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3 Process Mining Success Stories and 6 Common Use Cases

Rachel Nizinski, Appian
June 5, 2023

Process mining is a trusted tool for continuous improvement. It helps you understand your business processes as they actually are, shows you all of the variants and deviations, and provides suggested explanations for why process problems are occurring.

Knowing how process mining works is one thing—putting it into practice is another. How do you know what makes a process a good candidate for mining? And how can you build a business case that a process needs to be mined? 

Process mining is helpful in many scenarios, whether you want to visualize your process for the first time, uncover more detailed insights for compliance or efficiency, or determine the cause of a suspected bottleneck. As long as your processes have data to back them up, there will be new things to learn and efficiencies to find.

To get started or bolster your case for process mining, use this list of some of the most common use cases and three instructive real-life examples of process mining success. 

[ Learn best practices. Get the Process Mining Guide for tips on process mining and optimization. ]

6 common process mining use cases.

Process mining is closely tied to continuous improvement, which originated in automobile manufacturing and has since gained popularity in industries across the board. Common use cases for process mining include:

  1. Finance and procurement processes, such as procure-to-pay (P2P), order-to-cash (O2C), and accounts payable/receivable (AP/AR).
  2. Banking, financial services, and insurance processes, such as customer onboarding, risk monitoring, and fraud detection.
  3. Public sector processes, such as quality management, procurement, and tax administration.
  4. Healthcare and pharmaceutical processes, such as patient onboarding, clinical trials, and physician referrals.
  5. Manufacturing processes, such as production planning, inventory management, and plant maintenance.
  6. IT service management processes, such as incident management, system migration, and change requests.

[ Want to learn more about banking and insurance process optimization? Get the guides: Powering Seamless KYC Operations and Unlocking the Power of Connected Underwriting. ]

3 process mining success stories.

Not all process mining products are created equal. Often, the companies that have the most success with their process mining projects are those that implement them alongside other methods for end-to-end process optimization, like those found in a platform for process automation.

To get some ideas for your next project, check out these inspiring process mining success stories from real organizations that tackled critical process challenges.

1. Optimizing a credit and rebill process.

TK Elevator (TKE) is a global manufacturer and servicer of elevators, escalators, and moving walkways with over 50,000 employees and 24,000 service technicians operating in over 100 countries. Currently, there are over 18 million escalators and elevators installed worldwide that move over a billion people every day. And as more people move to cities, the need for elevators and escalators—along with the need for service—is outpacing the number of technicians to do the work, making the case for prioritizing process optimization. 

As illustrated during their presentation at Appian World 2023, TKE’s Center of Excellence is hyper-focused on building streamlined processes. But prior to their process mining engagement with Appian, they rarely looked back at their existing processes to see how they were doing. TKE’s credit and rebill process is complex, with a lot of touchpoints and a high volume of cases, making it an easy choice for their first project. 

With Appian Process Mining, TKE found that the process has a lot of variants—232 to be exact—and that 60% of their cases fell within two variants. Drilling into these, they identified an unnecessary approval step that added an average of 2 to 3.5 days to the overall cycle time. They also found that 10% of all requests eventually got canceled due to a lack of sufficient information, something that could easily be solved by adding extra guardrails in certain cases.

With these insights, TKE now has a clear action plan for improving the credit and rebill process, with the potential to save over 2,000 manager hours per year, increase operational efficiency, and reduce overall cycle time.

[ Learn more about TKE’s automation journey. Watch the video from Appian World 2023. ]

2. Accelerating improvements in utilities processes.

Stadtwerke Bonn provides gas, electricity, and water to residents, with a mission to deliver “fair and climate-friendly energy” with exceptional customer service.

Guided by that mission, the company set a strategic goal to reduce operational costs while improving customer satisfaction, starting with their meter-to-cash (M2C) process. Stadtwerke Bonn launched a process mining initiative with Appian to get a look under the hood of its M2C workflows. 

With process mining, Stadtwerke Bonn found that roughly 75% of its plausibility checks were unnecessary, accounting for up to 571 working days. Stadtwerke Bonn also identified new value opportunities by automating manual tasks. The end result? More efficient workflows and time-saving automation that optimizes operations, reduces costs, and boosts customer satisfaction.

[ Learn more about Statdtwerke Bonn’s process mining project. Read the customer story.

3. Improving transparency in healthcare processes.

Alexianer is a non-profit organization that runs 27 hospitals, providing all levels of care. The association also includes 44 nursing homes and 27,900 employees. While the organizational structure spans nine regions throughout Germany, from Aachen to Saxony-Anhalt, the services are always oriented toward the people on site. 

In emergencies, efficient processes are crucial for rapid care, while process transparency offers added value for the company itself. Alexianer needed a more effective billing process and a way to optimize critical emergency room processes.

In a pilot project of data-based process optimization in hospital operations, the Alexianer GmbH proves the importance of digital transformation for the quality of care of its patients. 

With Appian Process Mining, they have created a basis for optimizing critical hospital processes, leading to improved quality of care for patients, an 80% reduction in waiting time between patient discharge and final invoice, and improved communication across departments. 

“Doctors, patients and nursing staff give every day their best, but our process sequences still had significant potential for optimization. The data showed: we were already good. With Appian Process Mining we became even better.”
– Gerrit Krause, Head of Unit Care and Process Management, Alexianer GmbH 

[ Learn more about Alexianer’s process mining project. Read the case study. ]

Get started with your process mining project.

Manual process improvement approaches can be incredibly time-consuming, requiring  observations, interviews, manual time tracking, and a lot of discussions. But with process mining, you can automatically visualize your actual process based on data within seconds.

It’s easy to see why businesses are turning to process mining tools to improve and optimize critical workflows. With faster process discovery, automated process analysis, and the ability to monitor process improvements over time, organizations that take a digital approach to process optimization get results faster, so they can do more with less.

Want expert advice? Get the Process Mining Guide for tips on process optimization success.