Business Execution

Why It’s Time for Businesses to Rethink How They Execute

Business is unpredictable. In 2020, the year of a global pandemic disrupting travel plans, supply chains, even entire businesses, this has become clearer than ever.

But here’s the good news: Business can ALWAYS adapt.

Although COVID-19 has undeniably had grave implications for our global economy, it has also accelerated innovation like no other event in the recent memory. After years of dragging their feet, companies are pursuing digital transformation at a previously unimagined pace. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently shared that his company saw “two years’ worth of digital transformation happen in just two months.” 

When supply chains got disrupted, business priorities shifted, and staff were sent home to work remotely, the most agile companies — and the most successful — have redefined the rules of how they work, and the pace at which they make decisions. 

And although everything seems to be unpredictable now, one thing is sure: Many traditional business work practices, processes, and operations will become a relic of the past.

This is our generation’s version of the industrial revolution.

If companies embrace this revolution, they can future-proof their business far beyond the duration of the pandemic.

There’s just one problem. Achieving this goal requires seamless execution. And most enterprises just aren’t there yet. 

A survey of more than 400 global CEOs led by Harvard Business Review found that execution excellence was the #1 challenge they faced, coming at the top of some 80 other issues. Research shows that two-thirds to three-quarters of large organizations struggle to implement their strategies.

The evidence is everywhere you look.

  • In Customer Service, the average net promoter score is only 31, while pest performing companies can achieve net promoter scores as high as 97.

  • In Finance & Administration, the average paid-on-time rate is only 50%, whereas the very best companies can achieve more than 90%.

  • In Supply & Delivery, the average on-time delivery rate is only 42.8%, as opposed to the best performers hitting 98.9%. 

  • In the Product & Services world, the average time-to-market for consumer products is only 22 months, in contrast to 15 months for best-in-class.

So why aren’t we executing at our full potential?

Ironically, the mismatch between strategy and execution is directly related to a company’s success and growth. Inorganic growth, global presence, and multiple product lines all increase system complexity — which creates harmful gaps in your processes. It’s something that we all feel, but no one can quite put their finger on. 

It’s the invoice that gets jammed through 15 different systems before it gets sent to your customers. The hundreds and thousands of excel sheets you’re crawling through to find the information you need. The critical and high-value orders that get passed over. 

What was meant to accelerate and support the core of your business is now putting an artificial cap on your results. Errors, inefficiencies, and delays - some visible, most of them hidden - cause your costs to rise and experiences to suffer. 

We at Celonis have taken this challenge to heart. For almost ten years, we’ve empowered companies all over the world to push the boundaries of Process Excellence. 

Our customers’ success is proof of that:

EMS Rocket

But in times of turbulent change, we need to redefine success. Improving processes is no longer enough. We have to maximize our overall ability to execute, even as goals, strategies, and circumstances shift.

And we need to find intelligent ways to support employees instead of slowing them down. Only then, can we emerge stronger from the crisis.

At the Celonis World Tour, we'll show you how. 

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Miguel Milano --author image
Miguel Milano
Chief Revenue Officer and Co-Owner (former)

Miguel Milano is the former Chief Revenue Officer and Co-Owner at Celonis and a member of the executive management team. In this capacity, he is globally responsible for sales, customer success, solution engineering, delivery, demand generation and partners. He joined Celonis in April 2020.

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