Global metal and energy firm dug into its data and transformed its AP shared service processes with Celonis. It has so far improved touchless invoice rates substantially and set up a Center of Excellence to achieve end-to-end finance process efficiency across the world.
Hydro has turned natural resources into valuable products for people and businesses since 1905. Today, the business is committed to innovation and efficiency, with a small dedicated team leading the charge from their shared service center – Global Business Services (GBS). They are on a mission to make the center strong, durable, and effective – just like the aluminum the business is built on.
“We got to a point where we were not able to further improve our processes with the mindset and with the tools we had. So we were looking for opportunities and products that can support us achieving our new, very challenging targets”, Enikő Csillik describes.
Celonis made sense of the data – and put it to work
GBS at Hydro discovered Celonis in 2020. Like many organizations, they had the data but weren't making the most of it. This is where Celonis came in. Enikö explains: “We were looking for a solution to leverage that data... and through that data make our processes more efficient. So Celonis supports us to leverage the knowledge we have in our systems and create more efficient, more standard, and better processes.”
Hydro currently uses Celonis across three processes: Accounts Payable, Order-to-Cash, and Procure-to-Pay. “The first ‘aha moment’ was when we downloaded data into Celonis from our systems, and we saw the spaghetti diagram of our processes.” Enikö adds, “Despite the fact we've been working on standardizing our processes for the last 15 years, it turned out that we still have room for improvement.”
Celonis gave Hydro the process visibility they needed to make those improvements. “It helped us to put all the information into one overview in a very understandable way. And through that, we were able to identify standardization and automation opportunities.”
Hydro saw a substantial increase in touchless invoice rate
Boosted by the new-found visibility, Hydro ‘connected the dots’ in their Accounts Payable process, leading to big touchless invoices wins. “We work with different hubs across end-to-end processes in Brazil, US, Europe. Along these processes, different departments would touch the invoice process.” She adds, “Celonis supports us identifying where we have missing information, wrong information, missing master data. And having identified these issues, we know where we have to put our focus to solve the problems.”
Hydro applies a tough definition for touchless invoice handling and measures this throughout the end-to-end process. Since the implementation of Celonis close to half of the invoices are truly processed without a human touch.
Center of Excellence to get the most out of Celonis
No process is an island, so the GBS is determined to connect more of the business to Celonis with a Center of Excellence. “We cannot work alone on the processes, because we do not always cover them end-to-end. We need deeper business interaction to get the best out of this tool.”
Securing business buy-in is essential says Enikö. “If you find the people with the right mindset to get engaged with Celonis, it turns out very fast that people get very excited about the tool, because it's very easy to use, you need a few hours of training to get familiar with the user interface… It's very easy to engage them and get them on board.”
The processes and areas Hydro will tackle next
After starting on a project-by-project basis, Hydro GBS implemented Celonis across their six hubs around the world – ultimately leading to a new way of working. The team now looks forward to rolling out Celonis across more areas and processes. “We definitely would like to continue our roadmap with Celonis in the financial area, because we believe in continuous improvement. But next to finance, we are also exploring opportunities in procurement.” Enikő says.
She adds: “To utilize [Celonis] to its full potential, we definitely have to move on to supply chain processes, too. And sustainability is key for Hydro so I would like to explore how we can take advantage of this tool to achieve our sustainability targets.” Watch this sustainable space.
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