Using Process Mining and Robotic Process Automation to Green Your Business
When thinking about climate change, we’ve all heard of “tree huggers,” but when it comes to helping your business go green, have you ever considered hugging a robot?
We’re kidding (kind of), but today, the combination of process mining and robotic process automation (RPA) can be an extremely effective way to transform your company into a leaner, greener business.
But first, why should you care about going green? The most compelling answer is that you simply can’t afford not to care. The alternative—sticking with the status quo—is probably wasting valuable time, effort, budget, and other resources.
Not being a green organization could also be hurting your brand in the eyes of customers, prospects, and consumers.
People want to do business with companies that have shown a commitment to sustainability and other eco-friendly initiatives. According to global research conducted by Nielsen, 81% of respondents reported that it was either “extremely important” or “very important” that companies they do business with implement programs focused on improving the environment (image below is from the same Nielsen study).
We’re beginning to see this put into practice, both in terms of consumers’ buying behaviors as well as how organizations are changing their strategies and business practices. Last year, Philips garnered positive press for its decision to choose Rabobank over the competition because it was the only green bank in the Netherlands.
It’s true! The combination of process mining and RPA can help you transform your company into a green business. Yet it’s worth mentioning that there are many factors to consider as you get started. For example, you should think about energy consumption levels, supply chain efficiency, how to identify and partner with the ideal partners and vendors, the potential impact on employees and the company culture, and so much more.
Dive deeper: Process Mining Value: What it Means for Your Business
Approaching such an initiative with process mining and RPA can help you develop and apply a valuable framework to achieve your green goals. Starting with process mining can help you analyze and monitor existing business processes and workflows, which then helps users begin to identify the ideal process. Then, RPA enables you to develop software robots to automate and execute these business processes.
However, as you begin planning, there are four interdependent goals that you need to keep in mind. These are the goals you ultimately seek to address with process mining and RPA:
Identify current challenges
Pass it on and make it permanent
Let’s take a closer look at each of these areas and see how they can help you improve your green initiatives.
The first step to improving a process starts by understanding what’s happening now and identifying existing bottlenecks or other obstacles. Ultimately, the goal is to isolate and map out what is happening now, which is a critical first step to enabling more informed business decisions in the future.
As described above, process mining does this extremely well. For example, UiPath Process Mining helps business teams visualize existing processes as they exist now, so they can begin to plan to improve them to minimize their environmental impact.
The second step is where you attempt to enhance process efficiency by creating new, sustainable practices. Specific, more environmental-friendly examples can include:
Saving paper by restricting excessive printing
Digitizing purchase orders and invoice process
Automating and streamlining supply chain operations
Reducing waste anywhere in the organization
The effort is well worth it. When done well, these changes help lead to environmentally friendly practices while also helping reduce costs, increase your competitive advantage, and tighten your bottom line.
When it comes to RPA (and automation in general), most people have misleading perception of that this will actually look like. But they also tend to overlook the true value of RPA.
RPA successfully automates the most time-consuming, error-prone, and repetitive processes that employees usually don’t want to do anyway. Not only does this save them time, but it frees your workers to focus on higher-value, more rewarding work.
This is what we mean when we say humanize the work. In this case, it can become a critical advantage in transforming your company into a green business. Automating employees’ tedious tasks leads to more creative potential to change the company culture. Employees also have even more time to design and implement those high-level strategies that prioritize sustainability.
Greening the business is one of those challenges that can’t be achieved just by automating processes with RPA. It needs creative thinking, hard work, and new ideas. All of this is improved by automating various processes.
Step four tends to be everyone’s favorite part of the process. Going green is like going to the gym or eating healthy—once you start then it becomes "contagious." As more consumers go green and look to do business with similar-minded businesses, companies will adapt in response. Inevitably going green will become trendy (some would argue that’s already happened), leading to green indexes (or sustainability indexes), scorecards, and other measurement tools.
Process mining and RPA don’t just help with increasing efficiency. Process mining delivers new insights into the business. For example, you can track process improvements and publish the results. You can illustrate them with data visualization dashboards. All of this information is critical in reporting, communicating, and celebrating your overall transition.
Process mining and RPA have the potential to revolutionize change in your organization. Process mining helps map the challenge and the potential, and then RPA can automate thousands of man-hours (if not more) of ‘heavy lifting’ tasks. Our data-driven reporting delivers evidence you need to track process progress and help demonstrate your success as an environmentally conscious industry leader.
Find out more about the added value process mining brings to your business by reading this blog post next.
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