Why Process Mining Is A 'Must Have' If You Are Outsourcing
Process mining is a technology used by many leading outsourcing organisations – they use it because they recognise how important it is to understand processes and deviations from the ‘standard’ prior to starting a set of improvements, and committing to the savings achievable.
In today’s environment, many firms that have outsourced allow their 3rd Party to control the process insight and data. With that insight, this puts the outsourcer at the centre of knowing exactly how your processes are performed.
This data and insight is critical, in a similar way to our personal data being critical to the likes of facebook and amazon in predicting what products and services we are more likely to consume. In the same way that many of us would not want to give up our personal data, we should treat our process data the same way!
Setting up the process mining whilst outsourcing, provides a number of benefits for a buyer:
- Outsourcing partner can still leverage the technology, but you have full visibility and access to the visualisations and insights that are being created
- Having additional insight allows organisations to initiate end-to-end process improvements. Too often, the outsourcer will only improve the process for the part they are responsible for. This doesn’t help you. If you own all the data you can address every area, unlocking maximum value
- Know exactly how much resource is being applied to your situation. Outsourcing firms sometimes leverage their resources fluidly on processes. Agreed terms for 4 FTEs can sometimes result in 3 or up to 10 working part-time. It is good practice to understand the volume of FTE working on a process (process mining provides this visibility)
- Better leverage process mining to set up a KPI dashboard and get a clearer view on progress and performance. It is often a challenge managing the SLAs and KPIs when outsourcing and the ability to automate these and deep dive where needed can be very useful
- Better mitigate the risk of controls breaking and identify when there are anomalies around user accesses or controls that are not segregated by duty or may not be followed properly. The risk exists when you outsource controls, is that the segregation of duties may not be followed rigorously.
- Investing in new technologies, whether it is Ariba or Coupa from a PTP perspective, or SideTrade or High Radius from an O2C perspective, Process Mining can help you build your business case from identifying specifically where the investment will return.
- Better understand how the outsourcer performs the processes and how others perform processes – this can help when you have the retained organisation and the outsourcer at loggerheads accusing one another that ‘they are not doing that’. In this situation, process mining supports fact-based decision making
My perspective on this is don’t let the outsourcer own your process data, run process mining yourself so you have a clear view of the efficiency and effectiveness of the process, and a handle on the automation opportunity. The insight will make a huge difference to the success of the initiative!