In the first stage of digital twin development, we looked at business mining. It’s important, because organizations need a clear real-world picture of the processes in practice in their organization before they can start planning improvements. This process view is sometimes called the “as-is,” because it defines how an organization operates today. The “as-is” can be defined through process mining, digital process surveys, or a combination of both.
From “as-is” – to “to-be”
At the second stage, which is modeling, organizations start to scope their direction of travel, and to define how their ideal business processes should look. In other words, they compare the “as-is” to what we might term the “to-be.” The “to-be” model is the destination.
At Capgemini, to start building it, we use the identified process engineering improvements from business mining and our Digital Global Process Models (DGPM), embedding process best practice and pre-identified transformation opportunities to define the process steps that will need to form part of the “to-be.” As part of this, we make use of the BusinessOptix platform, within which we prepare the process flows jointly with the client, combining both “as-is” and “to-be” views.
This, in turn, means the model will be streamlined to deliver the best possible performance. It’s at this point that we set benchmarks for the KPIs we’ll be using. During this phase we integrate the client’s current or future technology landscapes into process modeling, which often involves aligning their processes to new ERP platforms such as SAP S/4HANA.
Some of our clients use this stage as an opportunity to model new processes, and not just to improve current ones. For instance, a multinational logistics business developed a common framework for roles, controls, and systems to be used consistently in a new global process model, and as a result was able to identify opportunities to implement industry best practice and to make improvements.
Modeling in action – an international engineering company
Here’s a modeling case in point. This multinational engineering business wanted to build an operating model platform that would enable it not just to benefit from the SAP S/4HANA landscape, but to keep on doing so through organizational changes in the years to come.
Working closely with the business, we developed an SAP S/4HANA process library on the BusinessOptix platform, comprising all key business processes, including procure-to-pay (P2P), credit-to-cash (C2C), and record-to-analyze (R2A). We customized the global process model, assigning activity owners, ERP transactions, and controls to it that would function as a working guide for the client. We also prepped the process maps for the build and deployment of SAP S/4HANA.
At the same time, we identified opportunities for further automation across the end-to-end process, and we used process design workshops to measure the impact of change, and to guide the overall management.
The result was a fully deployed cloud-based operating model platform, with detailed process flows that were ready to go. The client organization is now able to merge the migration of the SAP system with its organizational changes, and to move from its “as-is” to its “to-be” model.
In the next stage, we’ll take a look at how digital twins can be used in business process simulation. We’ll also look at how digital twins can help organizations transition to – what we call – the Frictionless Enterprise.
Elle Sanchez Cardenas creates target operating models for finance and accounting with an automation first focus to improve transaction cycles, reduce manual effort, and increase capacity within teams. She also designs end to end transformations from process and policy enhancements to touchless processing.