Process mining use cases
The versatile use cases of process mining
Using existing data from corporate information systems, process mining automatically displays a dynamic visualization of as-is business processes, their performance, as well as their compliance. As such, process mining can be used for any business process.
Popular process mining use cases in 2022 include procurement, order management, compliance, intelligent automation, digital transformation, KPI reporting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, auditing, IT development, service management, logistics, and many more. Large companies like Sanofi are using process mining to transform their shared services: from revamping their KPI reporting to optimizing HR processes and uncovering significant cost savings in customer invoice-to-cash.
Read on to find out more about the different use cases for process mining.
Looking for a process mining solution? The leading process mining software QPR ProcessAnalyzer delivers all process mining analyses and applications in one comprehensive, secure, and scalable cloud platform. QPR ProcessAnalyzer is the first and only process mining solution to run natively on the Snowflake data cloud, which empowers you to analyze over 1 billion rows of data in the blink of an eye.
Financial Shared Services Transformation
Creating a successful plan for growing and optimizing Financial Shared Services requires more than subject matter expertise. You also need insights into your current processes and tools to improve collaboration and get all stakeholders on the same page.
With process mining, shared service center leaders, managers, and process owners are able to see the real-life execution of their processes. You can gain objective insight into all parts of the process, drill down to different units or individual cases, or view trends on a high level. See errors, variations, and non-compliances based on how they contribute to business outcomes and easily view which automation opportunities are ripe.
Forget about countless spreadsheets being shared through emails. With process mining, all of the processes of your shared services - Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Order-to-Cash, Purchase-to-Pay, HR, etc - are visualized, monitored, and analyzed in one place for smooth decision-making.
"Forget about countless spreadsheets being shared through emails. With process mining, all of the processes of your shared services - Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Order-to-Cash, Purchase-to-Pay, HR, etc - are visualized, monitored, and analyzed in one place for smooth decision-making"
Technology-driven Operational Excellence
Businesses are stretched thin. Complex business processes that resemble black boxes are the last thing you need when you're trying to find areas for cost savings, migrate to new systems, or ensure successful automation.
Operational Excellence leaders are faced with new challenges that require new solutions: they must navigate their businesses through major shifts in the markets while making sure no resources are wasted. On top of this, OPEX leaders are expected to be the driving force behind successful end-to-end business transformation.
At the same time, most companies are stuck in the early phases of process maturity, struggling to understand their processes. Without process transparency, it’s nearly impossible to make informed decisions that improve operational efficiency.
Process mining helps OPEX leaders navigate through major market shifts in 5 ways:
- Find process inefficiencies and maximize the capacity of both employees and systems.
- Don’t just focus on cutting costs in challenging times – instead, use process optimization as the key driver for operational efficiency, growth, and revenue.
- Win by automation done right. Ensure successful enterprise-wide automation by identifying and prioritizing automation opportunities and increasing the value of current initiatives.
- Gain end-to-end process visibility into complex system landscapes and ensure smooth system transformations.
- Track the entire business ecosystem – from the most granular of tasks to the largest of value chains. Process mining will always let you know when to act on inefficiencies, errors, and non-compliance.
SAP S/4HANA Migration
No modern business can achieve successful end-to-end transformation without involving an ERP system. What often feels like the black box of IT can also present enormous opportunities for cost savings: eliminating loopholes of outdated systems, providing real-time monitoring capabilities, improving productivity and transparency, and ensuring smoother cross-functional collaboration.
During massive migration projects, companies often struggle with transformation pitfalls, such as:
- Poor fact-based process insights
- A lack of harmonization across units
- Performance gaps in business processes
- Unknown process variations
- Inefficient change management
- Communication challenges
All of the above are linked to a lack of process understanding. Without an understanding of what really happens in your processes, your ERP transformation project is bound to turn into a costly headache.
Time is running out
All SAP customers have been advised to migrate their system to the new SAP S/4HANA generation by the end of 2027, as the support for legacy products ends.
Companies need a holistic view of their processes as they undertake SAP migration. By displaying and demonstrating the hundreds or thousands of different process variations (based on the customer’s own data rather than subjective viewpoints), the brand-new process mining solution, SAP S/4HANA Vectorial, does exactly this.
The innovative process mining solution is designed to help SAP experts in their work by providing transparency of customers’ existing as-is business processes and automatically comparing them against SAP’s S/4HANA best practice processes and easily estimating the magnitude of necessary changes during S/4HANA migration.
RPA is often marketed as the panacea for all corporate inefficiencies. However, as RPA becomes more mature, companies are finding themselves stuck with high maintenance costs, broken bots, and no clue what’s changed in their processes.
To gain the most value out of your automation investment and reach your full operational potential, you need to start from the right processes, be aware of their exceptions, and continuously monitor and streamline them with the right tools. This requires all three parts of intelligent automation: RPA, AI, and process mining.
Process mining provides answers to questions such as:
- What is the expected ROI for this automation initiative?
- Which processes are the most suitable for automation?
- What are the most common process exceptions?
- How does the automation rate of a process vary across different countries?
- How do I prove the value of this automation initiative?
The Purchase-to-Pay process is also known as PtP, procure-to-pay, or req-to-check. It refers to business processes that cover requisitioning, purchasing, confirming, receiving, paying for, and accounting for goods and services.
