As one of the largest employers in the world, DHL Group turned to Celonis to optimize their entire Hire-to-Retire process, subsequently improving their operating margins, cash flow, and employee experience.
DHL needs no introduction. If you’ve ever received a parcel, you’ve almost certainly heard of them. DHL Group (DP DHL) is one of the world's leading logistics companies, operating in more than 220 countries worldwide and employing around 590,000 employees. They reported revenue of €81.75 billion in 2021.
Any operation of that scale requires masterful management, and for the DHL Group, that management comes — in part — in the form of a global Shared Service Center (SSC) for HR. The SSC’s self-declared aim is to “contribute to the corporate goals of strengthening the profitable core, being an employer of choice, and delivering excellence in a digital world.”
They use different tools like Robotic Process Automation (RPA), workflow management tools, and of course Celonis’ Execution Management System (EMS) to help achieve these lofty goals.
“As a global Shared Service Center for HR we provide different services for a large number of the 590,000 employees inside the DHL Group company,” says Maurice Schepp, Head of Automation & Process Mining, DHL Group. “With huge amounts of employees and process volume, process accuracy and process efficiency are very important to handle our daily business execution.”
DHL Group started working with Celonis in 2019, looking for ways to optimize their Hire-to-Retire (H2R) process.
“We started our journey with SAP Human Capital Management. SAP HCM is our core HR system for Deutsche Post Germany for the administration of employee data and payroll processing,” Schepp said. “As we were pioneering process mining with SAP HCM across the whole H2R Process, we worked in close collaboration with Celonis to face the challenge together.”
Once the data model was set up and validated, the DHL Group identified and started delivering on 7 use cases. One of these is salary overpayments to employees who had already left the company, due to delays in reporting their departure.
“We were able to measure a process weakness in the departure of employees,” explained Dirk Hein, Head of the Shared Service Center Finance & HR Operations Germany at Deutsche Post AG. “This issue led to time-consuming and costly recovery processes.”
With Celonis, they were able to eliminate the overpayments on two fronts: firstly by promptly registering staff departures, and also by fixing an error that led to overpayments even when the standard process was followed.
“By using Celonis in this way, we improved our operating margins and cash flow, and relieved the workload of our employees,” Hein explained.
When the DHL Group first approached Celonis, they were purely looking for a process mining solution, but when they started working with the Execution Management System, they spotted the potential for a use case they hadn’t considered:
“The idea of our second big use case — the operationalizing of Data Quality Management — was inspired by the Celonis Execution Apps,” Schepp explained. “We have a huge load of people from different divisions and departments, as well as interfaces from disparate systems that create a lot of daily master data traffic.”
Because HR is such a complicated discipline, they were finding that this traffic would sometimes converge in a way that led to “miscalculations in payroll, legal matters, and other issues in the processes.”
The solution? DHL Group started to collect and build about 50 Action Engine skills to create a proactive approach to cleansing their systems.
Then they created categorization that determines if the signals are routed to quality management for further checks and validation, directly to a key user in the responsible personal service center, or sets off an Action flow that triggers a RPA automation to correct the error without anyone having to touch it manually.
And the benefit of this is huge for the DHL Group: “With this measure, we can detect errors significantly faster than before. It’s fully automated and, in the future, we can have them corrected directly by Celonis. This will significantly improve the daily master data quality,” said Hein.
Building off the success of Celonis in HR, the DHL Group is looking at what else the Celonis Execution Management System could help them optimize. In Germany they’re looking to use Celonis in Finance and Real Estate, and globally on the Ticketing Process.
“The speed at which Celonis continues to add new skills and products to the portfolio is remarkable. We are constantly learning and growing with the software,” Hein concluded.