Process Intelligence for Supply Chains and Manufacturing

George Gemeinhardt

February 2, 2023

In a fast-paced, constantly evolving business environment, gaining access to the correct data in real time is critical for enabling your supply chain and manufacturing initiatives. Process Intelligence for Supply Chains and Manufacturing

Process intelligence gives you a detailed understanding of your processes, including controlling their sources of variability, and helps you achieve process excellence throughout the entire product life cycle.

Identifying Process Bottlenecks

Bottlenecks in your supply chain and manufacturing can lead to production delays, overstocking materials, and missed or delayed payments. These problems can impact productivity, employee morale, and customer satisfaction.

To identify bottlenecks, conduct a capacity analysis of your production process. This includes looking at all the different stages of the production process and analyzing how each one is performing.

This data can be used in most cases to identify short-term and long-term bottlenecks. For example, a machine that consistently breaks down is probably a long-term bottleneck.

Another way to spot bottlenecks is by observing the output of your production line. Increasing the throughput of a work center or resource that is not a bottleneck will only do a little to improve your overall production.

It’s essential to be able to quickly identify these issues so you can solve them before they cause more damage. Sometimes, it may take a long time to pinpoint the root cause of the bottleneck, but once you do, you can begin to find solutions.

Identifying Process Variations

Process intelligence tools can help identify process variations within your supply chain and manufacturing processes that affect operational performance. Whether they are related to influxes of orders, low inventory, shipment delays, distribution system inefficiencies, or a combination of factors, these variations can cause inconsistencies in how operations run and impact a company’s bottom line.

Continuous process discovery allows you to capture variances that happen across different shifts, locations, and roles. This helps to refine or tailor processes as needed, thus improving operational efficiency and reducing costs.

Process mining solutions collect event logs from enterprise systems (ERP, CRM, SAP) and create maps of variants – sequences of steps/tasks involved – which can be used for process discovery, optimization, and standardization. These insights also aid in checking for compliance and risks.

Identifying Process Inefficiencies

Every organization strives to create a streamlined, efficient workplace. They want their employees to be happy and satisfied with their work and their clients to continue doing business with them month after month.

Processes can become inefficient over time, however. These inefficiencies can result in lost profits, lower morale, and decreased customer satisfaction.

Inefficient processes can also make it more difficult for companies to hire and retain talented workers. This can lead to high turnover rates throughout an entire team.

It can also prevent people from getting the education or experience they need for their job. It can also result in a lack of communication between different departments and with the client.

Identifying and fixing inefficiencies in supply chains and manufacturing is vital to a company’s success. You can quickly improve your business workflows using a systematized approach to identify inefficiencies.

Identifying Process Opportunities

Across the supply chain, many processes can be used to create goods, from raw materials to finished products. For manufacturers, the entire supply chain is a complex web of relationships and connections that require a lot of planning and coordination.

Process intelligence can help manufacturers uncover these opportunities and make them happen. By capturing end-to-end data from each system, it can surface relevant events and provide insight into process variances occurring in near real-time.

With process intelligence, managers can use these insights to standardize processes and make them work smarter. They can also see how changes in working schedules or volume could impact process performance and objectives.

Getting more profound and granular visibility into work means a greater focus on automation, digital transformation, compliance improvements, and more. This requires a centralized system of record to capture process data at scale and ensure that it’s accurate.