Task Mining for Process Improvement at Professional Services Organisation
A management consultancy with business units in the UK, US, and India was having trouble with a slow invoicing process, which led to delays in getting paid by customers. So, the client engaged BPM-D® to dig into the invoicing portion of their Order-to-Cash (O2C) process. By utilizing their Rapid Process Improvement (RPI) approach and FortessIQ Process Intelligence, BPM-D quickly uncovered and resolved process inconsistencies, which reduced process times by 24%.
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BPM-D used their RPI approach to help the client understand where to focus O2C improvement efforts. A complete process impact and maturity assessment was required, but it had to begin with a granular analysis of the O2C process itself.
Challenge & Opportunity
Delays in an O2C process directly impact cash flow, and that is bad for any business. When the client discovered invoice creation times could take up to 20 days, it caused much concern. Inconsistencies in invoice processing were behind much of the delay, but a quick investigation uncovered even more O2C process uncertainty. The client found inconsistent and sporadic usage of the dedicated project planning & accounting software that was deployed to eliminate such issues.
We used our RPI approach to help the client quickly understand where to focus O2C improvement efforts. A complete process impact and maturity assessment were required, but it had to begin with a granular analysis of the O2C process itself. The long invoice creation times were just a symptom of bigger O2C challenges, and we needed an end-to-end process discovery and process intelligence to determine the root cause.
The RPI project was initiated by identifying the client’s key value drivers and how those were supported by their internal processes. We began by creating a process repository of the as-is process models using the FortressIQ Process Intelligence platform. These insights formed a foundation for the RPI framework to define improvement actions. Execution of those actions then delivers on the improvement agenda to support the client’s overall strategy.
Timesheets were the source of the initial issue, FortressIQ was used to conduct a data-driven investigation of the related processes. The resulting process intelligence provided click-by-click insights into the process instead of the typical high level overview that process mining offers.
The project followed three phases:
- Data Collection: FortressIQ monitored multiple workers over one week. Participants filled out timesheets as normal, with no disruption or intrusion into their typical process so an accurate assessment could be made.
- Process Intelligence: FortressIQ used machine learning to identify patterns in the data and create groups of process instances for mapping and analysis. Using the seamless FortressIQ integration, process data was then exported to Microsoft Power BI for analysis.
- Process Analysis: Using Power BI, a single analyst sifted through the results in just 3-4 days, creating dashboards to visualise the data and identify process roadblocks and optimization opportunities.
In just two weeks, BPM-D collected sufficient data on the timesheet submission process using FortressIQ, investigated the data, and created insightful visualisations in PowerBI. This produced conclusive outputs to optimise the timesheet submission process, including a plan to enforce timely submissions.
Using the optimized process, employees saved more than 24% of time spent on timesheet submission. Additional analysis showed that employees in particular regions caused delays when recalling and recording timesheets weekly, and many even waited to submit several weekly timesheets every 2-3 weeks. Insights from FortressIQ pointed to the absence of a standardized process as the root cause of most late submissions.
BPM-D then analysed deeper process steps to identify and visually demonstrate the most efficient process. The findings were then used to drive behavioural change resulting in a significant reduction in late timesheets, thereby eliminating much friction from the overall O2C process.
Scaling this across a global organization with multiple related processes creates the potential for huge time and cost savings, including: