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Siemens + Celonis

“With Celonis, we get full transparency into our processes.”

Khalid El-Wafi, Head of IT Data Factory Procurement, Siemens
Industry - Information Technology Additional Topics - Inventory Management Region - Europe
Siemens employees using Celonis
Faster front-end data loading with Celonis in the cloud
Use cases across 8 process areas
Reduction in approvals needed for ordering in Purchase-to-Pay, boosting operational efficiency

Siemens has been a Celonis client for a decade, leveraging process mining to propel their organization forward through growth, challenges, and disruptions. Now, with a move to the cloud, Siemens’ IT team is using Celonis to unlock new Process Intelligence capabilities, helping them analyze data more accurately, react more quickly, and uncover new opportunities.

Context: A mega-corp already invested in process excellence

A storied organization with 311K employees across 170 countries, Siemens is known for manufacturing, digital transformation, and tech enablement. They were Celonis’ second-ever customer, andfor almost ten years, used Celonis’ on-premise process mining tools with their own on-premise data in SAP/HANA — all managed by Siemens’ centralized IT team. 

At Siemens, IT covers a broad portfolio of the company’s core processes and applications across many business areas. Data is paramount to their capabilities. Khaled El-Wafi, Siemens’ Head of Department, Procurement and Logistics IT Data Factory, told an audience during his session at Celosphere 2023

“We serve our internal partners and customers in order to gain transparency on data along the value chain.”

Khaled El-Wafi, Head of Department: Procurement & Logistics IT Data Factory, Siemens

So, when the cloud’s better data storage and management beckoned, El-Wafi and the IT team were excited to get Siemens up to speed. Siemens’ cloud migration was also motivated by disruptions (like COVID, material shortages, and major weather events around the world) that shook up many of their processes and supply chains. The cloud held the potential for a new era — one in which Siemens could proactively foster resilience within their processes, all while reacting to unexpected events faster and more effectively. 

Challenge: Getting everything on the cloud — and taking advantage of opportunities waiting there 

The scale of the data Siemens IT manages is, quite frankly, mind-boggling. Pre-cloud, their on-premise data lake in SAP/HANA was the second-largest on the planet (Walmart was the only company to beat them out). 

“We have big data at Siemens. In terms of users, we’re maybe the biggest environment of Celonis worldwide, with more than 5,500 users.”

Khaled El-Wafi, Head of Department: Procurement & Logistics IT Data Factory, Siemens

The IT team faced a gargantuan task: migrating everything to a cloud warehouse, and, once there, finding and implementing improvement opportunities in processes and business capabilities. The ultimate goal? Using the cloud — and Celonis’ ever-growing process intelligence capabilities therein — to support Siemens’ business, increase efficiency and customer satisfaction, and get a leg up on competitors. 

Journey: Managing a supersized system migration

Siemens chose Snowflake (a cloud-agnostic option) for their new data warehouse. They also upgraded Celonis as part of their migration, going from their on-premise version to Celonis’ more robust platform within the cloud. Per El-Wafi, Celonis is the only software of its kind that can handle Siemens’ sheer volume of data

Managing the project via a Center of Excellence (CoE), the overall migration to the cloud took about 18 months. Siemens opted to store data and create models in a domain structure within Snowflake, using Celonis as their front-end solution to visualize processes in near-real-time, get alerts, and take action. Once migration was nearly done, then came the fun part: harnessing the power of the cloud. 

Results: Turning cloud possibilities into IRL process improvements

Siemens hit the ground (or should we say the cloud?) running. There are more than 30 Celonis use cases being implemented, and “...all business [units] of Siemens are using our dashboards all over the globe,” per El-Wafi. 

“Process mining is being used in an intense way.”

Khaled El-Wafi, Head of Department: Procurement & Logistics IT Data Factory, Siemens

Aided by the IT team and the CoE, Siemens is embracing Celonis capabilities like Action Flows (Celonis’ intelligent automation capabilities) and knowledge models. They’re transforming their processes — and, subsequently, their business — in areas like: 

  • Supply Chain Resiliency: Their end-to-end program fosters robustness, growth, and rapid action by mitigating disruptions for customers. For example, when a supplier’s factory caught fire, Siemens used Celonis to: 

    • Get alerted about the situation within an hour, 

    • Identify open purchase orders with the supplier (including PO value),

    • See which Siemens POs would be impacted by the disruption,

    • Understand how the disruption could impact overall Siemens revenue,

    • Find an alternate supplier for the missing materials, and, ultimately,

    • Beat out competitors, many of whom were also impacted by the fire. 

  • Shipping and Logistics: Using Process Intelligence, Siemens has been able to pinpoint exactly where their products are during disruptive events — even as specifically as which item is in which shipping container. 

  • Purchase-to-Pay: 500 Siemens employees are using Celonis to find opportunities within Purchase-to-Pay. Through Celonis, they can investigate inefficiencies and quantify potential savings, pinpointing things like: 

    • Common complications, such as changes in delivery, price or quantity

    • Patterns in supplier behavior (and corresponding opportunities for relationship improvement),

    • Cases of potential fraud, and, 

    • Unnecessary approvals for ordering. With Celonis, Siemens was able to cut the number of approvers for direct material orders in half, leading to higher operational efficiency.

  • Inventory Management: Since migrating to the cloud, their digital Inventory Management is quicker, with data uploading 75% faster within Celonis. Beyond increasing speed, Celonis’ platform in the cloud has helped Siemens: 

    • Replicate data 3x each day to cover all of their different regions,

    • Identify opportunities for cost reduction using dashboards, and

    • Automate repetitive tasks within MS Office using Action Flows.

  • Internal Logistics and Factories: Through Celonis, Siemens’ factories have moved from twice-daily printed production schedules to real-time, on-site readouts, updated every 15 minutes — helping workers know if goods are coming to the point of production or assembly on time, or if there are delays.

  • Cash-In/Cash-Out: Siemens uses Celonis to manage Cash-In/Cash-Out dashboards, setting alerts for unequal payment terms so their Procurement department can renegotiate. They can also manage risk for late or default collection of Receivables by knowing exactly how much Siemens owes. Altogether, this boosts their cash flow and optimizes working capital. 

Vision: Embracing continual innovation

Siemens intends to keep embracing process and data innovation in the coming years, especially now that they’re enabled by the cloud. Their CoE is going strong, staffed by a team of 30 people committed to helping Siemens make the most of their tech investments. “Our goal is always to enhance our environment,” says El-Wafi.

Moving forward, Siemens would like to utilize machine learning and AI within the cloud environment to continually improve their use cases. They also hope Celonis will help teams work better together through shared data validation and process refinement, and plan to keep building on their alerts, including adding triggers for next-best actions.

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