Especially during an S/4HANA migration, people in charge not only have to understand their processes, but also make them more efficient in order to complete the migration with a positive ROI. However, fragmented IT system landscapes, which usually consist of more than just ERP systems, make this task more difficult. The Celonis Execution Management System adds an intelligent layer to transactional systems such as ERP, SCM, and CRM and delivers enormous value that goes far beyond the value of classic process mining. The world’s leading brewery Anheuser-Busch InBev, which is using Celonis to prepare its S/4HANA migration among other things, offers an impressive demonstration of Celonis’ capabilities. Vini Cardoso, Global Tech Director in Finance at AB InBev, is enthusiastic about the solution, “We see the use of this technology as a turning point for our entire company.”
Gaining value from complex processes
Efficient business processes are critical to digital transformations. But during their execution, processes in accounts payable or accounts receivable, purchasing, or order management run through highly distributed landscapes that consist of different technologies, systems, and applications. Over the past few years, process mining has proven itself in thousands of companies as a kind of “X-ray” to make complex processes visible, identify problems, and improve them. On this foundation, an Execution Management System (EMS) can help companies continuously optimize their business in a data-driven and intelligent way. The EMS includes technologies for process analysis, planning and simulation, and automating process flows.
All-in-one solution for process mining
Practice shows that processes interact closely with each other. In most cases, they cannot be clearly separated and isolated. For example, purchasing, ordering, and invoicing are closely intertwined. Processing multi-event logs as part of a comprehensive process mining solution is the only way to gain comprehensive insights and take appropriate optimization measures. With the help of process planning and simulation, an EMS also allows companies to make forecasts. Forecasts enable companies to analyze how changes in processes will impact their business goals. This works both for S/4HANA transformations and all general business optimizations.
An EMS also facilitates process automation across all source systems. For example, orders can be prioritized automatically without having to compile data from a wide variety of systems. The combination of real-time data analysis, intelligence, and automation enables smooth process flows and overall business optimizations.
This technology is also fundamental during S/4HANA transformations to identify and ultimately generate real value from these complex projects. Celonis helps companies gain a comprehensive understanding of their data basis and underlying processes. During migration, these data-driven insights provide the basis for crucial decisions, such as whether a greenfield or brownfield transformation is the right choice.
Keep reading to learn more about the story from Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world’s leading brewer.
Driving change at Anheuser-Busch InBev
With more than 170,000 employees and popular brands such as Budweiser, Stella Artois, and Corona, the company knows the challenges of rapid growth. As a result of acquisitions and organic growth, AB InBev had acquired or developed dozens of IT systems and set out to unify its complex IT landscape. In ERP alone, AB InBev had more than 30 different systems that they needed to consolidate as part of the SAP S/4HANA project – a long-lasting and complex process that comes with many challenges. In 2018, Anheuser-Busch InBev turned to Celonis to ensure a successful migration and to rebuild its global business processes from scratch.
Using Celonis to support S/4HANA migration
The company started using Celonis technology in purchase-to-pay, order-to-cash, and auditing in Brazil. “There were a lot of surprises in workshops because our employees could see real-life processes for the first time – and they were different from what they had expected,” says Vini Cardoso, Global Tech Director in Finance at AB InBev.
Celonis’ AI-powered software highlighted not only discrepancies, but also the root causes. As a result, more than 60 hypotheses were developed and tested. This resulted in about 100 process changes that were incorporated into the migration and new process design of the SAP S/4HANA landscape. These included automations, system configuration changes, and best practices for employees that had previously required additional manual effort. “Today, we can continuously observe the status of our key performance indicators on different dashboards, and check how changes in processes affect our business performance,” comments Damián Terenzi, Global Tech Director of Process Efficiency at AB InBev.
Global technology rollout
Impressed with the results achieved in Brazil, AB InBev began analyzing the same processes in Europe, the U.S. and Mexico. Managers quickly identified potential cost savings in the millions, and that’s just “scratching the surface”, Cardoso says.
Inspired by previous results, AB InBev has established a Center of Excellence (CoE) to identify and drive further improvement opportunities in process efficiency and compliance across the $47 billion group. The CoE will consolidate all process mining expertise and resources into a single point of contact across the company, ensuring successful implementation across departments and regions. From AB InBev to Hager Group to Endress + Hauser, there are countless examples of how companies looking at their process landscape, be it as part of an S/4HANA migration or general digitization, can achieve tremendous results using Celonis’ Execution Management System – from fact-based insights to billions of dollars in savings.