Global medical device manufacturer kicked off with Celonis in Order-to-Cash and has since used process mining to boost transparency, productivity, and teamwork. Taking a scientific approach to process optimization, it’s improving outcomes for patients and its people alike.
Karl Storz is a ‘hidden champion in the medical business’, says Etienne Kneschke, Executive Director Global Business Process Management. Etienne is responsible for implementing Celonis at the global manufacturer and distributor of endoscopes, medical instruments, and devices. Over the past 75 years, Karl Storz has developed a range of 15,000 products – recently delving into digital documentation systems and operating room concepts.
After looking inside the business to diagnose process breakdowns, Etienne and his team decided to focus on important processes and KPIs that are instantly recognizable for the value they add. Simon Geisenberger, Senior Business Process Consultant, explains: “There are some process performance indicators that would need an additional explanation, because not everyone knows what an EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) rate is, for example.” He adds: “But, with the cycle times and savings, everyone instantly understands what it is all about, and you can measure them on a very high level.”
That clarity did not exist before Celonis, Etienne recalls: “We talked so many times with people about processes. And we used different tools, like process documentation tools to bring them onto the same track, but it was so difficult. But with Celonis, it's fact-based, and that is something which is very helpful.”
Starting in 2019, Karl Storz has so far used Celonis across Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Make-to-Stock, Procure-to-Pay, and Repair-to-Cash. But it all started with Order-to-Cash.
“In our part of the business it's very difficult to digitize how you receive your orders from customers”, says Simon. Using Celonis to benchmark the O2C performance of teams in different countries, Karl Storz now shares best practices and creates friendly competition internally.
“When we started the journey we had the [EDI] value from one country, but we didn’t know if that was a good or bad value. Through benchmarking with other countries we created a spirit for everyone to try and increase the possibilities. And have an exchange on what worked and what didn’t work for our customers,” explains Simon.
Those exchanges lead to Karl Storz using Celonis to unearth opportunities for teams to digitize O2C tasks – leaving technology to take care of monotonous tasks like typing orders into the system.
The new-found collaboration has led Karl Strorz to “think in processes, to use the same language when they talk about processes, to see the same things, and to get the same ideas about how to optimize them,” says Etienne.
With a Celonis-backed lingua franca, teams break out of their silos, Simon adds. “Most of the business you're doing if you're a global corporation is intercompany business. That's where Celonis comes into play with the transparency. Every second week, all Celonis users are meeting together, and the mindset is changing from the view of, ‘You are my customer, you are my vendor,’ to, ‘we are one family and we are working on the same problems.’ And that's just really great to see.”
Viewing Celonis as “a very powerful technology, which gives you lots of data at your fingertips,” Simon advises other businesses to get people involved with Celonis as early as possible. Etienne, meanwhile, has identified hundreds of processes for Celonis to X-ray and improve: “The strategy is to make Karl Storz more efficient. We identified more than 600 business processes in our company on a global scale that could benefit.” He adds: “I think there's a huge value and there's a lot we can leverage. And that means we want to connect one process after the next.”
Want to get your teams on the same process improvement page, just like Karl Storz did? Check out how Celonis makes understanding and optimizing processes easier than ever.