Sartorius is a leading global pharmaceutical and laboratory equipment supplier. Based in Germany, they have an extensive product portfolio with more than 35,000 individual product types supported by approximately 30 production plants that distribute globally to supply their large list of customers around the world. This translates to the production and delivery of a massive number of items.
With operations at this scale, it’s crucial for Sartorius to understand precisely where the key points of friction are in their process — the points at which a process inefficiency or bottleneck is causing significant downstream problems for their delivery and ultimately, their customers. A delayed delivery or errors in picking and packing is costly. The difficulty lies in identifying the root causes of this friction to intervene — and pinpoint the best place to begin searching for the reason behind a process breakdown.
As a core component of its dedication to customer success, Celonis closely partners with customers to define and address key problems and develop new, business-based applications that solve broad-ranging customer challenges. Working with the Celonis App Store in a unique co-innovation project, Sartorius is targeting delivery performance as a focus area for improvement — and has jointly created a framework and three new apps for their order management and fulfillment to lay the groundwork for a more fluid, intelligent process.
The framework outlines two key pillars of delivery performance: Delivery Reliability and Delivery Capability.
Addresses customers’ expectations and experience: are deliveries on-time? Are they receiving timely order confirmations? Is Sartorius changing confirmed delivery dates? Has the transportation method changed?
Focuses on internal capacity: how fluid is the order management sub-process? Are there any relevant bottlenecks in warehousing and logistics sub-processes, such as inefficient picking and packing of orders?
When these processes run smoothly, they enable customer satisfaction while empowering the organization to scale and serve more customers. While measuring delivery performance seems straightforward, the hard work of identifying, tracking, and improving the KPIs linked to them is more complicated. Huge amounts of data - from source systems supporting procurement to sales to production to distribution - have to be extracted, transformed, and loaded to have a transparent view of the everyday operations.
Using this framework as a structure, the team created three new apps to directly tackle delivery performance: On-Time Delivery Monitoring which aligns to Delivery Reliability, Delivery Capability, which aligns to the framework pillar of the same name, and Delivery Date Changes which align to both framework pillars.
Gerrit Becker, Manager of BPM Process Improvement from Sartorius commented:
“That is the reason we invested in Celonis Process Mining. It can be the heart of the process improvement and digitalization strategy in a company with such high levels of requirements and demand as Sartorius.”
The first challenge was to understand exactly where delays originated. Many departments worked hard to ensure the end goal of smooth, on-time delivery, but transparency and coordination between departments needed to be improved. With these silos in mind, Celonis and Sartorius co-designed their first application: On-Time Delivery Monitoring.
This app used process mining to not only discover all the activities occurring in this process, but also to crop the process into sub-processes. Each sub-process could be mapped to a specific department in Sartorius enabling a detailed view into how each department operated. Sartorius now had a clear picture of how much time it took to process items within each department and flow to the next.
The end result was a complete picture of all the internal throughput times, from sales order creation to product delivery. The app narrowed in on delays and provided a centralized source of truth for all departments to identify and align on friction points in fact based discussions.
In a similar vein, Sartorius wanted to understand how well they were meeting customer demands. The Delivery Capability app is based around a match ratio metric which compares customer-requested dates against Sartorius’ confirmation dates.
This provides a view not only of the current state but also allows Sartorius to tangibly track improvements in performance over time. It also enables Sartorius to analyze customers’ requested dates to better understand when those requests might actually be unreasonable— for example, requesting same day delivery in an industry where this is non-standard.
All three apps ensure that Sartorius is not only visualizing their process, but is also enabled to intervene and enhance the process and monitor it for sustained success.
What makes this framework and these apps so powerful is the way in which they enable an organization to set a clear focus, delivery performance, take a structured approach to critical points of friction that stand in the way of the business goals, and leverage purpose-built apps to tackle specific challenges and ultimately accelerate business performance.
The apps can zero in on a specific plant, a specific country or region, or a specific customer. This makes them highly adaptable across organizations and useful for many stakeholders to accelerate delivery performance. To this end, Celonis has made this innovative content available in the Celonis App Store as apps that can be leveraged by other organizations facing similar types of challenges.
In the next few months, Sartorius plans to expand access and train more users worldwide to take advantage of the framework. Alongside Delivery Performance, Sartorius will next look at automation opportunities in procurement, and ramp up their production process improvement — and Celonis will be right there with them as they transform.
Southard Jones is Celonis’ VP, Product Marketing. Prior to Celonis, Southard held various executive product and marketing roles at enterprise software companies in the Business Intelligence, Analytics, and Data Science market, including Domino Data Lab, Birst, Right 90, and Siebel Analytics.