Goals and challenges

Due to the number of GFG Alliance operating locations, the company faced an unclear understanding and visibility of business processes. Processes had evolved in eight distinct business units over decades into a heterogeneous process landscape, leading to a lack of visibility and transparency in execution of most process areas; particularly procure-to-pay and opportunity-to-cash. The leadership team lacked accurate and comparable KPIs to facilitate strategic decisions. What GFG Alliance needed was the ability to collaborate in a more standardized and efficient way as well as develop company-wide transparency for people, processes, systems and data.

The "GFGWay" ERP program

The "GFGWay" ERP program was introduced as the most significant business transformation program in 20 years, involving all business units: Harmonization of eight ERP systems, 70 other legacy systems and a greenfield transition to SAP S/4HANA®. Under the lead of Stefan Szupper, Program Director, the company wanted to understand exactly how the business operated, to optimize processes based on real-time insights and enhance the performance of critical business areas. The goal of adding Signavio’s process mining solution and SAP S/4HANA® to their skillset was to get a platform in place where all of the eight distinct business units can easily operate and where data-based insights and decisions are facilitated.

Combining Signavio and SAP solutions

GFG Alliance’s target was to clarify how operations actually run, rather than just estimating how things should be done. This is why they decided for the end-to-end process approach with Signavio and SAP. A pre-configuration of available reference processes in Signavio builds the baseline and accelerates process harmonization initiatives across the organization. SAP Signavio Process Intelligence connected to SAP S/4HANA® has helped bring extensive visualization capabilities to the table. It provided the real-time information for strategic decision making to drive behavior, efficiency and performance.

However, as with other established businesses, the implementation of a new approach and technology presented major challenges in regards to company culture. For decades, processes had been executed the same way. Requiring a change of mindset needed fundamental work on processes and new systems, together with the entire GFG team. SAP and Signavio built the strong solution that GFG Alliance needed to drive this initiative, create process understanding and convince their stakeholders of process improvement activities:

“We now have the ability to showcase to teams directly how they are operating in the system. For example, we are able to check process performance with our offshore Shared Service team and find ways of improvement quickly, ”

Stefan Szupper, Program Director - GFG Way, GFG Alliance

Benefits-wise, GFG Alliance has already noticed clearer and quicker insights into both the performance of their ERP and business processes, as well as a data-based and more accurate view on critical business areas. Stefan Szupper and his team were able to bring more visibility to the company, especially into warehouse stock levels, with increased performance in sales, fostering better reporting.

GFG Alliance’s results: The Process Machine Room with 360 degree insights

Today, GFG Alliance has a clearer understanding of how processes should run and how they are executed in reality. Employees can be shown how they can operate more efficiently in the system, as Stefan Szupper points out:

“As a clear improvement, we can now track user behavior: We are able to access real information on how our systems and people behave and can measure this against our process standards.”

GFG Alliance benefits from fact-based conversations, for example, when it comes to discussing the maturity of procure-to-pay processes. Harmonized process models based on best practices ensure a faster adoption at business user level. Process variants, delays and compliance violations are discovered quickly.

As top outcomes, GFG Alliance notes:

  • Better overview of warehouses stock levels and the performance of selling and delivering materials to customers
  • More accurate view on reorder points for raw materials, which is positively impacting the cash flow
  • Adherence to defined procurement processes leading to a decrease in late payments and a decrease of missed procurement discounts
  • Increase in cash-forecasting accuracy due to the lower number of invoices received without a purchase order
  • Faster 'period-end-close' and increased visibility and transparency across warehouse stock levels, material aging, sales and delivery performance.
  • Better operational reporting for standardized, end of the month disclosures to the leadership team.

“With Signavio and SAP S/4HANA®, we were able to break up old-style behavior and go to the next century of business process execution.”

Stefan Szupper, Program Director - GFG Way, GFG Alliance

With real-time information, GFG Alliance is now able to improve common controlling and governance, get faster insights, de-risk operations and reach a faster time-to-value. With this, GFG Alliance’s management team can have full confidence in their strategic decision making.