The DRÄXLMAIER Group relies on Celonis’ process excellence software to optimize processes in its Accounts Payable and Purchase-to-Pay department. Celonis’ AI-powered and data-based technology allows digital trails in organizations to be comprehensively analyzed, visualized, understood – and designed more efficiently. DRÄXLMAIER, an automotive supplier in the premium segment with over 75,000 employees at 60 locations in 20 countries and an extensive product portfolio, wanted to use the Intelligent Business Cloud to detect and eliminate inefficiencies from the company’s global workflows.
“The Procurement and Finance departments are leading the use of Process Mining within the company,” says Matthias Lebschy, SAP Project Manager Procurement at DRÄXLMAIER. “The
DRÄXLMAIER Group has always seen process optimization as the foundation for economic success. It is key to increasing our competitiveness,” adds Maren Moisl, Project Manager Methods & Processes. “Other departments in the company such as Shared Services, Master Data Management, and Internal Audit are already benefiting from Celonis and the data and insights it’s made available to them.”
In the Purchase-to-Pay department, DRÄXLMAIER used Celonis’ Process Mining technology to identify a large number of inefficiencies in their SAP ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and SRM (Supplier Relationship Management) systems. With these insights, the company could then determine the best way to optimize order dispatch. Even though order dispatch can be automated through SAP, an overwhelming number of orders were still being printed. By using Celonis, DRÄXLMAIER was able to quickly detect this bottleneck and improve the process. Orders are now sent to suppliers immediately via e-mail or electronic data interchange (EDI), which in turn leads to the number of manual processes being reduced by the tens of thousands worldwide. This not only saves time and money, but other resources such as paper and printer cartridges, too.
Audit workflows were also optimized; the visibility that Celonis provides made it clear that prices between invoices and orders often differed. The result: extra manual effort in auditing. With the help of audit tolerances and targeted, automatic updates of price master data using RPA, up to several thousand manual steps were avoided.
In their Accounts Payable department, DRÄXLMAIER Group works with SAP and Vendor Invoice Management (VIM), an SAP add-on for Accounts Payable. “We used Celonis to take a detailed look at how our invoices are processed worldwide, with the ultimate goal being to improve our working capital,” explains Moisl.
The cash discount rate at DRÄXLMAIER was also reviewed using Celonis: an entire package of measures designed to accelerate the receipt of invoices, including the introduction of EDI, ensured a significant improvement here.
Further, DRÄXLMAIER decided to implement the Celonis Action Engine. Using cutting-edge AI technologies and intelligent algorithms, the Celonis Action Engine constantly analyzes system data. It then automatically sends out next-best action recommendations to employees to help them solve tasks not only faster but better. DRÄXLMAIER leverages the Action Engine in the maintenance of master data. The technology from Celonis uses real-time data to detect inactive suppliers, informs then the relevant employees, and asks whether the supplier should be blocked or not. If the answer is yes, a pre-defined process is automatically set in motion. If a supplier’s payment conditions differ between the order and the invoice, the Action Engine jumps in proactively with next-best action recommendations and initiates an entirely new workflow. This allows critical cases to be filtered out, the payment conditions to be adjusted, and the master data to be corrected easily and quickly.
The Action Engine is also used to avoid losing potential cash discount savings. A cash discount can be lost for a number of reasons: for example, the audit or invoice approval takes too long in the previous VIM system or payment blocks have not been removed. The Action Engine prioritizes invoices that need to be processed quickly. This allows employees to actively intervene in the process accordingly. “This means important key insights can be gained proactively and recommendations can be made quickly and monitored constantly,” says Moisl, summarizing the benefits.
“We’re considering connecting additional processes as well as supporting the upcoming S/4 Hana migration,” adds Lebschy. Matthias Lebschy and Maren Moisl discussed their experiences with Celonis and answered questions in a webinar. You can watch the video here.