There are two ways to save money...

There are two ways to save money without undermining what you do: reduce cost and cut wastage.

When I recently invested in my bread machine I thought I was probably doing the former - reducing cost - because I anticipated the price of raw ingredients to be much less than the price of the finished product (a loaf of bread). 

It turns out this assumption is not as starkly true as I had hoped. Sure - there is a lower price point for raw ingredients, but it's more marginal than I had imagined. Silly me for not doing my ROI (return on investment) calculations based on more detailed research/discovery.

Notwithstanding, my bread machine is still saving me loads. How?

Because, for one, it's cutting down wastage. The ability to make my bread "on demand", to make the appropriate quantities I need, AND the ability to store the ingredients until they are needed (rather than keep unused bread until it is mouldy) means my purchasing and consumption patterns are much more closely aligned. I'm putting less into the system, but still getting what I need out. And it's fresher - i.e. better quality. In a sense, my process is more lean.

But there's a third factor two - possibly even the most significant - that is contributing to my results: transformation.

That's right - I have transformed my behaviour. And this is the third way to cut costs - by changing what you do.

In the case of the bread maker, my behaviour has changed so that I eat more bread, more often. This change in behaviour translates into less eating of other, more costly, foodstuffs (such as snacks and ready meals). And that is where the significant savings come. If I can feed myself on bread and soup for a day, it'll cost me, say £2 - when I might otherwise have spent £5 or £10 on alternatives (TV dinners, take aways, or even home-cooked meat & two-veg). The effect of transformation is stark. 

And this is how it applies in business too - technology is an enabler. It may slice a bit of cost off here, enable a slightly more efficient process there - but ultimately, it's by transformation - change in behaviour - that the big bucks can be saved. 

So there you go - the essence of business process transformation in a nutshell - or indeed, a bread machine.