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Getting to Process Excellence with Business Process Simulation
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Getting to Process Excellence with Business Process Simulation

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Nearly half of all companies view Process Excellence as mission-critical to achieve strategic objectives. And it can deliver for companies that take Process Excellence seriously: For example, the Boston Consulting Group reports EBITA boasts of 5-15% and cost savings of, depending on the process, up to 30%. However, the results of Process Excellence vary widely - the best companies achieve up to 6-7 times the ROI of their peers, identifies McKinsey in an overview of case studies.

This blog will outline how your company can use Business Process Simulation (BPS) and Digital Twins to support your Process Excellence practices. Using BPS will ensure that your company is among the top performers by maximising value throughout the entire improvement cycle and minimising the time and resources of each iteration - all while laying the foundation for Operational and Business Excellence through Digital Twins of the Enterprise (DTEs).

What is Process Excellence?

Process Excellence is the continuous optimisation of your business processes to maximise efficiency, consistency, quality, speed, and customer value. However, it is neither an end-state nor a specific transformation initiative or improvement. Process Excellence refers to the culture and mindset to pursue ever-better processes, adapt processes to new conditions and circumstances, and make continuous changes to improve outcomes.

How can Companies Achieve Process Excellence?

Companies use various techniques and methodologies to work towards Process Excellence and unlock its benefits. Critical to the spirit of Process Excellence is the continuous and ongoing approach to optimising processes that Six Sigma’s DMAIC improvement cycle best describes:

  1. Define: The first step is to identify and define a business problem, the improvement’s goal, and success criteria. For example, a company may pursue cost and speed optimisation of its order-to-cash process among one of its many subsequent and sequential initiatives that compose its Process Excellence programme.
  2. Measure: Next, the performance of the as-is process needs to be established. Companies may, for example, use Business Intelligence (BI) tools or process mining to identify how well they are doing compared to their defined targets, industry benchmarks, or competitive peers.
  3. Analyse: During the analysis phase, Process Excellence professionals may use tools such as statistical analyses, process mapping, and process mining to identify the root causes of problems and optimisation potential.
  4. Improve: Pursuing lean processes, Process Excellence professionals may, for example, reduce waste such as transport time. Among many alternatives, they may reengineer processes, transform IT systems, or automate tasks and activities.
  5. Control: Lastly, Process Excellence professionals check that their changes yield the targeted outcomes and identify causes of divergence from the plan.

However, while Process Excellence can yield significant improvements, companies going through the continuous improvement cycle benefit diversely. For example, McKinsey finds that the ROI of robotic process automation can vary between 30 and as much as 200 per cent in the initial year after implementation.

How can Silico Support your Process Excellence Through the Entire Improvement Cycle?

Business Process Simulation is the obvious next step for companies already pursuing Process Excellence and those wanting to get started. It ensures that your company is getting the most out of its initiatives!

“A key trend I expect and hope to see to be more mature in 2023 is process simulation. [...] Turning insights into foresights will be the next natural step for rapid and sustainable process improvement.”

Vladimiro Ferreira, Head of Automation Center of Excellence (CoE) and Innovation Manager at SEG Automotive, in PEX Network’s Top 11 Operational Excellence Trends in 2023

Digital Twins of business processes with forward-looking simulation capabilities can aid Process Excellence throughout the continuous improvement cycle:


Business Process Simulation can help your process teams to identify the most relevant issues in your processes. While many Process Excellence initiatives focus on ad-hoc cost improvements, companies should also take advantage of more significant, longer-term opportunities. Digital Twins of your processes analyse your processes with real-time data and forecast process outcomes in different scenarios and circumstances – think of it as predictive maintenance for your business processes. For example, BPS can identify if the capacity of your order-to-cash process is sufficient to cope with the increasing order volumes your sales team is forecasting. A forecast of rising backlogs and lead times may then define the business problem of this iteration of the improvement cycle.


Rather than just looking backwards at historical data, BPS can forecast your process KPIs in forward-looking scenarios and establish a baseline of your future as-is performance. Future conditions – such as case volumes or FTE resources – will likely differ from today’s and alter your KPIs. Rather than comparing yourself against historical performance under past circumstances, BPS enables you to establish a baseline of your future performance against which your transformation initiative can be measured.


Business Process Simulation can turbocharge the insights you generate from process mapping, mining, or BI analyses. You can build Digital Twins rapidly based on existing process assets to provide a virtual, risk-free environment to analyse your process. For example, using what-if scenarios or more advanced simulation tools, BPS can determine where backlogs will accumulate in different scenarios and indicate which tasks and activities to improve. It also allows you to quantify the impact of qualitative, soft problem structuring tools such as fishbone diagrams and contributes to your root cause analysis.


Digital Twins then enable the identification of optimal process designs by providing a virtual, risk-free environment to experiment with alternative structures and input values. It can identify the contribution to KPI improvements of individual and combined process improvements, uncover unforeseen consequences, and highlight additional requirements.


During the transformation and improvement of the process, BPS can aid in monitoring the progress of KPIs and identify required corrective actions to achieve targets. Process KPIs do not exhibit step changes but often develop smoothly from their as-is to their to-be level as backlogs decrease. Digital Twins linked to real-time data of your system can assess if you are on the right track to achieve your strategic objectives, identify the causes of divergence, and highlight the need for corrective actions. These outcomes continue beyond process-specific ones. For example, Celonis finds that nearly 60% of process excellence leaders need help with the financial impact of process excellence projects. Digital Twins developed with BPS are highly scalable and can be expanded, for example, to complex financial models to plug straight into cash flow.

How can Silico Speed up Iterations and Time-to-Value of the Improvement Cycle?

Business Process Simulation can unlock the above benefits with minimal time-to-value, costs, and risks for your organisation. Much more data is available in companies today through, for example, process mapping and BI tools. Moreover, many established companies have already mapped their processes for compliance purposes. Silico’s Business Process Simulation platform is especially well integrated into the existing process ecosystem, and it can utilise existing resources and assets to develop Digital Twins at speed and ease.

“Rapid improvement projects will be the focus, with a basis in Agile or define, measure, analyse, improve and control (DMAIC) methodologies.”

Vineet Mehra General manager, Product Head and Functional Process Owner of Order-to-Cash at Maersk, in the PEX Network’s Trends and predictions in process excellence 2023

Using our advanced tools, Silico can develop Digital Twins of your business processes in as little as four weeks, greatly accelerating the value you obtain from your Process Excellence activities.

Turbocharge your Process Excellence Initiatives Today!

Start using Business Process Simulation and Digital Twins of your processes today to turbocharge your Process Excellence initiative. Silico executes pilot projects in 4 weeks, enabling you to unlock and test the benefit of FutureSight rapidly for your projects, while supporting you all the way to maximising the ROI of transformation initiatives and continuous improvements.

Download our BPS Guide