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Mann+Hummel & Carl Zeiss AG + Celonis

“With Celonis you can deliver in a flash – it goes chop-chop and you have your reports.”

Sigurd Güntzschel, Team Lead Centers of Excellence for Process Mining, Carl Zeiss AG
Industry - Manufacturing Process - Procure-to-Pay Region - Europe
unlocked by Carl Zeiss
unlocked by Mann + Hummel

Mann+Hummel and Carl Zeiss AG's CoEs unlock millions in value. The key to their success? A strategy tailored to their organizations for scaling Celonis Process Mining.

Thousands of companies around the world use process mining to optimize their operations, improve performance, and realize millions of dollars in value. To successfully implement the technology and scale it across the enterprise, you need an effective strategy, support at all levels, and dedicated resources. 

During a panel discussion at the Celonis World Tour 2023 in Munich, Mann+Hummel and Carl Zeiss AG discussed how their respective Centers of Excellence (CoE) have accelerated success with Celonis Process Mining, including sharing experiences about “do's“ and “don'ts“.

The beginnings at Carl Zeiss: From process mining skeptic to fan

In 2019, Carl Zeiss started with Celonis at the urging of its audit team, which wanted end-to-end transparency of its Procure-to-Pay process. However, Sigurd Güntzschel, team lead of the Center of Excellence for Process Mining, admitted he was initially skeptical of the technology. “At the time, I said, 'The 'end-to-end' that we are always being sold is not end-to-end at all.' It just shows purchasing,“ Güntzschel told an audience of around 800 people.

He revised his opinion, when he saw their end-to-end Procure-to-Pay process actually mapped in Celonis' Process Explorer. “That was truly awesome,” said Güntzschel. “We connected the P2P process across the company to Celonis in just three months. I thought at the beginning that Celonis made the P2P solution specifically for us,” he added. Due to the fast results, he quickly got the backing of the management board.

Since then, the topic of process mining at Carl Zeiss has become a self-starter - and has also given Güntzschel's career a new direction. “[The executive board] suddenly said, 'You're getting out of business and doing process mining for Carl Zeiss now,'” the CoE leader recalls. 

Since 2020, Celonis has been running in the cloud, supporting Carl Zeiss' migration to SAP S/4HANA — and Güntzschel is a big fan. “Now it's so much fun. That's really the best part.”

The beginnings at Mann+Hummel: lack of process transparency triggered implementation

At Mann+Hummel, the implementation of Celonis was also an employee-driven initiative. In 2020, the filtration technology specialist conducted a global survey of its 22,000 employees to gather ideas for digitization projects. Within three days, they collected 1,400 ideas. “In the end, we had a lot of ideas, but we didn't know exactly how standardized our processes were and how the processes actually worked,” says Jean-Marc Erieau, Head of Process Mining and Execution Management at Mann+Hummel.

Process mining came to the rescue. Erieau and his team started with a focus on incoming goods and in 2021 rolled out Celonis worldwide with the support of Accenture.

Carl Zeiss: Creating trust and involving employees

In January 2023, Güntzschel's team “cracked” the 5 million Euro milestone of value realization. “That's a great result after two years,” says Güntzschel. “We are very proud of this achievement.” Today, Carl Zeiss uses Celonis across twelve processes, including Procure-to-Pay, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and Order-to-Cash.

Güntzschel's advice for successfully scaling Celonis: “We're looking for people who know what they need and want to drive change,” says Güntzschel. For example, there is an open channel for the entire company, where employees can see all the projects and business areas supported by the CoE and contribute their own ideas. “People want to optimize,” says Güntzschel. “And with Celonis, you can deliver in a flash – it goes chop-chop and you have your reports.”

His success proves him right. Within two years, the number of Celonis users has increased almost tenfold - from 150 to 1,300.

Mann+Hummel: ”Speed Approach” and Clear Business Targets

Mann+Hummel can also claim remarkable successes. At the Celonis World Tour 2023 in Munich, Erieau accepted the Value Stone, the award for customers who have cracked the one million Euro mark. Yet Mann+Hummel's approach, featuring a top-down strategy, is completely different from that of Carl Zeiss. “Each company has to figure out for itself what the ideal approach is,” Erieau says.

According to him, it is important to formulate clear goals with an eye on financial impact, and to define a precise timeline. Specifically, Erieau and his team only allow themselves between five and seven weeks per new use case to develop the dashboard in Celonis. "We want to reach as many process areas as possible, so we try to avoid getting stuck in a 'development cycle,'" he explains.

Which use cases they focus on depends on two key principles.

  1. A company-wide “speed approach” in which the strategic corporate goals (working capital optimization, cost reduction, revenue increase and efficiency increase) form the basis for new use cases.

  2. The team also focuses on setting up a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) first to create transparency and bring users on ”two-way transparency” for the executive board and can adjust use cases and the MVPs accordingly.

For Erieau, this clear focus on value creation is key to long-term success with process mining. For example, he says, while the pilot project in goods receipt was perfect for understanding how process mining works. As a value creation project, it was rather unsuitable, Erieau says today. If he were to start over with Celonis, his focus would be on capturing value in a prominent area like Accounts Payable or Accounts Receivable. That would make it easier to build a business case, win over skeptics, and accelerate value realization, he says.

Scaling Process Mining: The strategy has to match the company

Güntzschel and Erieau agree that there is no single strategy for building and scaling a CoE. Rather, they say, it's about how process mining fits into the company. “Celonis is the perfect technology for someone who wants to change very different processes,” says Güntzschel. And Erieau adds: “You should have a pioneering mindset.”

Both companies now use Celonis' full product portfolio, as well as preconfigured apps from the Celonis Marketplace that accelerate value creation - such as the Celonis Duplicate Checker App or the Credit Aging app - but also build their own solutions where necessary. "Everything Celonis offers, we use," says Güntzschel. “We always look in the Marketplace first. We always find cool new features to discover and try out there.“

Both companies also regularly are early adopters of Celonis product innovations - such as Business Miner and Process Sphere. Erieau even actively approaches the Celonis product management team when he has a new use case in the works that doesn't yet have an out-of-the-box solution from Celonis. “In that case, I'd rather wait another two or three months before building it myself.“

One thing is certain: both companies will not have to wait long for the next million.

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