Can process mining help procurement boost sustainability?

With procurement leaders under ever increasing pressure to improve their sustainability strategies, how can process mining give you an advantage?

Procurement leaders have a vital role to play, as organisations and businesses rely on procurement to not only mitigate supply chain compliance risks, but also bring visibility to Scope 3 and greenhouse gas emissions.  A key blocker continues to be having visibility across the supply chain and across the full life cycle of goods poses challenges when data is marooned in siloed systems and stuck in spreadsheets.

“By harnessing process intelligence technologies, such as process mining, procurement leaders will be empowered to truly understand their impact on the planet, and achieve their sustainability goals - with every decision they make,” explains Janina Bauer, Global Head of Sustainability at Celonis.

What is process mining?

Process mining involves analysing operational processes using event logs, and enables businesses to make more informed decisions. It can help organisations embrace sustainability criteria in the purchasing function by acting like an ‘X-Ray’ on existing data, allowing business leaders to spot inefficiencies and understand the full journey of the goods they sell.

“For many companies, the data required for a real-time view of their emissions - including Scope 3 - is already there, often buried in transactional data in ERP software and Excel spreadsheets or siloed carbon accounting tools,” adds Bauer.   “For procurement professionals, the first step is to extract this data using process mining, then supplement it with sustainability data to gain insights on where emissions reductions can be made.”

A three-dimensional approach 

Normal process mining can help drive sustainability in procurement, but it can only to a certain extent. Object-centric process mining offers a new ‘three-dimensional approach’, taking an overview across different systems.  “Rather than monitoring individual processes and treating them as isolated entities, OCPM enables companies to create a complete digital twin that captures all the objects and events in the business,” adds Bauer. “Put another way, it shows the interactions between areas such as order management, procurement, supply chain and production, and unleashes the full power of process mining.”

A sustainable future

With pressure on procurement teams to further their sustainability agenda, they are having to find new ways to develop incremental competitive advantages.  “Going forward, organisations that fail to get a grip on sustainability across the whole of the supply chain will be punished by customers and investors ‘voting with their wallets’” says Bauer. “Too often, ESG reporting is vague, manual, and fails to deliver the insights procurement leaders need to drive real change on the ground every day. OCPM, combined with sustainability information derived from trusted partners, can offer procurement leaders the information they need to boost their sustainability efforts.”


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Other magazines that may be of interest - Supply Chain Magazine | Sustainability Magazine


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