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How Organizations Can Green Their Businesses Through Process Mining and RPA

Organizations today are under increased pressure to not only operate eco-friendly, but also be transparent about their environmental initiatives to customers and stakeholders—all this while also maintaining regular business demands. In fact, according to research conducted by Nielsen, 81% of global consumers reported that it was either “extremely important” or “very important” that companies they do business with implement programs focused on improving the environment. 

To support building leaner, greener businesses, two tools have emerged as being particularly effective: process mining and robotic process automation (RPA). When used in tandem with one another, these technologies can empower business leaders to develop and apply a valuable framework for achieving their sustainability goals and ultimately execute a green overhaul of their operations. Starting with process mining, organizations can analyze and monitor existing workflows, which then helps them identify the ideal processes to revise. Then, RPA enables teams to develop software robots to automate that initiative.

Process mining offers the insights needed to make smarter, greener business decisions

In order to improve operations, businesses first need to understand which areas of business aren’t running as ecofriendly as possible, which they can achieve through process mining.

Process mining software helps organizations easily capture information from enterprise transaction systems and provides detailed—and data-driven—information about how key processes are performing. The program then inputs this information into logs that visualize how work is really happening, including who did it, how long it took and if it fell short of expected standards.

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More than static performance metrics, process mining gives a holistic, end-to-end view of processes and any obstacles along them that enable users to target operational inefficiencies that are wasting resources.

For green-minded businesses, process mining can drive insights around energy consumption, supply chain efficiency, sustainable partners or vendors and more. With this acute level of detail into how their organizations are performing environmentally, leaders can make more informed decisions about where to scale back certain resources or pay more attention, such as supply chain bottlenecks that need reconfiguring. Plus, with clear insights into performance, organizations can then better articulate their green initiatives to stakeholders and customers.

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Doing so can be paramount for business success in today’s society, given that many customers prefer to engage with companies that promote sustainability

RPA puts sustainability plans to action

Upon analyzing the findings from process mining, business leaders can enlist an RPA program to make their environmental goals a reality. Once organizations identify which processes are preventing them from operating as green as possible, they can configure software robots to execute those activities more efficiently and resourcefully. For example, by having employees manage invoices manually, a process mining log might illuminate how organizations are wasting hours of employees’ time in addition to excesses of paper. Instead, organizations can deploy robots to process invoices digitally, sourcing and organizing all necessary information in one virtual hub. As a result, employees have more time to dedicate to projects that require strategic thinking, like designing a sustainable corporate culture. Further, by digitizing operations with RPA, organizations can cut down on unnecessary printing costs by working off of paper-based methods—saving companies’ budgets and the environment. 

Additionally, having robots execute these more manual and tedious tasks solves for compliancy concerns within environmentally regulated environments. This is because when employees are bogged down with repetitive tasks, they not only work less efficiently, but they also become prone to error—which compromises compliancy.

For example, construction sites need up-to-date permits confirming they are operating safely (especially if it’s a facility that handles environmentally hazardous substances, like chemicals), and mismanagement of these permits can result in paused operations or even a major health violation. To avoid such issues, robots can be enlisted to track these permits and ensure workers don’t deviate from protocol. 

Together, process mining and RPA help organizations operate more efficiently

The benefits of using process mining and RPA technologies extend beyond contributing to sustainability efforts. Together, these tools enable organizations to achieve a more efficient business model across the board. By identifying areas of wasted resources and enlisting robots to remedy them—while also enabling employees to increase their output—businesses achieve better profit margins, which in turn enables them to offer more competitive pricing to customers. Further, with employees freed up from their more time-consuming responsibilities, they can focus on more enjoyable, value-add tasks and communicate more thoughtfully with one another and customers. 

As the demand for organizations to be more eco-friendly intensifies, companies can turn to innovations like process mining and RPA to operate resourcefully and compliantly. And while business leaders may adopt new practices for making their companies more efficient for the sake of sustainability, what they’ll quickly learn is that process mining and RPA have the potential to drive business success at scale.

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