It has been a question that I have been asked in one form or another many times over the course of my career. Variations on the following:
Are our processes being followed?
Are we in compliance?
Can we identify areas of process improvement?
Can we speed up the process?
How often is a process branch chosen?
All questions that I had trouble answering, since in the majority of cases data was not collected, and if it was collected it was very time consuming & difficult to analyse, mostly a manual process. It was very difficult to work with extended processes like Order to Cash, Procure to Pay. At best I could look at cutting a Sales Order or a Purchase Order. So, I was very interested when I ran across a presentation from Tech Ed http://tinyurl.com/qjmnl8z Process Intelligence for SAP Business Suite and SAP S/4 Hana.
The session extract:
SAP Operational Process Intelligence powered by SAP HANA enables process participants and lines of business managers to drive the execution of their operational business processes. Learn how you can help them increase process visibility by defining goals, milestones, and KPIs while measuring and driving the process accordingly.
What intrigued me about the presentation was that it showed how to look at the complete process instead of portions, and enabling KPI's on execution and not just results (e.g. total time of the process, and not just dollars ordered). So we can start answering the above types of questions.
About 8 min into the presentation there is a demonstration of the Order to Cash cycle and at about 22 min in there is a similar demo of the Procure to Pay Cycle. Some of the improvements that some companies got when using the tools where amazing. Quoted in the presentation; 40% less maverick buying, 35% increase in automation of purchasing activities, 50% less manual interventions.
While it is a technical presentation (goes into how to set things up) I can see a lot of benefit for the business in using such tools.