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Posted 7 September 2023 by
Philippe Thys
VP of Product & Engineering for Axon Technology

Why Axon?: Supply chain process mining at its peak

Bluecrux. Axon. Digital supply chain twin. Process mining. From the foundation of our company and the services we provide, to the technologies that power them and their distinct capabilities, we’re acutely focused on the global supply chain industry. Other companies might do what we do, but we believe we do it best for the businesses we’re designed and committed to catering to. This includes when it comes to process mining.

According to Gartner, “Process mining tools are designed to discover, monitor and improve processes by extracting knowledge from events captured in information systems to continuously deliver visibility and insights.” In 2011, Wil van der Aalst published a seminal paper on these tools that spurned the launch of the first commercial process mining companies. But should these companies have the last word when it comes to supply chain process mining?

In this blog, we’re focusing on process models, analysis and process model enhancement, taking a closer look at what our competitors offer—and what we see as the Axon advantage.

What you get vs What you need

Most process mining solutions:

  • Limit their process mining services to a single ERP for extracting supply chain artefacts like bill of materials (BoM).
  • Use the design BoM to derive longer-term and persistent association between poor customer service and upstream inventory or capacity issues.
  • Show details about how particular sub-processes (purchasing, manufacturing, picking, purchasing, transportation, etc.) are performed.
    • This means they’re able to offer insight into how these processes can be improved by reducing the average and/or variability.

What supply chain organizations really need, is to:

  • Associate material movements across transactional systems—think ERP, MES, LMS, TMS, WMS, etc.
  • Harmonize scattered information across transactional systems. This enables movements to be associated across systems, even if the movements are not harmonized.
    • For example, mapping different IDs for the same product in different IT systems, mapping time information across heterogenous IT systems in different time zones, etc.
  • Associate a particular customer order with supply orders—purchase, manufacturing, transportation, etc.
    • This will allow organizations to improve on-time delivery for a customer order and determine the impact on demand of a change in supply.
  • Develop an overall value stream map.
    • Providing an end-to-end view of investment at different stages in a supply chain, and thus, enabling end-to-end process improvement.

The Axon advantage

At Axon, we’re focused on object-centric process mining for process industries like pharma, CPG, industrial manufacturing and more. Axon derives the actual BoM from transactions across multiple IT systems to uncover longer-term and persistent associations between poor customer service and upstream inventory or capacity issues. Axon extracts transaction details of the sub-processes for quality assurance and quality control, which we call site parameters, and allows the addition of custom parameters when the data is available in the source systems.

Axon process mining view on a map

Axon’s other key strengths include the ability to:

  • Associate material movements across multiple transactional systems, even if the data is not harmonized across systems.
  • Derive the value stream map of the E2E material movements, which can be used to improve the overall E2E performance.
  • Associate a particular customer order with upstream supply processes, which can be used to evaluate how to improve the on-time delivery of a particular customer order.
  • Eventually identify which orders will be impacted by a current or future change in supply.

If you want to dig deeper into how Axon supports global supply chains in gaining accurate visibility of their network, as well as their actual performance, take a look at this previous article we published, How to analyze material flows using process mining techniques.

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