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Celonis' object-centric approach drives smarter decisions up and down the supply chain

In supply chains, there has been a continuous rise in demand for process mining to provide a clear, data-driven view of a business process’ quality, helping supply chain leaders fix inefficiencies and make smart, data-driven decisions.

The traditional “case-centric” process mining approach provides valuable insights into a chosen case by efficiently tracking the performance against KPIs. This method is linear and tends to overlook granular data and create potential gaps in the context the data should provide. Consequently, case-centric process mining often fails to handle increasingly interconnected and heterogeneous processes across departments, systems, and regions.

To overcome this limitation, Celonis has formulated a set of next-gen applications built upon an object-centric process mining model, enabling simultaneous analysis of interrelated objects and events involved in business processes.

The object-centric process mining model promises faster time-to-value

In object-centric process mining, unlike in the traditional case-centric approach, events are associated with objects rather than individual cases, allowing for a comprehensive view of complex and interactive processes from various angles and providing a simultaneous view for end-to-end visibility. It also follows a system-agnostic data model instead of a case-centric approach that requires system-specific configuration.

Exhibit 1: From a linear view of the supply chain to a networked and connected view of the network

Exhibit-1-204 object centric process mining before and now

Source: Celonis 2024

The object-centric process mining approach involves defining data only once, leading to faster setup times. It requires more straightforward configurations compared to case-centric process mining. This approach enables the users to identify and address inefficiencies, leading to improved outcomes such as reduced excess inventory, better material availability, and shorter lead times.

HFS believes the implicit benefits of the object-centric process mining approach are that clients could try out new processes and scale rapidly with minimal effort. New processes can be implemented with fewer steps without worrying about the present process spaghetti.

Celonis is creating an app universe targeting different supply chain problems

Built upon the fundamentals of object-centric process mining, Celonis has developed several applications solving specific supply chain issues:

  • The Control Center App uses intelligent inventory classification to prevent stockouts and avoid obsolete stock.

  • The Master Data Improvement App studies consumption and replenishment patterns to improve safety stock.

  • The Material Shortages App studies the upstream and downstream impact of shortages to suggest alternate sources of stock.

These apps make it easier for customers to understand, adopt, and consume the platform. Instead of replacing a whole system, Celonis apps are placed on top of the systems to act as intelligent orchestrators across the stack. There are 100+ prebuilt connectors for the most widely used systems for integration purposes. The connectors easily integrate data across transactional and analytical systems in real time, helping businesses find hidden value opportunities, recommend actions, and process interventions.

The end-to-end Lead Times App is the latest and most significant addition to this app universe. This app identifies bottlenecks across sourcing, production, and distribution processes to compress lead times.

Celonis’ End-to-End Lead Times App provides a holistic view of the supply chain

The Celonis’ End-to-End Lead Times App addresses the challenges of decoupled processes, connecting diverse source systems, transforming data into a centralized model, and integrating information from different processes. It can capture every path possible for the flow of goods and anticipate bottlenecks that can likely extend the overall lead time. After that, it can generate actionable insights regarding working capital or changes in safety stock levels. Exhibit 2 gives a snapshot of how the End-to-End Lead Times App functions.

Exhibit 2: The End-to-End Lead Times App unifies real-time data, process intelligence, and strategic actions

End-to-End Lead Times App unifies real-time data, process intelligence, and strategic actions

Source: Celonis 2024

The End-to-End Lead Times App offers three primary benefits to customers:

  • A real-time view of end-to-end lead times

  • The ability to prioritize materials based on service levels and working capital impact

  • The ability to view and resolve real-time lead-time bottlenecks

In the last few months, Celonis has seen significant traction in adopting the End-to-End Lead Times App across various industries, including manufacturing, automotive, retail, CPG, life sciences, and pharma. As one of the early adopters of the End-to-End Time App, Freudenberg, a prominent German conglomerate, reduced its lead time and freed up working capital by nearly 10%, which resulted in a more responsive and sustainable supply chain.

"With this end-to-end transparency, we can find ways to bring the same service in an even shorter time frame and act faster and be more flexible even when disruptions occur."

—Kai Führer, Director Global Supply Chain Controlling at Freudenberg

The Bottom Line: Large enterprises with overlapping and disparate complex processes should consider adopting Celonis’ object-centric platform to enable real-time, data-backed decision making.

Object-centric process mining is not a revolution but a natural evolution of the case-based process mining approach. It can help deliver on-time critical insights in heterogeneous environments while streamlining processes and systems. Reimagining processes also opens room for experimentation. At the same time, it infuses agility by allowing quick deployments and rapid scaling of operations.

Editor's note: This article was originally published by HFS Research and is republished here with permission.

Ashish Chaturvedi, practice leader at HFS
Ashish Chaturvedi
Practice leader at HFS

Ashish Chaturvedi is a Practice Leader at HFS, covering supply chain, retail & CPG, and disruptive technologies. Ashish is an accomplished IT industry analyst, part of RetailWire BrainTrust, and a member of the IDG Influencer Network (cio.com).

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