Blog – Process Mining

Discrepancies between the initial design of business processes and how they are being adopted by an organization, always occur. Process mining helps to identify those discrepancies, ultimately leading to improved process performance and identification of root causes of structural inefficiencies in a visual way.

Discover, analyze and optimize (business) processes

Process mining refers to the analysis of business processes based on event log data in information systems. It is seen as the link between Data Science and Process Management. Specialized data mining algorithms utilize event data to discover patterns. The technique is usually applied to automatically map complex business processes in a first step. Based on this initial process discovery, deviations from the standard process are analyzed in more detail in order to check for standard process conformance. Insights from process mapping and deviation checking can ultimately be used for design changes of the current process, aiming to increase overall performance.

Process mining is not a new philosophy, but updated Big Data technologies and advanced analytics now allow for an unbiased data driven approach instead of a human centric discovery approach. Where in the past process consultants relied purely on techniques such as interviews and workshops, this analysis is now based on the unembellished truth of process mining algorithms.  

Process mining is not a new philosophy, but updated Big Data technologies and advanced analytics now allow for an unbiased data driven approach instead of a human centric discovery approach.

Our project approach for Process Mining

The key elements of a typical process mining project are clustered into the three -previously mentioned- phases: Discovery of current business processes, conformance checking and process optimization.

1. Discovery of current process

Probably everyone, who has worked on a process management project, remembers how cumbersome it is to analysis the as-is. Based on many interviews and workshops with different stakeholders, having different opinions, one tries to create the one true process map.  Fortunately, this process is now possible with the data-driven process mining approach. Nowadays, the tools use advanced algorithms to automatically create process maps based on event log data provided by information systems.

2. Conformance checking

In reality, processes rarely follow the same, ideal sequence. Therefore, the analysis of process deviations makes process mining an especially valuable tool. Instead of just focusing on the standardized process, process mining allows to look for outliers, to analyze their root causes and to utilize these insights to adopt the standard process, e.g. by adding automatization.

For example, Order-To-Cash processes are a common application area for process mining. While the standard process is usually well formulated, conformance checks often reveal deviations. For instance, it is quite common that orders of large strategic customers are placed on credit hold to enable manual process steps.

3. Process optimization

Based on the insights gained during the conformance checking phase, measures can be identified to optimize the overall process landscape. This often includes the elimination of rework, the removal of bottlenecks or a shift from manual to automated processes. This is just another moment when our industry experts come into play, combining the best of two worlds: Data driven analysis enriched by valuable domain knowledge.

How does this impact your Supply Chain?

Supply chains are in the digital transformation these days. Process mining is a great tool to succeed in your logistics optimization journey. By identifying and consequently eliminating unnecessary process deviations, companies become more efficient and productive. Hidden bottlenecks are uncovered and potential for automation is identified.

Characterized by complex processes, cost reduction measures and ever-increasing expectations of shorter delivery times, organizations are setting up to streamline their business processes. In an effort to avoid empty trips, the transfer of production to another location or standardization of shipment terms, there are many opportunities to optimize your business processes. Process mining helps you to identify these opportunities.

Process mining is a great tool to succeed in your logistics optimization journey.

About Ab Ovo

Ab Ovo, headquartered in Rotterdam, has been delivering advanced analytics in the field of supply chain to their customers for over 20 years. We specialize in business process analytics where our 80+ specialists like operations research experts, mathematicians and business consultants digitize a supply chain process, quantify it and subsequently build prediction models (machine learning) or optimization models on top of it. Our business translators have extensive experience in supply chain process optimization which allow them to act as the linking pin between business and analytics.

For more information, please contact Martijn Cornelissen via martijn.cornelissen@ab-ovo.com or check our use cases.

How can we help you?

We support numerous use cases and deliver clarity by digitizing decision processes with extensive industry expertise, smart technology solutions and our skilled analytical team.