Celonis: generating data insight with process mining

Nick Mitchell, Vice President and Country Manager at Celonis on the company and its approach to process mining and execution management for data analytics

Tell me about Celonis, your role and your responsibilities there?

Celonis helps companies reveal and fix inefficiencies they can’t see, enabling them to perform at levels they never thought possible. Celonis pioneered process mining and execution management, and our Execution Management System (EMS), powered by process mining technology, combines real-time data, process intelligence and the ability to take targeted action in one cloud platform. It orchestrates across systems, processes and people to fix inefficiencies and eliminate silent killers of performance, which hurt businesses and even the planet. It’s the only end-to-end solution that can do this - previous attempts to organise or apply intelligence to data, or to automate parts of a business, have always been siloed.  

We’re helping companies unlock billions in corporate inefficiencies, providing better employee and customer experiences and reducing carbon emissions. 

The company was founded by three students of the Technische Universität München in 2011 and later went on to achieve unicorn status in 2018. We announced our first US$1bn Series D round last year which increased Celonis’ valuation to more than US$11bn, making it Germany’s most valuable private company and New York’s most valuable startup. Many big global brands see the benefit of working with Celonis, including global brands such as BP, Reckitt, GSK, AstraZeneca, Vodafone, Delphi, and more.

I am Country Manager of UK&I at Celonis. A key part of my role is to adapt to and understand the challenges that our customers are facing, and as a result, I need to come up with innovative and thoughtful ways to get around them. With more efficient processes we should also reduce the stress on businesses and individuals. 

The last couple of years has been extremely difficult for UK businesses and consumers alike, with the pandemic, new ways of working, supply chain issues and the rising cost of living. Drastic change is needed to be able to move forward, but it must be balanced with empathy for the conditions that people are experiencing.

For example, our work with Capco, a global management and technology consultancy, specifically aims to drive process efficiencies in the post-Covid economy. With more efficient processes we should also reduce the stress on businesses and individuals.  

So I’m constantly working to be fully evangelising and supporting others with the challenges ahead. The answers are out there but helping people find them is the biggest skill.  

How do you support companies with process mining and execution management?

As the global leader in process mining and execution management, Celonis helps companies identify execution gaps and fix, reactively and proactively, the hidden inefficiencies within their processes. Ultimately, this leads to both cost savings and improved sustainability, as waste is removed from operational processes wherever possible. This approach to data and process analysis helps companies become more efficient, leading to greater value across the top line, bottom line and green line.

In your opinion, how can companies work to make the most out of their data?

Before organisations dive into transformation projects, they need to step back and take a closer look at their business to pinpoint exactly where the inefficiencies lie. But this hasn’t proven to be easy, historically: Systems complexity has become so overwhelming, and hidden-in-plain-sight problems hinder enterprises’ ability to thrive in today’s world. Productivity has decreased to historic levels and that’s why we’re looking at a new normal of inflation, supply chain issues and a need for sustainability. Previous attempts to organise or apply intelligence to data, or to automate parts of a business, have always been siloed; companies need an end-to-end solution. Furthermore, companies can use technology solutions like process mining and execution management to combine and understand real-time data properly, process intelligence and the ability to take targeted action in one - not a complex web - cloud platform. 

Cisco, for example, deployed process mining and as a result, was able to automate 86% of manual process steps and generate active and passive time savings for agents who are no longer required to manually time their update requests. This data-driven visibility helps businesses like Cisco to improve profit margins, business agility, and customer service while reducing operational costs. By increasing investment in process mining, businesses can avoid slowing decline and growth as a result of the current economic circumstances.

How can process mining help with supply chain management, particularly with different global events causing unexpected disruptions?

As I previously mentioned, the last couple of years have been extremely difficult for UK businesses and consumers alike, with the pandemic, new ways of working, supply chain issues and the rising cost of living. 

Process mining is ultimately proving to be a solution to many supply chain issues. It acts as an X-ray by monitoring all the processes within the supply chain, before putting a spotlight on potential bottlenecks. It can flag high-risk vendors throughout the supply chain and assess how likely it is that goods will be delayed, providing clarity around where specific adjustments are needed, rather than making onerous adjustments to the overall supply chain.

Vendors who typically serve just one region or sit elsewhere in the supply chain, for example, can then step in to plug some of the gaps. This level of real-time insight is only possible with the latest technology, which enables business leaders to make the best possible decisions during times of such uncertainty.

What is next for Celonis, what can we expect in the future?

We want to continue empowering businesses to effectively utilise all of their data, become more efficient and operate at performance levels previously unimaginable. With the increasingly urgent need for sustainability - climate change is rapidly worsening, and businesses need to embed sustainability into their core processes and practices; rising inflation; and ongoing supply chain issues, only efficient businesses will thrive. 

We are in a new normal now, where inflation, supply chain issues and the need for sustainability are not going away. Businesses need to accept this new reality and adapt. There is no short-term solution, especially when it comes to our planet. 

Our technology can help other companies improve their sustainability, but we also have sustainability goals of our own. We’ve taken actions to make our office spaces greener, such as reducing waste and using greener energy. We are in the process of evaluating our IT policies and are looking to donate and recycle more devices. We also put aside three days a year for every employee to volunteer and give back to their communities. We’ll be looking to continue expanding on our sustainability actions going forward too.

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