Students from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) worked with Bruker BioSpin, Celonis and Processand to revamp supplier and production processes.
Bruker BioSpin makes high-performance scientific instruments and analytical and diagnostic tools and has used Processand to implement Celonis in its operations. Bruker BioSpin also has a long history of collaborating with KIT, which is close to its Ettlingen, Germany facilities. In addition, Bruker BioSpin has recruited KIT students as employees.
As for KIT, the seminar focused on Bruker BioSpin processes, exposed students to real-world business problems and provided industry mentoring opportunities. KIT, which has 25,100 students, saw the project as a way to bridge research at its Institute of Production Science with production and process mining use cases.
The collaboration with Bruker, Celonis, KIT's Institute of Production Science and partner Processand is notable on multiple fronts. The seminar brought together KIT students with Bruker leaders to collaborate on Celonis' EMS. Processand made the project more real because it was able to support students' implementing their vision and get them the tech resources they needed.
"The students worked on a real business problem that came out of the customer and involved all the relevant stakeholders of a process mining project," said Jerome Geyer-Klingeberg, Head of the Celonis Academic Alliance, which is designed to empower future process miners. "Including a service partner helped the students bring their ideas to life."
Geyer-Klingeberg noted that the Celonis Academic Alliance is moving beyond regular lectures and training to teach students applied skills by solving real-world business problems.
Celonis has partnered with academic institutions since its inception as it expands the process mining and execution management ecosystem. The Celonis Academic Alliance community includes 197,000 students registered for Academic EMS and online training, 807 universities and 1,300 professors partnering with Celonis who used Celonis in over 2,000 classrooms.
The semester-long seminar was designed to tackle new process mining projects at Bruker, sponsored by Bernd Gleixner, who is the Executive Vice President Operations. KIT selected the top 12 students out of 40 applicants for the seminar. The kick-off sessions revolved around online training for Celonis technology and enabling students to learn about the business challenge that they are working on in their seminar project.
Bruker supervisors including Garrit Winkler, Director Operational Excellence, Daniel Gertsch, Business Process Manager, Sandor Karsai, Department Manager Coil Assembly and Katja Habitzreither, Consultant Operational Excellence and Processand had weekly meetings with students to ensure projects were on track and answer questions.
Students set out to improve supplier management, procurement and production processes. The three teams presented the following process improvements, which are being implemented.
Team 1: Tanja Maier, Dietrich Sachsenweger, Valentin Woesler, Florian Zehrfeld
This team focused on supplier scoring and Purchase-to-Pay processes. Bruker BioSpin has a lot of different suppliers that are tracked with multiple metrics across categories.
Previously, Bruker BioSpin's supplier score process was static and supplier data had to be extracted from multiple systems and aggregated in spreadsheets. This manual approach took time, support and could lead to errors.
Bruker's Supplier Performance Evaluation (SCORE) method looks at 5 different categories:
Using Celonis, KIT students automated supplier scores by creating real-time data connections into Celonis EMS from Bruker's SAP system using Celonis Studio.
SCORE data was aggregated via Celonis, calculated and displayed via a dashboard. This new automated process improved the overall efficiency as it would reduce manual workload and time as well as provide real-time data.
Team 1 used On Time Delivery, Order Confirmation Rate, Savings, Price Changes, Product Quality and Turn Around Time for Claims as its KPIs.
Going forward, Team 1 recommended that Bruker could improve SCORE evaluation with Microsoft SharePoint integration, real-time alerts, Celonis access for suppliers and more process mining use cases.
Team 2: Achim Krippner, Daniel Däuwel, David Rudorf, Markus Stein
This team focused on supplier requests, Purchase-to-Pay processes and automation. Supplier requests under the previous process were largely manual and Bruker employees would need to add history, prices and responses.
The team created a data model that included item and transaction data, purchasing documents, material descriptions, e-mail addresses, vendor and material master data, planned order data, storage location and a master list of responsible employees.
Students then used Celonis to automate notifications for suppliers and requests are now sent out automatically through Celonis EMS.
In Celonis Studio, Team 2 provided a bevy of filters based on time, type, plant and responsible purchaser as well as time passed since last order.
Team 2 also looked to provide indicators so Bruker employees could make decisions faster and look at indicators such as Producer Price Index (PPI). To deliver a quality outlook, Team 2 proposed to merge Bruker data with government and third party data to surface within Celonis.
Team 3: Tom Körner, Simon Lang, Maximilian Ittenbach, Ole Fischer-Waldermann
The team focused on production planning bottlenecks and analysis. First, Team 3 set out to identify bottlenecks in the production process with Celonis and then automate actions.
As for the goals, this team set out to improve process transparency, reduce manual effort and improve performance metrics such as throughput times, on-time deliveries and output.
Production bottlenecks were identified using the time difference between the end of the previous work step and the following one at individual workstations. Team 3 also correlated gap times with rework by workstation.
With ongoing monitoring, KIT students created a warning system via an automated e-mail to relevant departments when gap times exceeded parameters.
Monitoring was provided through a Celonis dashboard providing general metrics, drilldowns and weekly reports. Team 3 used Celonis EMS Action Flows to merge data for dynamic analysis and deliver reports.
Going forward, Team 3 recommended including employee data such as number of workers per station and absences as well as order scheduling improvements.
For Bruker and partner Processand, working with KIT students had multiple benefits. For starters, there is a recruiting benefit and talent pipeline. Nicolas Möller, Chief Operating Officer of Processand, said the effort with Bruker and Kit "is really about recruiting."
"We find our new employees through references and this partnership builds the ecosystem," said Möller. For instance, Möller said he was a mathematics major and didn't become aware of process mining until later. Möller is a Celonis alum and went to Processand in 2017.
Processand, Bruker and KIT students collaborated on three use cases including sending monthly supplier performance reports, automatic requests for price information to vendors, and identification of production process bottlenecks.
Through academic partnerships students are becoming more aware of process mining and execution management as a career path. Möller said Processand had four people involved with the Bruker-KIT-Celonis effort, but added that the service provider made sure students did their own work. "We shared knowledge about the right functionality and how to solve challenges, but it was all student work," said Möller. “We’ll do it again next year.”
“It was impressive to see the motivation of the students and how they developed hands-on solutions in Celonis in a very short time that can contribute to our Process Excellence initiative,” said Garrit Winkler, Director Operational Excellence at Bruker BioSpin. “We are also already looking forward to the further collaboration with all involved partners.“
Celonis Student Thesis and Research Program: Celonis process mining collaborations with Academic Partners
Project Studies: Project studies conducted in cooperation with the Chair of Management Accounting at Technical University of Munich
Thesis Positions: Check out the open Bachelor’s and Master’s thesis positions at RWTH Aachen