The now well-known challenges of digitalization concern not only small and medium-sized companies, but above all large corporations such as Südzucker AG as well. For initially identifying digitalization potential and deriving appropriate measures, it's imperative to gain an overview of the entire process and IT landscape. That's a real challenge for a company of this size.
During a large-scale as-is process survey covering maintenance, quality management, human resources and secretarial services at the ten German and several international production sites, the following questions had to be answered:
- What activities are carried out in which specialist areas?
- What systems are used and what interfaces are available?
- Which processes does my SAP system support?
- How many obsolete paper documents, media discontinuities, communication loops, duplications and black boxes are present?
To answer these questions, the first step was to analyze the heterogeneous and historically evolved process constellation. Long months and many intensive and extremely exciting workshops culminated in a successful initial inventory.
These processes were modeled for each segment in harmonized process overviews, and a BPM competence center was established in parallel. Quick wins could then be identified even before the process optimization by aligning the processes between the production sites, ensuring that the processes will continue to thrive in the long term and that a common understanding of the processes between business and IT will prevail.
The final optimization initiative developed a shared target process constellation with optimized data flows, new systems, and delimited task areas and responsibilities for each of the individual segments.
The initial process mapping step was deliberately omitted for Logistics. Instead, the direct approach of a central target process definition was chosen and implemented via agile workshops. Taking into account the entire value-added chain, new and digital business models were developed here and rolled out internationally.
Ultimately, Südzucker AG gained deep insight and a structured overview of its process landscape through this initiative and can now derive future business models through optimization processes. Both the approach via the inventory and the approach with agile target process development were constructive, so that the segments under consideration along the value-added chain are now ready for pinpoint digitalization initiatives.
"Business process optimization is a core competence of Scheer. The consultants demonstrated this throughout the project, from the definition of targets through implementation to the establishment of our BPM Competence Center."
– Andreas Veil, Business Process Development Operations, Südzucker AG
Author: Eike Sander