Companies are increasingly recognizing the importance of business processes for corporate success. As a result, the number of companies dealing with process management and actively working towards making their processes more efficient and sustainably improving them is on the rise. These are the findings of the “Process Management & Analytics 2021” survey conducted by the management and technology consultancy Bearing Point in German-speaking countries.


Hope for efficiency gains

The key drivers for the growing interest in process management are efficiency gains and digital transformation. Meanwhile, 83% of companies consider process management important or very important. In view of challenging framework conditions, companies are coming under increasing cost pressure in international competition and hope to achieve greater efficiency and lower costs through optimized processes.


However, the greater appreciation that process management enjoys in companies is not automatically accompanied by successful implementation. In particular, the targeted cost savings often fall short of expectations. Only 36% of respondents state that the cost reductions actually achieved are on the scale previously expected. According to the study authors, the reasons for this are exaggerated expectations on the one hand and a lack of expertise within the company to identify and implement suitable measures on the other.


Technological requirements must be right

Another aspect that was not investigated in the study, but which can nevertheless be a cause for the lack of success in process improvement, is a company’s lack of technological prerequisites. To reduce process costs, for example, a high degree of automation is required. Often, however, at least individual sub-processes still run manually and paper-based because the necessary technologies for process support either do not exist or are not used consistently. In addition, seamless integration of the various systems is required so that companies can map their business processes holistically and digitally. Here, too, there is a need to catch up in many places.


Measurable results

Qualitative added values – greater transparency, better collaboration, a clear understanding of roles and tasks – are undoubtedly important achievements resulting from process management. At the same time, however, companies also strive for measurable results in order to be able to prove the positive effects of process management. 66% of companies regularly carry out corresponding measurements, some of which reveal significant benefits. Typical benefits are, for example, an increase in the degree of automation, an increase in customer satisfaction, a reduction in the error rate or an acceleration of process runtimes.


Process mining holds a lot of potential

Process mining refers to the visualization of process flows using transaction data from the underlying IT systems. Companies are increasingly recognizing this as a valuable tool for analyzing, optimizing and automating their processes. The study concludes that a large number of companies have already engaged in process mining. However, most of them are still in the discovery and evaluation phase. Of the companies that are already using process mining operationally, 48% are satisfied with the results and only 15% are dissatisfied. These figures indicate that process mining offers considerable potential for gaining insights into a company’s own processes and taking effective measures for process optimization on this basis.


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