As the transactional volume is extremely high and often quite complex (with different approvals, procedures requests, and suppliers), each step within the process is a potential source of errors.
This makes Purchase-to-Pay a good target for process mining, which brings visibility to the entire end-to-end process and identifies root causes for problems such as bottlenecks, uncompliant processes, and Maverick Buying.
Process KPI reporting
In order to make decisions based on facts and data, management teams need to have a system of smart, effective, and realistic KPIs that are available when needed.
Still, this is not the reality in many global enterprises. Many organizations still outsource the tedious task of calculating KPIs, extracting SAP data, merging and calculating in excel, and then presenting a few graphs in PowerPoint each month – without any possibility of drilling down to details affecting the KPIs and finding root causes for KPI problems. However, there's a better way to do this.
Many organizations still outsource the tedious task of calculating KPIs, extracting SAP data, merging and calculating in excel, and then presenting a few graphs in PowerPoint each month – without any possibility of drilling down to details affecting the KPIs and finding root causes for KPI problems.
Process mining software like QPR ProcessAnalyzer includes 1000+ KPIs by default – you won't have to waste time waiting for individual KPIs to be built. Predictive capabilities in process mining allow you to act on the most important KPIs already before potential issues or bottlenecks arise. This is effectively changing the way organizations think - from late fixes to preventive actions.
The Order-to-Cash (OtC) process covers the whole process cycle of handling customer orders, extending across different units, such as warehousing, delivery, invoicing, and account management. Consequently, this key business process is usually high-volume with lots of variations (for instance, unwanted changes in the process that prolong lead times and affect both internal efficiency and customer satisfaction).
Process mining visualizes the OtC process continuously and automatically. It shows you how to reduce rework, delays, and order changes by showing the root causes for the inefficiencies discovered in your OtC process. Moreover, process mining helps you identify delivery or automation blocks and compliance issues with ready-made analyses and charts and monitor the performance of the end-to-end process continuously.
Process mining is an efficient and effective way to identify compliance issues. To check the compliance of business processes without process mining, compliance managers will have to go through extensive sampling. Still, this does not guarantee 100% transparency, as deviations fly past the human eye.
Process mining on the other hand allows you to view, compare, and contrast processes with each other and with the as-designed processes to easily spot errors. This significantly cuts down on the hassle and provides you with a thorough list of all irregularities and improvement areas.
The compliance analysis in process mining software allows you to easily follow up on the worldwide compliance of different processes, rules, and regulations. For instance, process mining shows you if service-level agreements (SLAs) are being kept and uncovers the root causes for why they are violated. With a click of a button, you can see if different rules and regulations are being followed, and which departments, units, or individual users did not follow the regulations.
Digital transformation is a must for any organization wanting to thrive in its current market. Core objectives of digital transformation include reducing the amount of manual work, having faster processes, and working in smarter ways. However, deciding on and justifying changes and new systems may be tricky.
Business processes are key sources of information for understanding how businesses operate, as well as great areas for cost reduction and increased efficiency.
Process mining provides leaders and change managers with end-to-end visibility of their processes, making it easy to identify areas in need of improvement. Proving the value of e.g. automation has never been this easy – your case can be supported by the click of a button.
While auditors traditionally receive information on processes through extensive interviews and reviewing process documentation, process mining increases the effectiveness of the work of both internal and external auditors by providing them with instant, full insight into the organization’s present and past business processes.
This allows auditors to move from an analysis of subjective samples to an analysis of the objective, full, as-is process, bringing along assurance and cutting down on precious time consumed.
Process mining quickly identifies conformance issues, the most common process violations, and the reasons behind them. Whether it is an invoice that was paid before being registered in your ERP system, failing the segregation of duties or any other business rule violation, process mining helps you put all the facts on the table.
IT & ERP development
IT professionals can use process mining to manage the complexity of ERP migrations and implementations. Without having an end-to-end view of the processes continuously, you end up migrating the same ineffective processes into the new system while not being able to see the bottlenecks and problems in the migration.
Process mining can be used to tackle the most common challenges in ERP migrations and implementations: it compares the as-is processes compared to the designed process models, shows the best and the worst process variations, and provides continuous end-to-end visibility of the process flow, and alerts users when problems arise.
From the starting point of your service management processes all the way to resolving a customer case or having kept a service-level agreement, a record exists of when such an event took place in the service management process. Process mining provides an unbiased, fact-based analysis of service management processes.
QPR ProcessAnalyzer transforms the event traces - the process data - into actionable insights. Spotting breaches of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and monitoring the state of company-wide or unit-wide service requests has never been easier.
From running out of stock and having lost shipments, to experiencing long production times, logistics is an endless loop of faulty processes. Where companies often push to work faster to make sure that products reach the end customer as quickly as possible, they often fall short in viewing order management from a holistic perspective. In order to be fast, you will have to understand your complete process and as such you will be able to avoid time-consuming errors piling up.
Customers also expect accurate information about their delivery, from a to-the-day accurate estimated time of delivery time to an on-call ability to check the status of their order. By providing you with a complete view of your order management process, process mining enables you to meet your clients’ expectations: pinpoint inefficiencies in order processing, provide data-based delivery time estimates and understand where accuracy would be a better KPI than speed.
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