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Calling All Change Heroes: Why I Joined Celonis

Lars Reinkemeyer pic L
by Lars Reinkemeyer
January 11, 2021
6 min read

Many things in life are easier said than done โ€“ and for business in the last decade, the phrase โ€œwe want to undergo digital transformationโ€ must be up there in the top 10.

It sounds great. In reality, digital transformation, or DX, can be massively frustrating and time-consuming. Often thatโ€™s because companies are approaching it in the wrong way. Until you know whatโ€™s broken, you canโ€™t attempt to fix it. And if you donโ€™t understand that a process isnโ€™t working and causing bottlenecks that have knock-on effects throughout your entire operations, whatโ€™s the point in digitizing it?

Today, too many companies are simply wasting money on digital transformation thanks to rigid and fragmented IT systems as well as inefficient, convoluted, or simply broken processes. Itโ€™s like driving your car down the highway while youโ€™re depressing the brake pedal. Itโ€™s just unnecessary waste.

The topic of digital transformation is on every C-level executiveโ€™s agenda, yet there is a huge gap between talking about change and getting down to it. And sometimes, the sheer extent to which processes are burning through resources is only apparent once you lift the lid. Iโ€™ve even heard it described as akin to opening Pandoraโ€™s Box in some organizations.

This is where Process Mining and the evolution to Execution Management Systems comes to play.

For the last decade many companies discovered that Process Mining has been the key to unlocking their entire digital transformation. This is because process mining makes DX transparent, measurable and tangible. Itโ€™s possible to drive an organizationโ€™s automation efforts with fact-based insights, by setting transparent targets, enabling an organization to see and measure progress.

I could evangelize for hours on this topic. In fact, I already wrote an entire book on the subject, which was published earlier this year: Process Mining in Action: Principles, Use Cases and Outlook. But one chapter the book doesnโ€™t include is the story of how I ended up joining Celonis.

I see it as a once in a lifetime opportunity and a chance to expand on my work at Siemens โ€“ where I (with the help of process mining) was able to derive significant savings and business value across all global functions.

Now my sights are set on a bigger goal โ€“ Iโ€™m aiming to help companies save hundreds of millions โ€“ or perhaps billions โ€“ of dollars by merely identifying and taking steps to identify and unlock trapped execution capacity with all of our customers. Celonis enables a fundamental change in the way organizations and people operate and provides a perfect catalyst for transformation by expanding their process mining core with their Execution Management System.

How I got to know Celonis

This all started back in 2014, when I learned about a start-up in Munich which developed a software solution that used trace data stored in IT systems to reconstruct and visualize IT processes in real time. With the help of this solution, it was possible to discover weaknesses in processes, optimize business operations and thus save costs. At that time I was responsible for Business Intelligence at Siemens and really intrigued to find out more about this process mining system which was able to identify bottlenecks in system efficiency โ€“ such as in processing invoices.

Of course, once you have identified an issue, you have an opportunity to do something about it โ€“ which is why I was convinced from the start that it would be worthwhile running a pilot at Siemens.

Nevertheless, I was still amazed by what an initial Celonis audit of some processes turned up and equally delighted by the results when we started introducing fixes. Some of these bottlenecks were slowing down entire business units.

That was the starting point, and we systematically defragmented entire business value chains at Siemens. At the same time, I had a front-row seat in watching Celonis grow and evolve from being a bootstrapped start-up into a fully-fledged enterprise software company.

As the benefits Siemens realized through the process mining solution grew, so did the levels of interest. One of my keenest counterparts from the start has been Celonis co-founder and co-CEO Alexander Rinke. And when I decided to write a book about Process Mining, Alex provided both insight and encouragement.

Why I joined Celonis

Now I am ready for the next step in my career and I am looking forward to taking my hard-won knowledge and scale it across the entire Celonis customer base. Iโ€™m delighted to be joining Celonis on their amazing journey as I am convinced that the companyโ€™s hypergrowth will continue โ€“ simply because the company adds tremendous value to its growing band of loyal customers in all industries around the globe.

As the Celonaut in charge of Customer Transformation, my first step will be to leverage the power of Centers of Execution Excellence as transition engines for process mining and use these to enable our customers and partners to expand their usage of process mining. I want to help organizations transform their entire organization with the Celonis EMS, the process mining core and intelligent workflow automation. Iโ€™ll take an evangelistic approach to show our customers exactly how to leverage innovative technology to increase business value.

Joining Celonis is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to follow my passion for enabling organizations to leverage data-driven, transaction-based operating models. Weโ€™ll create a blueprint for Centers of Execution Excellence and enable organizations to transform at pace and scale. And Iโ€™m also excited about working with the Celonis' consulting team and partners to drive this transformation at a strategic level across companies โ€“ just as we did at Siemens.

Taking automation to the next level

Celonis is entering its second decade with the unique new Execution Management System which has not only been proven to delight its fast-growing base of customers but to make a massive difference to their bottom line. Whatโ€™s next is an opportunity to take process automation to the next level, as we have the potential to increase execution capacity at even the most complex of organizations.

Just like technologies such as email, excel sheets, or new communication tools like Zoom or Slack, once you have started using a business system such as the Celonis Execution Management System (EMS), you will seriously wonder how you ever managed to do without it.

My goal is to find the change heroes within companies โ€“ people who are passionate about changing. We will give them the fact-based data for driving that change.

If youโ€™re interested in understanding the potential for identifying and driving change in your organization, then Iโ€™d love to hear from you. The same applies if youโ€™re a change enabler looking to take your career to the next level โ€“ because weโ€™re hiring.

Itโ€™s going to be an exciting journey, and weโ€™re ready to accelerate big time. Are you ready to come along for the ride?

Lars Reinkemeyer pic L
Lars Reinkemeyer
Vice President, Customer Transformation

Lars Reinkemeyer joined Celonis from Siemens, where he held multiple senior executive roles and expanded the companyโ€™s own implementation of Celonis process mining. At Siemens, Reinkemeyer created a Celonis Center of Excellence and nurtured a large user community of process and execution experts. Reinkemeyer is the author of Process Mining in Action: Principles, Use Cases and Outlook, published earlier this year.

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