For over 100 years Dutch multinational DSM has dedicated itself to advancing health, bioscience, and nutrition.
Not one to rest on tradition, in 2020 the company took a transformational approach to its Order-to-Cash (O2C) process after realizing the team spent too much time on manual interventions, and then trying to fix the issues those interventions unintentionally caused.
Using Celonis’ Execution Management System (EMS) and supported by Accenture at every step, DSM has since enhanced on-time delivery and cash flow through process optimization. It took just three months (the pilot phase) for DSM to realize value, including multi-million-dollar savings thanks to decreased O2C lead times.
“We uncovered many of the manual process steps ripe for automation early on, with working capital improvement as one of the attractive benefits,” explained Marc Daams, DSM Celonis Lead. “Before working with Celonis, we could extract data but it was hard to comprehend and the team spent hours digging into each line item to try and identify the problems.” He added: “We have significantly improved our capability to identify the best opportunities for automation to fix O2C processes and make them happen.”
Delivering nutrition and supplements that millions of people depend on, DSM needs to stay on top of its O2C process to ensure orders are fulfilled and ingredients are available when needed. That does not always come easy: “We’re always evolving, acquiring other businesses, and onboarding new teams,” said Arno Dalhuisen, DSM’s Global Head of Supply Chain Excellence, “because of that we have had housekeeping issues around processes, including O2C.”
Stuck trying to fix sales orders hit by credit and delivery blocks, DSM teams were having to manually change the price, quantity, and location criteria during various phases of the O2C process. That negatively affected on time, in-full (OTIF) delivery performance. But after running root-cause analysis using Celonis, DSM identified more than 60% of credit and delivery blocks globally as avoidable.
DSM now receives intelligent alerts for orders at risk of late delivery, allowing the team to quickly and easily lift the unnecessary blocks; DSM is also implementing process automation prototypes for removing blocks in SAP.
The results: DSM decreased delivery blocks by 10% and reduced cycle times for blocked orders by several days. Manual changes to sales orders have also dropped by 10%. In APAC, DSM has improved its first-time-right (FTR) ratio from 18% to 42% (an increase of more than 100%) and in North America the OTIF rate grew from 84% to 90% within just six months. This had, and continues to have, an immediate beneficial impact on customer care teams’ workloads and customer satisfaction.
DSM is now also using Celonis to monitor first-time-right (FTR) sales orders and discover further opportunities in both O2C and Supply Replenishment.
Results like these show the power of the three organizations – DSM, Accenture and Celonis – working together to deliver 360-degree value. Dalhuisen said: “Accenture supported us throughout the entire Celonis implementation and value identification journey. We’re now in a position to move ahead on our own and continue to expand on the foundations Celonis and Accenture laid.”
Part of that support came through the corporate-wide Value Realization Program, where Accenture focused on embedding Celonis into DSM and scaling up the program to address resource bottlenecks and skills gaps. To maximize adoption, Accenture worked with DSM to run regular training sessions so everyone could tackle process issues on their own. One of the keys to building momentum has been showcasing the value achieved across different use cases.
As Daams put it: “We’re prioritizing digital technologies that drive process improvements based on data. So through our work with Accenture and Celonis, there has always been a great level of enthusiasm for process mining.”
The success on the scoreboard so far – including the 100% increase in FTR ratio and cutting manual changes to sales orders by 10% – means DSM is eager to go further with Celonis. In 2022, the DSM Nutritional Products team plans to boost user adoption of Celonis in all regions, as well as leverage cross-regional benchmarking to learn from best practices. The company is also planning to explore Celonis’ intelligent automation capabilities.
Further process automation will help DSM deal with challenges caused by staff turnover in a business of its size, as Dalhuisen explained: “Turnover means a potential loss of knowledge. A big next step will be to ensure we always have process mining knowledge and competency in the business. Automation will help because it gives people the analytics and straightforward signals to be successful.”
Daams summed up: “We switched to Celonis in the first place because of the integrated and low code automation it offers. For me, automation is where the wow factor in process mining really lies. So it makes perfect sense for that to be where we focus our process-mining efforts moving forward.”
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