Our Expert's view on Process Mining

Today’s expert in the spotlight is Jonas Maeyens, process insights lead at Model8. He is a problem solver at heart and a tech enthusiast with an entrepreneurial mindset and a strong interest in business process analysis and optimization. It is this passion that he set out to explore further when he founded Model8 as part of the RoboRana Group. Model8 provides companies with an x-ray of their business processes, revealing the sources of process pain and providing actionable insights. As such, Model8 today is an important link in the ecosystem that the RoboRana Group has become, as it plays a crucial part in propelling organizations forward in their journey towards an autonomous enterprise through the power of process mining.


How did you come to build a career in process mining?

I have a technical background and hold a master’s degree in industrial engineering, with a minor in computer science. Back in the day, I wrote my thesis on process mining and that’s when I first discovered its true potential. Although at the time, six years ago, process mining had already been around for quite some years, it was not until recently that the hype truly skyrocketed. After my studies, I started my career in ERP consulting (Enterprise ResourcePlanning).

As a result, I found myself really close to the processes that are at the core of most organizations—intensive processes such as order-to-cash or Accounts Payable. ERP implementations always took quite some time, and we often were a fair bit into the implementation when it became clear that the outline of the process was different from what we expected it to be from the start. It was at that point I wanted to refocus on the power of process mining, as this is exactly what the concept can prevent.

Jonas, what is the autonomous enterprise exactly?

We live in a volatile, ambiguous, and complex world. Businesses around the globe are plagued by uncertainty, trends or a chain of events that can’t quite be predicted—such as the pandemic or the war in Ukraine—but severely impact their operations and the economy in general. The solution to this lies in agility. Businesses need to become autonomous enterprises, able to respond quickly to setbacks and sudden shifts by virtue of highly automated and intelligent business processes and operations. As I see it, the autonomous enterprise is flexible, keen on efficiency, and seeks to automate as many manual tasks as possible, but always with a human in the loop who is skilled and has the right mindset.

The Autonomous Enterprise by RoboRana Group
The Autonomous Enterprise by RoboRana Group

What is keeping organizations from making this journey to become an autonomous enterprise?

The people who run companies today need to make a lot of decisions. But they do so based on what? Advice from the board? Intuition? Reports and statistics? Most businesses would like to believe that they are data-driven because they should be, but in fact, they are not. Leaders want to steer their organizations towards more promising and stable future but they can’t, because they are blinded by inefficiency and a lack of transparency in the processes that ought to drive their business forward. Can you blame them? No. Most employees today are not trained to analyze processes, let alone decide how to optimize them. Automation is a discipline and mindset. This takes time and guidance.

How is process mining part of the answer to this challenge?

The journey towards the autonomous enterprise, which is circular because it holds continuous improvement at its core, is made up of six principles. This ever-revolving journey starts with vision by leadership, with having people at the helm who understand the importance of data and processes and who can map out a solid strategy to support this vision. The second principle is about understanding your digital footprint, and knowing your processes in digital detail, which has become increasingly difficult in recent years. Processes are becoming ever so complex and siloed, with multiple systems and tools interacting with each other. It’s hard to get a clear overview, but that’s where process mining tools come in. Process mining creates transparency in business processes, which in turn generates valuable data insights that support management decision-making and boost agility, cost efficiency and productivity.But process mining also unlocks human potential and challenges data maturity among employees.  

What’s Model8’s approach to process mining?

For me, it’s important to first take a step back. Automation, despite what many businesses believe, is a means to an end rather than the goal itself. Process mining allows us to look at the complete picture and assess based on data, and not intuition or opinion, what the next step forward should be. If automation is the way to go, great, but maybe there are other means to improve efficiency.You see, traditionally, processes were analyzed merely through dialogue with the people that managed them. But this is prone to personal bias and subjectivity.

Through process mining, we can extract all relevant data and map a process objectively. For example, through process mining we made the process of 'ticket' handling transparent within a customer department. We determined how long each step took and how many times each step was completed. In doing so, we identified bottlenecks in the process and made a business case for automation, as we were able to simulate and predict what the impact of automation would be by means of for example an RPA bot. As such, simulation enables us to make objective assessments for management to base decisions on.

Simulation, you mean thanks to artificial intelligence?

Indeed. Process mining is a descriptive process as it charts a certain situation ‘as is’. But through artificial intelligence, you can benefit from these historical process data to look ahead and determine the next step in the process. In doing so, you shift from a descriptive perspective to a predictive way of working. And that’s what’s key in this journey towards the autonomous enterprise. Every step, every principle, builds on the previous one. Process mining provides insights, a basis for progression, but it’s only the way in which you act on these insights that determines their value. And that’s the power of the RoboRana Group. After Model8 provides insights through process mining, the other RoboRana companies are brought in to put these insights to good use by automating and optimizing. As the RoboRana Group navigates organizations on their journey to becoming an autonomous enterprise, they are supported every step of the way by people and professionals with complementary skill sets.

What does the future hold for process mining and Model8?

I hope that within about five to ten years time organizations will be able to fully automate all actions within transactional platforms such as ERP and CRM, except for minor cases where human intervention is needed. The impact would be significant. With Model8, and as part of the RoboRana ecosystem, I hope to play a part in making this possible. Also, I want to put process mining on the map in Belgium and establish Model8 as the benchmark when it comes to process mining.

Jonas Maeyens
April 10, 2023

Other resources

Empowering the Future of Intelligent Automation

A Journey through Low-Code Development with Lotte Harrijvan



Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros



Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros



By submitting your details, you consent to us processing and handling your data and commitment to protecting your privacy, check our Privacy Policy for more information.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Filter #1 - Industry
This is some text inside of a div block.
Filter #2 - Technology
Filter #3 - Entity
Filter #4 - Partner
No items found.