ERGO + Celonis

“Celonis is the perfect platform to make our processes visible, see where we can further optimize for our customers, and drive digitization.”

Mark Klein, CDO, ERGO Group
Industry - Insurance Process - Claims Processing Region - Europe
3 days
lead time reduction in claims approvals
higher automation rate in contract cancellation handling
reduction potential identified in the number of manually handled cancellation emails, leading to greater employee efficiency

ERGO uses Celonis Process Intelligence to gain transparency in their core insurance processes, helping them create better customer experiences, boost efficiency in claims handling, and unlock savings.

ERGO aims to become the leading digital insurer in their home base of Germany, as well as in their international growth markets. “We want to be as easy to deal with as Netflix,” says Mark Klein, ERGO’s Chief Digital Officer.

To him, that means leveraging digital technologies like AI, process mining, RPA, and voice assistants to create better processes for their customers.

With Celonis, ERGO has found an intelligent layer to orchestrate these technologies, transform their core processes, and create massive value – in the form of better customer experiences, increased automation rates, and less manual work.

Bringing end-to-end transparency into a highly complex system landscape

An engineer by trade, CDO Mark Klein knows how important processes are to ERGO’s long-term success. “They need to run fast, reliably, and flawlessly.” No easy feat, considering the insurance industry’s IT landscape, where processes usually run across a complex web of legacy systems and apps.

“Every business, department, and location has a different data foundation,” Victor Thoma, Head of Process Mining at ERGO Group, explains. Celonis was the key to breaking down data silos and bringing visibility into their end-to-end processes. 

Merging data from ERGO’s different sources in one platform, Celonis creates a living, breathing digital twin of any process, end-to-end. It’s like an x-ray that shows how a process truly runs. “Having this level of transparency has been a game changer for us,” says Thoma. This proved to be especially useful in their Claims Management process.

Steering Claims Management more effectively

Claims Management is the process with “the biggest impact on customers and costs, but also the most external touchpoints,” says Thoma. ERGO collaborates with partners, surveyors, and customers, who all work to their own schedules and deadlines. ERGO needed insights on when to expect information or necessary documents like appraisals.

“Before Celonis, the teams were managing claims based on backlog,” explains Thoma. For the employees, that created two challenges – they couldn’t predict workloads and lacked the tools to intelligently prioritize claims.

“Celonis helps us develop clear measures to improve our processes and prioritize on what to act first.”

 Mark Klein, CDO, ERGO Group

With Celonis, claims managers now have a clear understanding of external lead times – based on waiting periods inside their own processes – and can manage their workload more efficiently. 

And when documents are missing, Celonis’ intelligent automation capabilities, or ‘Action Flows’, alert the team via email so they can proactively reach out to partners. “The biggest benefit of Celonis is that we can combine information from different sources and partners we work with,” says Thoma.

For specific claims, ERGO lowered throughput time by up to three days — simply by re-evaluating their approval process and cutting unnecessary steps based on the intelligence Celonis provided.

Better customer service, less manual work

Efficiency is not the only benefit Celonis brings to the table. 

In their Motor Claims process – for example in Thailand, the team is able to improve the employee experience. ERGO is implementing the Celonis Intelligence API to connect their claims data with the pool of 800+ garages they partner with. Claims handlers can see which garages are most suitable for fixing a damage – ensuring ERGO’s customers get the best service, at the best rate. 

At the same time in Greece, ERGO can compare partner garage usage by volume and location in real time and see which partners are underutilized. Based on these insights, the business units can take targeted action to boost garage usage down to the city level and damage type. “This could help us cut the cost of specific claims in half,” says Thoma. And that’s just the beginning. “I’m convinced the Intelligence API will enable us to integrate a suite of external apps into our process flow.”

“We have an active grip on our data, we know what is happening, and we take weekly actions to further optimize.”

Victor Thoma, Head of Process Mining, ERGO Group

ERGO has also optimized the self-reporting service for their customers based on the process insights Celonis delivered. “We’ve seen that we could become much faster by driving our customers to digital channels,” says Klein. 

Contract management is a good example. With Celonis, ERGO saw that they could speed up contract cancellations in two ways. Switching from rule-based systems to machine learning to recognize which cancellation emails can be processed automatically – more reliably than they’ve been able to before. A simple measure that bumped up automation by 10%.

For cancellations that are flagged for manual processing, customers get redirected to ERGO’s self-service portal, helping ERGO drastically reduce workload by cutting manually processed emails in half.

Scaling Celonis Process Intelligence across ERGO

ERGO has recently started to connect central business processes like Accounts Payable and Procurement to Celonis. What started out as a pilot in selected process areas has now turned into a massive transformation journey that’s steadily spreading across the organization.

“Every digital transformation is at its core a cultural transformation,” says CDO Mark Klein. His job is to “demystify the technology” so ERGO’s leadership understands “what’s in it for them.” ERGO’s approach to creating that understanding is unique on many levels. 

Klein himself participated in an implementation project to understand what Celonis is capable of. “This has given me the confidence that this is a great technology,” says Klein. “I’ve seen the energy level in the room. I’ve seen what Celonis can do. That makes it easier for me to support the rollout across the group.” 

Another factor that drove adoption: the platform’s simple user interface. “Celonis itself makes process analysis almost playful because it’s so visual. You can really drill into your analysis and people immediately understand what they get from it,” says Thoma.

Unleashing the full potential of Celonis 

ERGO has ambitious plans to scale process intelligence even further. “By 2025, we want to have 55 processes inside Celonis,” states Klein. His vision: turn the Celonis platform into an always-on value magnet for the entire group.

That’s why ERGO is also developing various co-innovation projects for the insurance space with Celonis. One of them is the Free-Text-Matching App that checks for orders that would qualify for higher contract usage and helps ERGO’s Procurement team apply the best payment terms, every time. 

They are one of the first insurance companies to implement Celonis’ task mining capabilities and test LLM Models, seeing great potential to improve employee experience and productivity. “This helps us ensure our teams use the right applications and get information much faster,” the CDO says. 

Klein is also eager to explore the power of the Celonis Process Intelligence Graph for ERGO, a powerful capability that enables companies to look at their entire process network, including processes from third-party suppliers. “This can really tear down the boundaries between internal and external process steps and create unprecedented end-to-end transparency.”

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