Vodafone Sharpens Supply Chain Management with Celonis

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Telecommunications firm Vodafone has a massive international operation, with more than 470 million mobile customers, 14 million broadband customers, mobile operations in 26 countries, and fixed broadband operations in 17 countries. With that kind of scale, the company’s supply chain management (SCM) needs to be as streamlined and efficient as possible.

“The sheer volume of our purchasing operation is enormous: We manage more than 800,000 purchase orders, 5 million invoices, and 40 million assets, which adds up to more than 10 terabytes of data that we house in various storage systems and applications including our [enterprise resource planning] system, SharePoint document management system, and other data stores,” says Israel Exposito-Peraza, global process lead for Big Data process mining at Vodafone. “We discovered that traditional analytics tools could not uncover hidden inefficiencies or give our data a full-body scan and unbiased analysis to solve problems we did not even know we had.”

To deliver that full-body scan, Vodafone turned to Celonis, whose Big Data process mining analytics technology can analyze massive amounts of data, reconstruct what actually happens in companies’ business processes, identify inefficiencies, and automatically suggest improvements.

“We knew we needed to eliminate the inefficiencies from our massive purchasing operations by uncovering hidden business process problems and further automating and streamlining supply chain processes,” Exposito-Peraza says. “When we first saw the new Big Data analytics process mining solution from Celonis, we knew we found the right solution to meet our needs.”

Celonis’s Big Data process mining technology identified gaps and deviations from standard procedure in the source-to-pay process, which is responsible for managing Vodafone’s procurement activities. The solution quickly determined where inefficiencies and deviations were driving up costs and delivery times while giving a clear-eyed view into the company’s SCM operations. The result: real-time analysis with transparency for all users, providing “one version of the truth,” Exposito-Peraza says.

This newfound transparency has led to impressive results. The company surpassed its goal of completing 80 percent of purchase orders correctly the first time around, establishing a rate of 85 percent. This yielded a reduction in operational purchasing costs by 11 percent. Vodafone was also able to reduce time to market by 20 percent by de-bottlenecking its purchasing operation.

“We knew that we needed to transform and streamline our SCM operation to become world-class in terms of efficiency and agility,” Exposito-Peraza says. “The results were extraordinary from the beginning. Celonis helped us to transform our purchasing operations into a more efficient organization. Our implementation of process mining illustrates how organizations can use this new technology to gain complete visibility into their business operations and supply chains.” 

The Payoff

With Celonis's Big Data process mining analytics solution, Vodafone has seen the following results:

  • 85 percent of purchase orders are completed correctly the first time around;
  • operational purchasing costs have been cut by 11 percent; and
  • time to market has been reduced by 20 percent.

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