Support process

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Support process
See also

Support process (called also enabling process[1]) covers different areas in company to enable delivering products or services to the customer. Support processes within an enterprise depend on type of products or services that are delivered. Areas understood as support processes might be[2]:

  • IT - maintaining systems and software (to support for example manufacturing or control),
  • Human resources - for example recruiting employees,
  • Facilities - for example all building which company rents or owns,
  • Accounting - keeping books and paying taxes,
  • Customer - answering to customer requests (for example after the purchase),
  • Services - daily operations (often there is service desk created, covers incident, problem or change management),

Support process in value chain context

In value chain context, support process is differentiated from core process. Core process creates product or services, while support process (despite that it does not add value) is necessary for core process to take place. Third type would be management process. Support process includes: ordering supplies, receiving suppliers and supplying stock. Support processes repeat over time and consequently enable core processes and follow decisions taken by management [3].

Management process Support process Core process
establishing sourcing procedure ordering supplies receiving order
signing contracts receiving supplies approving order
evaluation of vendors supplying stock filling order from stock
delivering order
product reaches the customer

Designing support process

Support processes should be created under core processes. It means that firstly core processes are defined in the company, then each of them is analyzed in terms necessary support processes. It is not easy in reality. Usually IT department covers the connection between core and support processes, however there are two approaches regarding IT support[4]:

  1. Generating and maintaining all systems with IT support for supply chain, sales and marketing (matrix organisation type might face it faster),
  2. Treating IT department as separate company with separate value chain. It might be outsourced legally, but it might be conducted within organisational structure - just approach needs to be changed.


Sometimes companies decide to outsource support processes for example human resources process, IT process or accounting process. Then, for company which delivers support processes as outsourcing, core processes would be within human resources or IT[5].


  1. Harmon P. (2010), p. 86-87
  2. Harmon P. (2010), p. 86-87, Jedlitschka A. (2008) p. 321, p.89
  3. Harmon P. (2010), p. 86-87
  4. Harmon P. (2010), p. 87
  5. Harmon P. (2010), p. 72


Author: Dominika Kaczmarczyk