The word “Efficiency” is a word frequently used by organisations no matter what sector or area of the business. It’s a target and an expectation that can seemingly never be stressed enough.
Businesses need to maximise their existing resources in order to reach their full potential and ensure long-term success, particularly during economic downturns.
Efficiency typically necessitates change, and this is often a challenge for most companies. It can be difficult to evaluate current workflows and operations, and even if areas for improvement are identified, upsetting established procedures and processes may not be warmly welcomed by employees. According to research, 70% of organisations’ attempts to digitally transform internal processes don’t come to fruition, resulting in wasted time, money, and employee buy-in.
Despite these potential complications, it is sometimes necessary to disrupt the status quo to rectify inefficiencies and develop essential parts of the business. Fortunately, decision-makers today have all the tools they need to track their journey towards automation with insights backed by data. This is referred to as process intelligence
An Introduction to Process Intelligence
Process intelligence is a sophisticated technology that analyses organisational workflows to spot potential bottlenecks, automation opportunities, and other areas which can be made more efficient.
By having this deeper understanding and enhanced perspective of operations, businesses can dramatically improve their efficiency – but only if they take the right approach.
It must be driven by insights generated through both task and process mining, using timestamps at various points throughout a timeline to generate a model that allows for easy identification of discrepancies.
Best Approach to Process Intelligence
What is Task Mining?
Process intelligence is comprised of two separate ideas; task mining and process mining. The easiest way to distinguish the two can be “front end” vs. “back end,” but they are both equally important in making sure the larger practice runs smoothly. Task mining focuses on minute actions like keystrokes and mouse clicks that employees do while carrying out tasks; in comparison, process mining looks more broadly at event logs and background activities that take place during larger processes.
To make the most of these insights, businesses should augment process mining with task mining together. Task mining allows for steps to be standardised at the individual level, yielding more predictability and requiring less guesswork when determining how long employee tasks will take. Process mining can then provide more effective and reliable solutions as there is less variance at individual points in a timeline.
Benefits of Process Simulation
Process mining may be able to examine past and present processes, but what about the future?
This advanced application provides decision-makers with predictive power to look at their operations. Using process simulation, they can experiment with different workflows while taking into consideration the large range of variables that could arise in their operations.
Many organisations build processes around a supposed “happy path,” or a universal ideal and efficient scenario as it relates to a user experience. Unfortunately, it is rare to encounter any such one-size-fits-all solution in the complex landscapes that most businesses operate in. Thus, using process simulation to design a “primary path” contingent on various complexities allows for flexibility and the ability to adapt to specific situations.
Imagine a flight simulator. A prospective pilot can gain the experience needed to handle any situation or variable that might be encountered – barometric pressure, inclement weather, equipment failure, refueling – without the risk of experiencing it firsthand.
Process simulation is similar in its depth and complexity, allowing users to design an optimal workflow informed by as much data as possible before implementing. Instead of a pilot adjusting hypothetical wind speeds, however, an insurance provider can see how hiring additional agents might affect a claims process, or what would happen if a certain step was completed at twice its current speed. This forecasting ability enables organisations to be proactive in optimising their workflows with highly specific variables in mind.
Leveraging Employee Buy-In
The state of the current labour market has been significantly impacted by digital transformation. Jobs have been reduced and sometimes eliminated at the same rate at which new, profitable prospects arise. As we see more and more tasks being replaced by AI and ML technology, just the word “automation” can scare employees who are worried about the future of their roles. So you can’t always expect an enthusiastic response from employees when hearing about the implementation of a system that identifies opportunities for automation.
However, process intelligence isn’t about trading your human employees for robots – it aims to use human capabilities more effectively. By identifying the correct steps in a process to automate, businesses can lighten the load of repetitive and monotonous tasks that employees are assigned and instead delegate them more creative, cognitive, and rewarding projects.
This symbiosis between intelligent automation and human ingenuity improves experiences for both the business and its customers. Illustrating this mutually beneficial relationship is crucial for getting employees on board for process intelligence.
Process intelligence shouldn’t be seen as a quick fix because introducing change is seldom met without obstacles. So the question you might be asking is whether the outcomes make process intelligence worth the trouble.
The data speaks for itself. In a survey, 32% of UK businesses that implemented process and task mining tools reported increased revenue, while 54% said it increased overall efficiency. In terms of ROI, 65% of surveyed UK companies said process automation produced returns that were at least twice the value of initial investments, with only 3% reporting a negative ROI.
With the right approach, process intelligence has the power to drive efficiency, revenue, and better experiences for customers and employees. The momentum of businesses in the adoption of AI and automation has made it imperative to stay informed and literate in these practices. In 2023 and beyond, a resistance to change will no longer be an impediment to decision-makers and the success of their organisations.
About the Author
Neil Murphy is Global Channel Chief and SVP Sales at ABBYY. ABBYY powers intelligent automation. We reimagine the way people work and how companies accelerate business by delivering the intelligence that fuels automation platforms. We aspire to constantly reimagine how technology solves process and data challenges to help people and organizations thrive. We help more than 10,000 companies globally, including many of the Fortune 500, driving significant impact where it matters most: customer experience, profitability, and competitive advantage.
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