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Process mining: Definition and five business use cases

September 9, 2022 - Team EdgeVerve

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Digital transformation and automation of specific workflows are a few measures to improve operational efficiency. However, the lack of process insights in real-time hinders the smooth transition and prevents the optimal utilization of automation to its full potential. In fact, the opacity of current business processes arising out of existing silos can prove detrimental to a company’s health and performance. Hence, process mining is leveraged using advanced algorithms to create transparency in current business processes and aid organizations in streamlining and improving them effectively with the help of automation.

What is process mining?

Process mining extracts knowledge from event logs in the information system and analyzes and monitors them to improve fundamental business processes. It identifies inefficiencies and nuances existing within the process and enhances visibility into actual performance. This helps in making the processes more transparent. Process mining tools automatically generate process maps and track event logs more efficiently when compared to manual methods.

Benefits of process mining

Process mining captures system events rather than user and activity tasks; hence, a substantial manual effort is needed to interpret the data generated. There are also other limitations, but the benefits of using process mining software solutions are undeniable.

Generate fact-based insights: Process mining extracts empirical data to provide objective, fact-based insights that support auditing, analyzing, and improving existing business processes.

Faster and cost-effective: Unlike lengthy and subjective mapping processes, it is a cost-effective approach garnering accurate results faster than manual process mapping.

Visibility of as-is processes: It enhances process and workflow visibility and provides a solid understanding of how they work, the problem areas, and the existing variations.

Reduce operational costs: It reveals existing inefficiencies and bottlenecks in business processes, which can be improved with automation and help curb operating costs.

Improve performance management: Process mining software solutions track event logs and evaluate key performance indicators to continually monitor processes in real time for improving performance.

Improve customer experiences: It helps organizations to quickly identify the root causes of issues and react fast with better customer service.

Improve compliances: Process mining analyzes data faster and cost-effectively compared to system audits. It can identify compliance issues in real-time.

Mitigate risks: By increasing transparency of processes, it can effectively identify potential trouble spots and help companies to mitigate risks in real-time.

Five use cases of process mining

Financial shared services: Financial shared services are critical for any organization and should be handled with care and expertise. Collaboration between departments and stakeholders ensures seamless execution of workflows. And financial shared services are one of the critical use cases for process mining. With the help of this solution, stakeholders can gain complete visibility of the real-life execution of each workflow. Errors, variations, and non-compliances are quickly identified, allowing process automation to take over.

Procurement: The purchase-to-pay process, also known as procurement, is another use case for process mining. This department takes care of multiple tasks, such as requisitioning, purchasing, confirming, receiving, paying for, and accounting for goods and services. There are heavy transactional flows and comprise complex steps for approvals. There is enough room for errors. By leveraging process mining tools, owners gain end-to-end visibility of each workflow and gain insights into root causes for system bottlenecks, and uncompliant processes.

Order management: The order management system oversees the entire cycle of workflows, from receiving customer orders to delivering them on time and everything in between. These critical business processes witness high volumes with many variations. Process mining tools help owners visualize how each process is executed and what the delivery blocks are, and the compliance issues. The data extracted are analyzed to offer clear insights, garnering further monitoring of the end-to-end process.

Digital transformation: Digital transformation is necessary for companies wishing to thrive amidst market competition. To digitize existing processes, one needs to understand how each works. Process mining identifies areas of improvement and fosters end-to-end visibility, enabling the identification of suitable process candidates for transformation.

Regardless of its limitations, process mining helps map key business processes accurately and initiates the following stages for seamless digital process transformation.

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