What is a core process?

Core processes are the strategically important processes in the company. They derive from the core competencies of an organisation. Core processes start and end at the customer’

The term “core process” can also be found in the field of quality management – A good definition can be found in the book Quality Management: Terms and Definitions, 12th updated edition 2017 (at the status of ISO 9001 : 2015) – TÜV SÜD Academy Ltd.

“Coreprocess – process that is strategically important taking into account the company’s orientation and contributes significantly to business success. Core processes are characterized by the following aspects: Value creation, the (external) customer is at the beginning and end of the process, they contribute significantly to the company’s success and customer satisfaction, they have direct customer relevance and direct customer impact, the Customer is willing to pay for the output of the process.”

Why is it important to designate the core processes?

  • Each company must focus on developing these core processes so that it can fully exploit its competitive skills in process performance. Depending on the competitive strategy, there are different requirements for organisation and processes.
  • Management’s use of core processes results in numerous advantages. Communication is greatly facilitated and the project team can focus better. A lack of analysis of the business processes at the beginning of the introduction of ERP, CRM, SCM and SRM systems usually leads to inefficient communication between the departments and the project team, the project quality suffers and customer expectations remain unfulfilled.

Documentation of core processes – goals

  • Targeted introduction of ERP, CRM, SCM or SRM systems
  • Facilitating:
  • Transfer business processes to other locations
  • Employee training and induction
  • Communication
  • Transparency for employees, customers and suppliers
  • To avoid loss of knowledge (e.g. through employee departure)
  • Determination of process key figures and monitoring of process performance
  • Preparation / execution of a business process optimization

Core Process – Characteristics & Influencing Factors

A core process has 3 characteristics

  • high strategic importance
  • Cross-location to traditional departments
  • enormous reach: – from the interface with suppliers to interfaces with customers; the process starts with the customer and ends there again


Procedure for determining the core processes

Analysis of:

  1. Business/competition strategy

Strategy includes two perspectives

– Market-oriented view: market competencies (cost leadership vs. differentiation)

– Resource-based view: core competencies

Depending on the competition strategy, different

– Efficiency criteria and success factors

– Requirements for organization and processes

  1. Business model (relationships with business partners)
  2. List of the main processes
  3. Determination of Strategic Relevance: Core Processes – Support Processes

Criteria for the identification of core processes

  • direct reference to core competencies
  • strategically crucial
  • Making a perceptible customer benefit
  • Establishing a sustainable competitive advantage
  • Focus on external beneficiaries (immediate market contact)

Questions for the identification of core processes

  • Who is the target group / target market for the result of the process?
  • What is our offer for this target group?
  • How does our offer stand out from the competition?
  • What is the competitive advantage?
  • What proportion of the processes is in the company’s success (turnover, margin, etc.)
  • What is the strategic significance of the process for the business?
  • How often is the process?