to consider where to get pizza. That's why that's a rectangle.

Then a question arises. Hmm. Do I have loyalty to a certain place? Is there somewhere that I always order from that I want to order from again? If the question is yes, then the process ends with I place my order. If the answer is no, not really loyal to any one specific place, now I go through more steps. So now there's more rectangles.

So one of-- the next step I would do would be to look at ads or coupons I don't know about you, but I have them lying all over my house. Then if I found some ads and coupons, I would look through them and decide which deal or offer is most attractive to me at the time. After doing that, that would again result in the end result, which is me placing my order.

Now process maps can be a lot more detailed than this. They can involve a lot more steps, a lot more questions. I could have taken this from where I place my order and continue on with a different process or the next process, which would be, am I satisfied with my order? Or how do I pay for my order? Then, do I enjoy it? Do I go back? Do I become a loyal customer there? But I wanted to show you a very simplified example of how this decision-making process gets represented pictorially.

So why is it that people process map? Well, it does really help to break down exactly how things are going to get done. And it gives us a better understanding of the processes. It can also help illustrate any areas that would need improvement. So a lot of processes are very complex, and it's going to help to evaluate these holistically.

Currently, most actual processes are not documented today in this way, but it is starting to be used in many different applications. And since it's a relatively new process-- like I said it's, not really used a whole lot to document every process-- but it's really dynamic. And so, especially firms are starting to use it for continuous improvement. It's used in, like I said, holistic evaluation, and it's used for efficiency evaluation. So it's especially being used right now in holistic operational assessments of efficiency and in developing and analyzing solutions that are sustainable.

In this tutorial, we talked about how process mapping is a pictorial representation of tasks that make up a process. I showed you the symbols used in process mapping. And specifically in this tutorial, we talked about why process mapping is useful and how it can be used to show a consumer's decision. Thank you so much for listening. Have a great day.

Case Study: Firm Process Mapping

Source: Image of Firm Process Map created by Kate Eskra

Video Transcription

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Hi. Welcome to economics. This is Kate. This tutorial is a case study on firm process mapping. As always, my key terms are in red. And my examples are in green. In this tutorial, we'll talk about what process mapping is and how it can be used to show a firm process. I'll show you the symbols that are used in process mapping and explain what they mean. And they are ovals, boxes or rectangles, diamonds, and circles.

So a process map is a workflow diagram developed to document activities across the process. Since we're talking about processes, what is a process? It's just simply a series of steps that we go through in order to complete a task or to achieve some specific purpose. How do things get done basically is what this is all about. And our daily lives involve a lot of processes either at work or as a consumer. In this tutorial, we're talking about firm processes.

So what we do when we process map is we take some process. We break it down, and then we show it pictorially. And then that pictorial diagram is a process map. To begin the process, what we do is we write a narrative of the process and all of the steps involved. As soon as you have that, you turn those steps into a pictorial diagram using symbols. And symbols look like this.

The first symbol here is an oval. This shows usually the start and the finish. So an oval can show the inputs that kicks off the process that begins it and then at the end the outputs or the end result. Then we have boxes or rectangles. And these show each task or specific activity performed along the process. Even though multiple arrows can sometimes come into a box, generally only one arrow is going to leave each box here.

Then we have diamonds. A diamond is where there's some decision required. Usually, this is going to be in the form of a yes or no question. And then a circle with either a letter a number can be used to show a break in the process map.

So here's my process map. My husband's been selling baseball cards on eBay. So in some way, he is kind of a firm right now. This is his little business that he's doing to generate some extra income. So what I have here is the beginning of the process. He has baseball cards that are ready to post on eBay.

Actually, we don't have an activity first. We have a question. He has to decide when he's posting his cards on eBay should he put them in as auction, buy it now, or best offer. So I said, typically, this is a yes or no question. But here you can see there are three choices.

In all three cases, he's just posting it on eBay. So there is not a different way branching off of each questions. But he just has to decide whether to post it as auction, buy it now, or best offer. Once he makes that decision, he puts it on eBay. And the order is received.

Once his order is received, he has to see whether the customer is going to pay either PayPal or by a check. So if they pay by a check, now a question comes up. Did he receive the check? Because he has to wait in order to receive payment in order to sell it obviously or release the card.

If he does receive the check, then the card gets packaged. He figures out the insurance and delivery confirmation at the post office. And then he sends out an invoice or a receipt and ships the card. These are all the steps in the process to end in our end result with the card being shipped. If he doesn't receive the check in the mail, then the order is canceled. And he reposts the card.

If it's PayPal, the process just continues here as if he had received the check. So all of these boxes, remember, are tasks in the process. The diamonds are where there was a question that needed to be answered. And then the ovals here represent the end. It ends in either the order being canceled or the card being shipped, and then the order is finished.

So why process map? Well, for companies, it's going to help them break down exactly how things get done. And it will give a better understanding of the process. It can help to illustrate areas that need improvement. There are so many processes that are really complex. And it helps to evaluate them holistically. When you see it visually and when you have to write it out in that narrative and then illustrate it this way, you can really see what areas might actually need improvement.

It's used in many different applications, although today most processes are not documented. So it's a relatively new process. But it's really dynamic. And so like I said, it can be used in any area where there's continuous improvement wanted. It's used in holistic evaluations. And it's used for efficiency evaluations.

It's so obvious when there is a hole in the way that something is being done when you see it like this. And it's especially being used in holistic operational assessments of efficiency and in developing and analyzing solutions that are sustainable.

So in this tutorial, we talked about how process mapping is a pictorial representation of tasks that make up a process. I showed you the symbols used in process mapping. And we talked about why process mapping is useful and how it can be used to show a firm process. Thanks so much for listening. Have a great day.

Terms to Know
Process Map

A workflow diagram developed to document activities across a process.