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3 Ways to Solve the Productivity Puzzle with Process Mining

marcell vollmer celonis rpa blog
by Marcell Vollmer
December 19, 2019
5 min read
Posted in Business Excellence

The writing is on the wall - according to the Office for National Statistics, productivity in the UK workplace has fallen at its fastest rate for five years.

Continuous transformation has added unwanted complexity to business infrastructure. While the proliferation of digital tools were meant to help streamline and automate business processes, theyโ€™ve actually had an adverse effect. Competing tools are now fighting each other, making actionable insights difficult to derive and processes unnecessarily long-winded.

Thankfully, it doesnโ€™t have to be this way. New technology has surfaced in recent years that enables you to to understand how work actually happens in your organisation, and take decisive action backed by real hard data.

This technology is process mining: a process analysis methodology which aims to discover, monitor and improve real time business processes, by extracting knowledge from event logs in the digital systems of an organization.

So how can process mining help you improve productivity in your business?

Bring all your digital tools together to achieve more agility

Companies everywhere are striving to optimise, innovate, and accelerate their core operations in order to drive efficiency, productivity, and outstanding customer service.

But in doing so, theyโ€™ve - slowly but surely - added layers upon layers of complexity to their operations: with every digital transformation project, they are creating greater friction, complexity and less transparency into their processes โ€“ as they expand their quota of software and technology suppliers. Sounds familiar?

Rushing toward some abstract notion of transformation without fully understanding the environment youโ€™re trying to change or the results youโ€™re hoping to achieve is a mistake. To be effective, analysis must be done at the business level, not in silos. Integrating across systems and technologies is not only beneficial, itโ€™s essential in helping your business optimize critical operational paths and increase internal productivity.

Process mining can help respond to this challenge. By getting insight into the global complexity of your digital infrastructure, you can easily see the whole process flow and streamline it to make it more efficient.

One benefit of integrating all your digital tools in such a single platform is that it helps you identify which of your processes are best suited for automation. Indeed, process discovery allows you to easily select the right ones, and even uncover processes you might not have known can be automated. This constitutes the perfect basis for any RPA (Robotic Process Automation) initiative, if youโ€™re looking to use โ€˜software robotsโ€™ for manual, repetitive, and error-prone tasks.

This can then lead to a significant increase in productivity. Recent research from Gartner suggests Robotic Process Automation (RPA) could save Finance departments, in particular, about 25,000 hours of avoidable work each year.

Identify process bottlenecks that are costing your business money

As a business leader, it is important to get complete visibility of your organisational processes, where they can be optimised and improved, to deliver the agility and focus to

sustainably and continuously bring value to your customers. Thatโ€™s why you often end up hiring expensive, time-consuming consultants to help you pinpoint one or two areas of improvement but never get into the nitty-gritty of it all.

The problem with this scenario is that your organisation needs to be constantly evolving and agile. And your processes with it. But manual process mapping is slow and cumbersome, and your processes end up being out of touch and out of date with the direction you want your business to take.

Now picture this: a visual map which shows you the reality of all the activities taking place during a particular process, with all the variations and bottlenecks, highlighting exactly whatโ€™s going wrong or what could be improved. In real-time.

By connecting to all your ERP systems and building a single source of reliable data in just a couple minutes, which identifies all the steps in your processes and how they can be improved, process mining helps you eliminate duplicate efforts, waste and inefficiencies which hinder business productivity, without any (consultantโ€™s) sweat!

Help your teams focus on what matters most

Technology has revolutionized the way we work. Despite these extraordinary shifts, however, there's still a lot of "work about work." Recent research has shown that employees spend as much as 28% of their time at work doing admin tasks, which bring no value to the company. Talk about killing productivity!

In this digital age, itโ€™s all about working smarter, not harder. By visualizing steps of a process, and understanding their effect on the duration of this process, itโ€™s easy to identify redundant or time-intensive tasks which are slowing down your employeesโ€™ productivity. That means eliminating rework, fewer manual interventions, and less time spent diagnosing and resolving delays.

When your employees can see where these processes are being time-consuming, taking different paths or just being non-compliant, they can gain back focus, time and energy that can be reinvested into more creative, value-generating activities that tangibly improve the customer experience.

And it works across the board: lower-skilled staff will be able to focus on more value-added tasks, while leaders will have a more complete picture of the business operations, helping drive positive impact towards business objectives rather than micromanaging everydayโ€™s activities.

Want to streamline your business processes? Watch our webinar with Astra Zeneca.

Learn how to use process mining to improve productivity in your business by exploring our blog content.

marcell vollmer celonis rpa blog
Marcell Vollmer
Chief Innovation Officer

Marcell Vollmer leads partnership and go-to-market teams at Celonis as its Chief Innovation Officer. A former business process owner, Vollmer evangelizes the power of process mining and is a key executive sponsor for the some of the worldโ€™s largest enterprises. Vollmer is a 14-year SAP veteran who served as Chief Digital Officer at SAP Ariba, where he drove strategies to help the worldโ€™s leading companies to eliminate procurement and supply chain complexity. Before that, he was Chief Procurement Officer at SAP, where he led over 200 professionals who managed billions in global spend volume and created a shared services team. Prior to that he held strategic project and finance roles at SAP.

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