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Case Study: Consumer Process Mapping

Case Study: Consumer Process Mapping

Author: Kate Eskra

This tutorial explains the consumer process mapping.

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Source: Image of Consumer 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 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.

Notes on "Case Study: Consumer Process Mapping"

Terms to Know

Process Map

A workflow diagram developed to document activities across a process.