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Best Practices

How to Add Value to your Product or Service with Process Mining

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Tick a box; is your company a product or service? From SaaS companies and electric scooter hire to Tabasco sauce and trendy apparel, every business will be able to tick one or both boxes. But whether customers swoop your product from grocery store shelves or pay monthly fees per user license, the sweet sauce of many successful organizations lie in business processes. Process mining aids in understanding the true nature of these processes, which in turn, can add value to a product or service.

Let’s begin by looking at the birth of a company. First comes the bright idea (electric scooters in every city), then comes the product (scooters), sometimes coupled with a service (the app), but between all that are business processes (how to get scooters recharged / how to ensure long-term legality on the market). Understanding how business processes work within an organization and building process improvement into the DNA of an organization are critical for longevity, operational excellence, and competitive advantage.

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How can businesses continuously find value within (seemingly) menial process steps? What technology is available on the market that effectively decodes process strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?

Process mining enables decision makers to deep dive into an organization’s SWOT analysis and finds multiple value-add angles that make a product or service more profitable or less costly. Process strengths become known and eligible for replication. Process weaknesses are picked apart to disclose the root cause of bottlenecks and deviations. New revenue streams and untapped opportunities are uncovered through process improvement and newfound efficiencies. Risks, compliance issues, and unknown threats are brought to light which may avoid costly fines or process collapse. All this can be revealed by taking minuscule, compartmentalized event logs and using process mining technology to paint a cohesive, data-based picture of how an organization actually ticks.

Take advantage of process strengths

Process mining finds white space between IT systems and known process steps in order to build a cohesive ‘as-is’ process map. This process map will not only reveal what is wrong with the process but also, what is right. From above standard SLAs to highly optimized KPIs, process mining helps shed light on process strengths which are ripe for replication. Identify the most productive team members in order to replicate their behavior and approach to business. Identify the most reliable suppliers in order to strengthen business ties in strategic ways.

Fortify process weaknesses

Bottlenecks cause processes to be costly, slow and are often only discovered after they’ve derailed a projected or pushed it over budget. Catch bottlenecks and leaks in their tracks with process mining. When management assumes growth strategies are implemented and running to plan, the root cause of underwhelming results may be elusive. Process mining identifies process weaknesses which in turns gives managers the information they need to properly distribute and potentially reallocate manpower and budget.

Identify process opportunities

Untapped revenue streams or upsell opportunities are constantly emerging as environments and markets change. Process mining helps uncover this potential by enabling managers to understand how processes actually work. Broader patterns along with individual cases reveal connections, causes, and solutions. Additionally, process mining can spot the differences between regions, departments, and teams and provide management with hard data to support continuous process improvement.

Safeguard against process threats

Compliance with corporate policy or law is of utmost importance for long-term success. Failure to adhere to the company or governmental rules is a looming threat to be constantly monitored. However, unlawful practices may occur without actual intent and can thus be even harder to catch. Process mining asses compliance, tests key controls, such as segregation of duties, and compares actual practices against practices called for in law or policy. Threats are damped before they become problems.

An enterprise is the sum of its processes. Untapped potential and pending threats continuously evolving as business processes resume as usual. Moving a SWOT analysis one step deeper from theory into the application can add immense value to a company’s products and services. Process mining technology has the power, speed, and decisiveness to drive that change.

Michal Rosik

03. 12. 2018