WB2022 ABINBEV Celonis

Celonis World Tour 2022 New York: How AB InBev eliminates fraud in its supply chain with Celonis

According to McKinsey, supply chain shocks are happening more frequently and are more severe when they occur. To combat this trend, companies must transform their supply chains to be more resilient. But while you’re making your supply chain more digital, integrated, transparent, agile and sustainable…don’t forget to make it more secure.

At the New York stop of Celonis World Tour 2022, Vini Cardoso, Global Tech Finance Director at AB InBev, shared key learnings from the multiple ways the company is embedding Celonis process mining and execution management in daily operations across the company, including fraud detection across the supply chain.

"We use Celonis to bring insights on our processes," said Cardoso. "Celonis is a great tool to give you process visibly, to give you process transparency, to show you how the process is really performing, not how you think it is."

Vini Cardoso, Global Tech Finance Director, AbInBev

Vini Cardoso, Global Tech Finance Director, AbInBev

The company started with Order-to-Cash, Account-To-Report and their Logistics processes in 2019, and in 2022 expanded to fraud detection, inventory management and freight management.

Also see: Celonis World Tour 2022: Everything you need to know

Cardoso outlined the goals of AB InBev’s Celonis strategy:

  • Monetize Celonis & enable Digital Transformation: Includes identifying and realizing value in EBITDA by minimizing risks (i.e. inflation), implementing key initiatives for Finance & Logistics, and integrating Celonis with other platforms for end-to-end digitization

  • Deliver Process Excellence & Control Framework: Process Monitoring App 2.0 (PMA), Internal Controls for S4 Migration, Long Term Architecture

  • Ensure Celonis sustainability and Change Management: This part of the strategy has three pillars; People (growing the company’s center of excellence (COE)), Process (growing adoption, NPS and team's empowerment) and Technology (new capabilities, UX / UI improvement, product maintenance)

Detecting and stopping fraud in the supply chain

AB InBev's fraud detection product is based on Celonis execution management system (EMS) and combines both process mining and automated actions. First, smart process mining insights on stock reception and inventory transactions are used to identify fraud and inventory violations. Then, Action Flow algorithms alert team members of potential fraud and deviations from normal processes and execute preventative actions.

"We start with raw materials that are delivered by thousands of trucks on a daily basis," said Cardoso. Having end-to-end visibility into our supply chain is "very important in our case."

Through their fraud detection system, the company can mitigate fraud risk, have better stock accuracy, recognize revenue in a more timely manner, have better control over sock net amount and prevent inventory violations. The company was able to identify manual and out-of-standard reception processes, uncover incorrect inventory inputs and outputs by unallowed users Excess on Overdues (stagger deliveries but have one invoice) and identify the misuse of inventory by people diverting the stock informally. By connecting multiple systems, EMS gave the company full transparency of the supply chain (and x-ray if you will), from the receipt of raw materials to the delivery of their finished goods.

AB InBev at Celosphere 2021: Transformation on Tap: Anheuser-Busch InBev’s S/4HANA Migration with Celonis

Whether you're using process mining and execution management for supply chain transformation, AP/AR, inventory management, procurement or general process excellence, the company shared the following key learnings from both its fraud detection and other EMS projects.

Strategy best practices:

  • Start with use cases that generate value quickly

  • External benchmarking is essential

  • Get full transparency and insights first, then move to execution capabilities

  • Consider IT prerequisites before starting; a data lake may allow you to start quickly

  • Align your project goals to your company's strategic goals

People best practices:

  • Senior stakeholders' sponsorship is critical

  • having a Center of Excellence (CoE) with functional and technical experts is essential for success

  • Develop a change management strategy that empowers your users to be in the center of everything you do

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Bill Detwiler
Senior Communications Strategist and Editor Celonis Blog

Bill Detwiler is Senior Communications Strategist and Editor of the Celonis blog. He is the former Editor in Chief of TechRepublic, where he hosted the Dynamic Developer podcast and Cracking Open, CNET’s popular online show. Bill is an award-winning journalist, who’s covered the tech industry for more than two decades. Prior his career in the software industry and tech media, he was an IT professional in the social research and energy industries.

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