iFood, Brazil's dominant delivery service, has racked up multiple wins with Celonis Execution Management System and Process Mining and plans to further scale by simulating processes, leveraging a data-driven culture and eliminating bottlenecks in its ecosystem.
What's notable about iFood is that it is a startup that was built for scale early on. iFood delivers goods from restaurants, stores, pharmacies and pet shops among other outlets. Connecting these partners with consumers and couriers requires continual improvement to processes and a strong mobile platform.
The company, a key customer in Latin America, runs on SAP S4/HANA with Celonis for process mining. iFood started with SAP S4/HANA for the initial procure-to-pay and accounts payable processes but now is expanding into more core processes, which include several custom systems. iFood has used Celonis to improve a bevy of processes as the vendor journey, which it is now looking to simulate, besides some finalistics journeys as commercial and payments. iFood started in 2011 with a printed menu guide and number to place orders and by 2015 it reached its first million orders and tripled that number via a merger with Spoon Rocket.
By 2019, iFood was processing 13 million orders a month and is en route to 60 million orders per month today and 86% market share in Brazil. Because of iFood's future-proofing approach and data driven process culture the company's platform has expanded to more than 1,200 cities in Brazil, 270,000 restaurants and their customers with more than 200,000 active couriers.
"We are looking to go to process simulation because we believe that's the way we can scale," said Karina Brumatti, Process Coordinator at iFood. "To grow, we have to understand where our bottlenecks are and simulating a process is the way to be proactive."
Process simulation is becoming a key task for Celonis customers, which are increasingly looking to build digital twins of their business processes. These process digital twins enable enterprises to continually improve execution.
Brumatti said that iFood has oriented its business around digital processes and the customer journey. First, iFood sets objectives and key results, a methodology that keeps the company on target for growth.
"The main business challenge we were trying to solve with Celonis was the digital journey," she said. "We started with the Procurement and Accounts Payable process and then connected those views to see the end-to-end journey."
Brumatti said viewing processes as a journey revealed that a key process—bookkeeping—wasn't digital and served as a bottleneck between Procurement and Accounts Payable.
"With the end-to-end view we increased the visibility of Maverick Buying 400% and increased accounts payable on time by 43%," she said.
iFood has systematically developed skills from Celonis Studio in the Celonis Execution Management System to improve processes overall and achieve these metrics.
Brumatti said iFood has moved to a model where the company is delivering Celonis-as-a-service to its business users.
"We challenge everyone to be data driven with a program called BADHUS (Business Analyst Data Heavy Users) where employees learn how to consult data with SQL programming on our data lake," said Brumatti. "In this way we do not need to work on suppositions. If anyone has a hypothesis it can be tried with the data available."
After a digital view of a process is created, Brumatti said Celonis Process Mining can help make decisions that improve and scale processes.
iFood is also looking to leverage apps in the EMS store for its buyers. Brumatti said the company is currently taking the purchase-to-pay app from the EMS Store and plans to customize it for its marketplace participants.
"The procurement app is about the vendor journey and intends to help buyers be more effective on a operational execution. Bringing a better experience to foodlovers, vendors and all the people collaborate somehow into the process" said Brumatti.