This case study highlights how one of the world’s largest dairy companies turned to automated testing, leveraging Worksoft’s unique business process discovery technology, to ensure end-to-end quality and efficiency across their enterprise.
This company’s core strategy for success was to cut costs and continuously improve operational efficiency. As they continued to add more lines of business and expand into new geographies, they were becoming less and less efficient. Each geography had developed their own way of doing things, and the company now had multiple versions of each of their business processes. Empirical evidence suggested that many of the processes being used within the geographies were less than ideal.
There was no objective way to measure and identify the best and worst processes across regions. Best practices were undocumented and management lacked visibility into basic processes, including branch location inventory, sales orders for distribution, and contract fulfillment. Further complicating the picture was that they had several instances of SAP running across their organization. With the growing system sprawl, IT was challenged to keep up with ongoing updates and changes to the system.
Manual testing was being used to validate changes in the enterprise. Each project was a “wave,” and an agile iteration methodology promoted each wave. Testing was dependent on available documentation and was time-consuming and error-prone.
The company knew if they could determine the most optimal processes, consolidate to a single SAP system, and get everyone to use the optimized processes, they could dramatically transform operations. The plan was to identify, document, and prioritize business processes across six core regions as part of the consolidation effort. Consistent processes would bring best practices from each region across the enterprise, simplifying future change activity. This, combined with optimization of business processes, would enable accelerated testing and lower the risk of business disruption.
But first, they’d have to identify what the best processes were. Capturing these processes manually would be time-consuming and error-prone. How can the company possibly know their actual processes and the variations without interviewing all of the business users? It would take months to do so, and the information would be outdated and unreliable by that time. With the need to discover and document their “as-is” business processes – it was clear automation was required.
With both IT and business teams looking to achieve the same objective of process understanding, Worksoft Analyze was introduced as a technology to help both. Analyze automatically discovers business processes as users perform their normal daily activities. This eliminates the need for diagramming, interviews, or manual process modeling. It captures end-to-end processes including keystrokes and screenshots and creates a comprehensive, visual view of business process variations and practices.
Automated Discovery and Business Process Optimization Analysis
Worksoft Analyze’s capture technology was leveraged by business users across the organization and it was as simple as starting and stopping the technology to automatically capture normal activity execution. Collecting business process information from the organization in parallel eliminated time consuming interviews and manual process documentation creation – and meant the data was timely and accurate.
The organization then consolidated the business process intelligence from hundreds of users and analyzed them to see:
- Variations in processes
- Processes used the most and those used the least
- How much time each step in the process took
With this analysis, they identified best practice process paths for each geography – and ultimately, established best practices worldwide. This insight not only drove the systems consolidation effort, but there were a number of additional benefits.
Worksoft Analyze’s business process discovery also helped the company automatically generate step-bystep documentation and flowcharts. This was used to create consistent training materials for worldwide operations.
The same captured business processes also became assets for automated business process testing. Ensuring business processes were being executed as designed was dependent on the knowledge of actual business processes. Automatic discovery, documentation, and the resulting optimization greatly accelerated the creation of an end-to-end test library. Teams could quickly identify what should be tested, where the risks were, and how the processes should be tested – giving them a jump-start on building the necessary test automation.
To see all the benefits that this large dairy company gained from automation and the amount of money they saved – be sure to read our white paper here.