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Neste + Celonis

“We used the Celonis platform to create performance dashboards that helped us visualize our order-to-cash process and measure performance in real time.”

Nazia Kanwal, Intelligent Business Process Lead, Neste
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Industrie - Energy, Utilities, Oil & Gas Process - Procure-to-Pay Region - Europe
“The best part about Celonis is that it didn’t just help us improve our order-to-cash process — it helped us sustain those improvements too.”

The world’s largest producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel is helping enterprises create a brighter, smarter future – backed by Celonis. Over a recent fireside chat, Neste’s Nazia Kanwal spoke about how the Celonis EMS helped Neste halve their invoicing lead time, impacting their cash flow by an estimated €55M every month.

Sustainability was in the spotlight at Celonis World Tour 2021. Business leaders from across sectors and services shared their commitments to accelerate action on climate change. Technology emerged time and again as a key driver of positive transformation. 

During one fireside chat, Neste’s Intelligent Business Process Lead, Nazia Kanwal, spoke about how introducing intelligent business processes has allowed the energy company to better support its customers in reaching their sustainability goals. 

One of the top issues to be solved at Neste was slow invoicing lead times in their Order-to-Cash process, which led Nazia and the team to Celonis. The Celonis EMS, and particularly its Visual and Daily Management capabilities, helped them cut invoice lead time in half, creating an estimated €50M improvement in monthly cash flow in just six months. 

Here’s how they did it.

Step #1: Neste identified process bottlenecks 

When you’re operating at Neste’s scale — with multiple sales divisions, a complex logistics chain, and a broad range of solutions — it can be difficult to spot inefficiencies without end-to-end visibility of your operations.

As Nazia explained: “The order-to-cash process is such a complex operation. When we were searching for process improvements, it was like trying to find a needle in a haystack.”

The team knew that invoicing lead times were an issue because customers had complained about them — but “we had no real time visibility into the end-to-end business process, and we had no KPIs to monitor the effectiveness of the process.”

But by using Celonis, Nazia’s team gained the visibility needed to identify the key factors negatively impacting Neste’s invoicing lead times, their customer experience, and ultimately their cash flow.

Step #2: The company identified and rallied behind the right KPIs

After getting visibility over their process, Neste had to analyze where its teams were operating differently, and how the company could standardize processes across its divisions.

“We used the Celonis platform to create performance dashboards that helped us visualize our order-to-cash process and measure performance in real time,” explained Nazia. “Using the dashboards, we were able to identify critical KPIs we needed to focus on — including ticketing lead times, invoicing lead times and customer cancellation invoices.” 

Neste used those KPIs to set half-yearly targets, which are shared across every team involved in the order-to-cash process, so everybody is working towards the same goal.

Step #3: Neste uses daily management features to keep every team on track

Neste’s strategy wasn’t just a ‘set and forget’ operation. The company used the daily management features of the Celonis EMS to structure twice-weekly meetings and keep every team on track.

“Before each meeting, teams prepare their tasks using the Celonis platform’s ticketing and invoicing due lists,” explained Nazia. “It means that during the meetings, we can review any pending tasks, see the actions we need to take, and communicate with the relevant stakeholder to get the order-to-cash process back on track.”

Ultimately, it has helped Neste continually improve the speed of its order-to-cash process over the past year. Within just six months, the company reduced the average invoicing lead time from 9.4 days to 4.2 days, creating an estimated monthly cash flow impact of 55 million euros. “The best part about Celonis is that it didn’t just help us improve our order-to-cash process — it helped us sustain those improvements too,” added Navia.

Watch the full fireside chat with Navia from Celonis World Tour 2021 to find out more about Neste’s process improvement journey. Plus, you’ll also discover how we’re working with Neste to further power its efforts to create a sustainable future.

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