In the past two years Philips has embarked on the journey of embedding Process Mining company wide as a data & process analytics tool for continuous improvement of business processes.
It is considered as a strategic asset to fuel and support the continuous drive for improvement and standardization of processes, as well as process adoption in the company and enable continuous monitoring of progress. In principle all processes are in scope, but initial scoping is mainly on labor intensive transactional (ERP) processes in the field of order management (O2C – Order to Cash) and purchasing (P2P - Procure to Pay).
A solid implementation project organization has been put in place, anchored in the Philips organization, to enable data extraction, connector development (data model), validation, analysis and identification of improvement opportunities. The existing BPO (Business Process Owner) and ICC (Implementation Competence Center) organization are leveraged as well to support the implementation of identified improved opportunities. These so called value cases drive KPI improvement in the field of Productivity (automation, e.g. RPA), Process Conformance (standardized processes and adherence), Process Performance (e.g. lead time) and Compliance (regularity & legal).
For the actual mining a powerful tool has been selected: UiPath Process Mining, previously Process Gold. With its so called App One dashboards the tool generates all kind of (visual) insights in the performance of the processes which has been mined. Philips is finally aiming to connect about 5,000 end users to App One across the company. These can be executers (SME’s - subject matter experts), SME managers, BPO’s and BPE’s (Business Process Experts) and process improvers.
Current status and experience
After three big mining cycles in the area of O2F (Order to Fulfillment, the 1st part of O2C) and P2P for the Personal Health Business (e.g. shavers, coffee makers, air fryers) and Systems Business (Medical systems and equipment) a couple of learnings have been captured:
- Even when the saving opportunity is transparent and supported by underlaying data, it takes still a lot of effort to actually make the change. Root causes for this are misalignment with existing improvement initiatives, investments needed to make the change, resources available to implement changes and other.
- Current mining cycles are set up to leverage the discovery as well as the conformance checking aspect of process mining, resulting in many insights and corresponding value cases. The mining of the O2F process for Health Systems resulted in more than 200 potential value cases after the first cycle for example.
- Before starting development of the connector (data model), which takes quite an amount of effort and lasts for many weeks, potential research questions are collected and the initial scoping is defined. This preparation at the start of a mining cycle together with the BPE’s is based on existing insights, known problems and improvement areas. Still this does not guarantee that requests to change scope will not arise during the development phase and/or that final insights will match with expectations of the BPO organization.
- The power of process mining is still unknown to many. In general stakeholders find it difficult to understand where and how to leverage the strength of the technology to support endeavors to improve their KPI’s. Many have higher or even wrong expectations about the possibilities of process mining.
Questions which have come up are:
- How can the mining effort and scope be better aligned with existing problems in the businesses, markets and functions like supply chain?
- Should relatively short mining interventions be considered with a smaller scope to progressively get to results which are better aligned with the objectives and offer a higher chance of success?
- Till what extend is the existing tool equipped for this and if this is the case are we applying it in the right way?
- Should – in parallel – other tools be considered?
- Can they be used to gain the initial insights faster and help to estimate potential value?
Questions to be answered
- Develop a framework to position Process Mining in between other analytics tools and applications, helping the project organization to communicate and articulate the role of Process Mining, its differences with other data analytics techniques and the contribution it offers people in the business to improve on their processes
- Explore and evaluate the existing way of working of relatively long and extensive mining cycles against the background of the alternative of smaller progressive steps.
The project team is looking for options of having quick (3-4 weeks) pilots and assess if process mining is the right approach to address the business challenges and questions.
- Evaluate if the existing tool is sufficiently equipped and suited for this
- Execute small trials with alternative – fit for purpose – tools, based on existing data sets which have used for the existing mining cycles so far.
How do the these different tools compare to each other in terms of loading data sets and getting the process views mined?
These are tools like Disco (Fluxicon), Mehrwerk from Qlik, PowerBI and potentially any other tool to be considered.
- What would this mean for the existing mining approach and/or project organization?
- Scope of the assignment can be tailored, if necessary
- Remuneration included
- Position is preferably full-time; part-time might be a possibility depending on the right candidate