Core process

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Core process

Business processes of a company can in core processes , Supporting processes and management processes are divided. The core process comprises all activities that serve the company's added value. It is derived from the core competence of an organization.

The core processes of an automobile manufacturer would be, for example, the production process “producing cars” or the marketing process . Supporting processes would be, for example, accounting or human resources . Management processes would be, for example, processes of management or quality management .


The term “core process” comes from process management and quality management and is also used in business administration .

In process management, the focus is on customer requirements and their fulfillment through the core process. A company is understood as a bundle of core processes whose purpose is to meet customer requirements . The organizational structure is rotated by 90 degrees, the organizational structure and process organization are consistently aligned with the processes.

Core processes start with the customer's request and end with the fulfillment of the customer's request. They integrate all the sub-processes required for this. Interfaces to customers and suppliers are clearly defined. The process owner plans, implements, controls and controls the process with his team. He has all the necessary resources and specialist skills . Ideally, the customer the same in each contact phase contact who all further contacts brokered and as account manager customer accompanied (planning, contract management, production, delivery, customer service).

Depending on the different technical definitions, the contribution to value creation , the cross-functional property or the potential for improvements and savings also play an important role in core processes .

From an organizational point of view, three characteristics are characteristic of core processes:

  • high strategic importance
  • realizes a function across departments
  • enormous range - from the interface with suppliers to interfaces with customers, i. H. the process begins with the customer and ends again with the customer

field of use

The areas of application of process management are mainly in the organizational area. Definition and analysis of the core processes are often the first steps in a comprehensive reorganization of a company , whereby a wealth of methods for their identification are now known, for example bottom-up process analysis, incremental process analysis, synoptic process analysis.

The Six Sigma methodology for process optimization is abbreviated to DMAIC ( Define - Measure - Analyze - Improve - Control ).

In further steps, the organizational structure is adapted to the process flow, the processes are reorganized and the new structure is checked for efficiency .


An organization based on core processes has the following advantages:

  • Leaner and clearer core and support processes by splitting off support processes
  • Quality improvement through the definition of core processes, as the company can concentrate on its core competencies and optimize them
  • great savings potential in support processes - realizable through more efficient organization of the process or outsourcing
  • Coordination advantage through the formation of process teams - minimizing interfaces leads to a simpler and smoother process flow
  • Motivation advantage for employees , as their work can be assigned directly to the process teams

Definition of terms

The distinction between the supporting process and the core process is not easy in practice. For example, is the kitchen a core process in an airline catering service? If the quality of the food is in the foreground for the customer, the answer must be answered with "Yes", but what about when the timely delivery is in the foreground? A catering company that sees itself primarily as a logistics service provider could, in this case, shift its focus from gastronomy to logistics services and even outsource the kitchen.

It is helpful to ask whether the processes contribute decisively to maintaining or improving the viability of a company through the performance they generate. If so, it is a core process; otherwise the process should be assigned to a different category.

Individual evidence

  1. Are value-added processes always also core processes?


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  • Jörg Becker, Martin Kugeler, Michael Rosemann (Eds.): Process Management - A Guide to Process-Oriented Organizational Design. 6th edition, Springer, Berlin 2008, ISBN 3-540-79248-1 .
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