Risk exposure. Compliance regulations. Customer expectations. Operational inefficiencies. Cyber attacks and fraud. In today's increasingly complex and volatile environment, managing business processes is posing immense challenges.

It's clear that businesses should raise their game to precisely manage critical processes as never before — particularly amid the ongoing quest to effectively manage digital transformation, emerging automation capabilities and the need to truly understand today's fast-moving customer journey.

The key to effective process management is process transparency that can drive consistent and reliable monitoring and improvement of existing and evolving processes. That's where process mining comes in — "a leading solution" offering progressive new management capabilities for fast-evolving businesses. It is viewed as nothing less than a `disruptive accelerator' for business transformation today.

One of the biggest challenges of business process analysis for today's increasingly complex organizations is precisely understanding how current processes are actually being executed. Process mining is a leading data-driven capability that enables organizations to analyze processes as they are executed. This is a significant breakthrough today, particularly as businesses struggle with the emerging impact and complexities of automation, which can create massive fragmentation of traditional processes.

Process mining essentially creates a digital footprint of businesses activities via the automatic modeling of data for each process executed. It's a growing discipline that leverages diverse data to help deliver fact-driven analysis of processes as they unfold, allowing organizations to diagnose process bottlenecks and vulnerabilities based on a real-time view that eliminates the potential human biases of traditional analysis methods.

Bridging the gap to enhance efficiency

Simply put, process mining delivers, and helps bridge the gap between traditional process analysis — simulation and other process-management techniques that include lean management and six sigma — and data-centric analysis capabilities involving machine learning and data mining. KPMG can effectively combine process mining, automation and the human context to enhance and sustain results. And process mining is not only used for analysis of processes — it can also help predict future process execution needs and recommend suitable actions.

The potential benefits and advantages that more businesses are tapping into, as they look to remove excess costs, improve controls, enhance customer satisfaction, detect non-compliance and heighten efficiency, include process mining's ability to:

  • Provide fact-based insights into processes, allowing the identification of inefficiencies, potential irregularities, misconduct and internal control risks.
  • Generate understandable process maps quickly and efficiently based on the vast array of timely data that today's business systems deliver.
  • Perform root-cause analysis to investigate exceptions and limit false-positives.
  • Define key performance indicators (KPI) and measurable improvement objectives for process-based performance management.

It's becoming clear to more and more forward-looking businesses that process mining is a leading capability whose time has come as their processes become increasingly complex, potentially rendering traditional tools incapable of producing the required level of insights for smart decision making and optimal efficiency.

Data can help deliver progressive advantages

Data is the key that unlocks process mining, which taps into the specific `events' or activities that occur during business processes to produce `event data' — for example, data generated while onboarding a retail customer for online shopping capabilities and self-serve features. Process mining maps all data across the various systems supporting this customer process and creates a precise digital view of the entire journey. Therefore, businesses can have access to clear, data-based insights into the efficiency of each process, deviations needing attention, and potential actions for improved efficiency.

Process mining is process and system `agnostic,' meaning it can be used to analyze a wide range of processes — from back-office and mid-office to customer-facing processes. This feature provides the flexibility to leverage process mining in various use-case areas, including process optimization, in-process automation, ERP implementation, system migration, internal/external audit and more.

Process mining is helping to deliver enhanced efficiency and competitive advantage to major organizations across an array of industries, including finance, consumer products, retail, healthcare, energy and more. KPMG's global clients are deriving substantial benefits through process mining's leading capabilities: 

  • In the oil and gas industry, KPMG's process mining professionals collaborated closely with an energy client's global process owners and central design team to launch process mining capabilities among more than 850 end users. This is a multi-year project to consolidate 35 global ERP systems into one global platform. 
  • A major global beverage maker has implemented process mining across its procure-to-pay, order-to-cash and record-to-report operations and process areas in Brazil, the US, Mexico and Europe, with plans to extend capabilities to other geographies.
  • We are currently working with a major global investment bank that is implementing process mining as part of a multi-million dollar transformation program to modernize and more precisely manage its critical business processes.
  • A leading global software company has also turned to KPMG to help it enhance processes and capitalize on the progressive efficiencies and business advantages of process mining. 

As noted, process mining is not only used to analyze and enhance ongoing processes using real-time data. It is also being used to help predict future executions of any process and recommend suitable actions as needed.

Four steps to help you succeed

KPMG's well-established four-step methodology consists of four basic steps that can be extended in order to aid in the actual transformation and monitoring of realized improvements. Our methodology features:

  • Preparation and planning — This covers project kick-off, data extraction planning and in-depth technical preparation.
  • Extraction and transformation — We extract data from relevant source systems and transform it into the required format.
  • Analysis and evaluation — Our professionals run process mining algorithms, evaluate initial results and enhance capabilities.
  • Reporting — We produce dynamic reports that position us for a `deep dive' into generated results and where to implement improvements.

With digital transformation involving robotic process automation (RPA), for example, process mining can help to identify suitable processes and provide a baseline for the precise measurement of improvements.

When extending our services to help in the actual transformation, and further monitoring of realized improvements, KPMG focuses on:

  • Implementing quick wins by defining and executing a precise action plan.
  • Optimization embedding, in which our professionals embed and implement medium- or long-term improvement projects as needed.
  • Thorough process monitoring through the development of timely and wide-ranging business-intelligence tools.

A long-term approach is key

Process mining is dynamic and KPMG is constantly learning and changing to help improve its effectiveness in order to meet goals, such as process automation or simplification, risk reduction, eliminating human touch points, cost reduction and more. Therefore, KPMG's message to businesses includes an emphasis on the crucial need to understand that process mining is much more than a technology or point solution.

Process mining is a leading capability that organizations should approach as a long-term strategy for process improvement and enhancement — one that should be precisely orchestrated over time to help provide full value and drive competitive advantage in today's hyper-competitive markets.

Success requires a sustained approach and forward-looking organizations adopting process mining are embracing this approach and taking advantage of KPMG's well-established methodology, which includes critical support during transformation, monitoring of improvements and the enhancement of established programs.

In KPMG's view, businesses that are dedicating significant costs and resources to digital transformation should view process mining as a form of insurance for success amid the emerging challenges and complexities they will likely encounter. Traditional business processes are being transformed for a new era and process mining is one of the keys to embracing critical new advantages in today's environment.

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