M3-B9 G.U.N.T.E.R., meet CELONIS

By Richard Rogers on Jul 15, 2020

“Danger Will Robinson, Danger!!!”  Some of you may not recognize this famous line by the fictional robot M3-B9 G.U.N.T.E.R. from the 1965-1968 television series “Lost in Space”, but G.U.N.T.E.R. may well have represented the first “Process Mining” application.  Despite a 50-year gap, G.U.N.T.E.R. and Celonis, the #1 Process Mining technology, have a lot in common:  they both notify others about the potential danger in a current situation.  Yes, I’m talking about Celonis in 2020 and the today’s 1960’s fictional M3-B9.  Ok, a bit of a stretch, I know.

First, what is Process Mining?  One definition I like is that process mining is the intersection of process modeling, historical data and process analysis.   Celonis describes it this way: “Process mining is an analytical discipline for discovering, monitoring, and improving real processes (i.e., not assumed processes) by extracting knowledge from event logs readily available in today’s information systems.”

One of the most valuable outcomes of organizations using Celonis’ technology is getting a clear picture of the current “as-is” status to an existing process.  In the past this would usually take armies of consultant’s months or years to achieve, and with many “assumed” processes.

Celonis is very good at mining data on the world’s most complex business systems, used by the largest companies in the world, and the system it mines most frequently is SAP. Celonis has over 2000 implementations in some of the biggest companies in the world including Siemens, Coca Cola, Johnson & Johnson, BP, Dow, and more.

You might be asking yourself, ok, but Richard, you work for Winshuttle, so where does Winshuttle fit into this story? The answer is “right in the middle!”  Let me explain.

Winshuttle started in 2003 with the mission to help companies improve and automate their SAP processes with a unique and deep integration with SAP.  Winshuttle also has an impressive list of customers, including the Celonis customers mentioned above and 2400 more.

Winshuttle fits squarely in the middle of Celonis’s process excellence vision:  Discover, Enhance, and Monitor.  Organizations use Celonis to discover the key areas of their processes that need performance or automation improvements. With this analysis in hand they then implement Winshuttle to deliver these enhancements. Finally, they use Celonis to monitor and analyze the Winshuttle gains through the SAP system for scaling measurements and to quantify its achievements and R.O.I.

Both Celonis and Winshuttle can help organizations optimize and automate their SAP processes that are highly repetitive and high-volume human activities within any SAP module.

Automation with Winshuttle pre-recorded scripts becomes a vital part of the process improvement cycle.  What can take a human minutes or even hours or complete can be done in seconds. But it’s not just about the automation itself, but also identifying what to automate in the first place.  Optimizing core operational processes in SAP can deliver enormous competitive advantages for organizations and not just once, but continuously as the business changes.

For example, one of the most important processes for organizations to improve its efficiency and automation is the Purchase-to-Pay (P2P) process. Below is a screenshot of the Celonis dashboard showing valuable insight about an organization’s P2P process, including the most common variant of all their P2P process, the number of days on average each invoice takes to process, what happens during each step, and more.

 

Celonis also enables you to set ‘conforming’ and ‘non-conforming’ process paths or variants. Essentially this is a thumbs up or down report based on key criteria.

The P2P analysis shows over 44% of the 1.12M P.O. items falling into the “non-conforming” category with the “Change Price” event occurring about 31% of the time.   This information is valuable to an organization in helping them determine where they need to spend their time improving.

 

If we drill into the “Change Price” event, we see that this step violates the goals, increasing the length of the process by 38 days, and 7+ steps each time the event occurs. The subsequent delays are having a significant impact on the business.

A couple of things we could deduce from these insights are:  a) the change price request is triggering way too often; and, b) due to this high number, there could also be a systemic problem with the pricing master data.

Now what?  Based on the analysis, the handoff to Winshuttle begins: Winshuttle can automate the price change event in the specific order by automating the SAP T-code ME21 or ME22. This automation script can be created and ready to go in as little as an hour by a non-programmer in Winshuttle.

Winshuttle can also address the other insight where the master data price needs to be updated in SAP. These pricing updates are accomplished by automating the VK11 or VK12 T-code, using another automation script.   Winshuttle can extract and post data into SAP from its user-friendly Excel plug-in with one simple action, without launching SAP, and adhering to all SAP security permissions in place.

 

If you need approvals for the pricing changes before posting to SAP, you can add an approval workflow form and load the price change data automatically with another click of a button. You can learn more about this price change automation in Winshuttle in this webinar.

This is just one of many examples where Celonis and Winshuttle can help organizations Discover, Enhance, and Monitor their SAP Processes.  To learn more about all the possibilities, please go to www.winshuttle.com/celonis.

About the author

Richard Rogers

Richard leads the Americas Partner Program for Winshuttle. His experience spans over 20 years in the software industry encompassing ERP, workflow, automation, middleware and database technologies. Richard is based in Seattle, Washington, USA.

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