Just like the Operational Excellence Conference in London back in February, the PEX Europe Spring event opened its doors on April 16th to the industry’s leading visionaries from forward-thinking brands. The theme? ‘Transform to grow: build modern processes to deliver exceptional business value’.
“The things I’ve seen, the drilling into the details, it’s very interesting. Management would love those kinds of dashboards to see where to look into further and deeper and where processes are missing. It’s exciting and I think process mining is the next big step for us.” Elke Hollmann, Head of Global Process Development, Stratec
“Place the customer at the centre,” said Iassen Deenitchin, Head of Global Process Management for ING Group, in one of the first presentations of the morning. “Understand your customer journeys and improve the processes that surround your touchpoints to ensure you are adding value to your customer experience.” It set the early tone for an event packed full of practical advice on technology and processes where process mining featured heavily - describing how technology and data interact to reveal internal efficiencies that deliver lasting improvements and add value.
Through a series of keynote presentations, break out seminars and roundtables on the day, we heard from companies such as Wilko, Swarovski and SAP about how they use data to fuel their drive towards operational excellence. For those unable to attend, but wanting to know how to grow your business through innovation, we’ve listed our key learnings from the day based on feedback from the experts:
Remember the data process works both ways
Most large organisations now have a Customer Relationship Manager, Customer Experience Manager, or in some cases an entire department devoted to using data to improve the customer experience. But Mark Saul, Head of SAP Process Management at SAP, was quick to point out the significance of internal stakeholders when trying to create a more profitable business. “It is important to remember that processes work both ways,” said Mark. “Your customers expect to be able to do business with you simply just as much as your employees want their job to be easy. Data visibility is essential to do that, you just need to keep it under control as it can be too easy to get lost.”
Think capabilities, business strategy and then processes
“Your businesses capabilities inform your strategy which in turn, informs your processes,” said Kirk Botula, CEO of the CMMI Institute. Exploring how fundamental processes are to driving your business forward, Kirk mapped out why you must understand your core business capabilities to progress. “Find the capabilities which deliver the most value and focus your time on them. These capabilities should decide your business strategy and the processes should support that.”
Try to visualise the process
When as much as 90% of the information our brain processes is visual, being able to see the process clearly is essential. Richard Cooper, Global Process Lead at Vodafone took to the stage and explained how the global enterprise has deployed Celonis and the benefits it has realised since doing so. “We have been able to visualise our processes in a way that has made it easy to make data driven decisions,” said Richard. “It has helped up evaluate our KPIs, designing them around processes that drive value, reduce our costs and improve our efficiencies.” His presentation sparked plenty of interest, inviting many questions from the audience. It was to be the first mention of Celonis and process mining and got everyone talking about the future and the possibilities for the technology.
Be flexible in your approach
Katie McConochie, Director Business Process and Change at Inmarsat raised the importance of fitting processes to the business methodology and people. “Don’t lose sight of the fact that you will be the driver of change,” she said. “You must be flexible in your approach to change and sensitive to the needs of your people as well as the business.”
Make technology investment a cultural change
Guy Kirkwood, Chief Evangelist at UiPath had another view of technology altogether. “Technology in all process excellence projects needs to be viewed as a cultural shift rather than simply a tech purchase,” said Guy. “Technologies like RPA and Process Mining are helping to take away the boring jobs that nobody wants to do by automating them and this frees your people to add value further up the chain.”
It was a fascinating crescendo to the day that placed process mining and automation firmly in the crosshairs for many exploring their next steps. The value of a technology that could tell you exactly what was happening rather than what you thought was happening did not go unnoticed. An SAP seminar session told the story of Italian utilities company, Acea, and how they are using Celonis and SAP to capture real-time information on their processes to make rapid improvements to their customer service.
New technologies are bridging the gaps between previously isolated silos and processes, combining previously disconnected data sets. Developments are illuminating bottlenecks and challenges in processes for businesses, helping them find otherwise unknown efficiencies. Leading that charge is process mining.
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