Vodafone drives finance automation with Celonis Process Mining

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Vodafone’s Finance Operations function started to work with process mining technology in 2015 to start building an evidence-based foundation for continuous process improvement. To date, it has implemented process mining technology and discipline across five business processes in Finance Operations: accounts payable; transactional cash management (processing statements, payments clearing); intercompany accounting; asset and project accounting; and employee expense processing.

Case study key facts

Organisation Vodafone
Industry Telecommunications
Current goals Over the past 10 years Vodafone has implemented a global back-office consolidation programme, focused on unifying and streamlining systems, processes and organisations in supply-chain management, human resources and finance functions. However, for some time, Vodafone was trying to manage its globally-shared, common back-office systems and processes from a very reactive position. Without real clarity regarding the detail of process operations, teams struggled to identify and prioritise process improvement tactics and projects with confidence.

Vodafone’s Finance Operations function started to work with process mining technology in 2015 to start building an evidence-based foundation for continuous process improvement.

Current approach To date, Vodafone has implemented process mining technology and discipline across five business processes in Finance Operations: accounts payable; transactional cash management (processing statements, payments clearing); intercompany accounting; asset and project accounting; and employee expense processing.
Outcome Vodafone’s Finance Operations has seen some significant wins through process mining, the primary win being the achievement of a key milestone in its ‘touchless invoice automation’ initiative – the invoice automation rate has increased from around 13% to around 40%.
Tools and suppliers used Celonis Process Mining.

Organisation background

Vodafone Group is one of the world’s largest telecommunications providers, providing service to over 500 million customers in 26 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania. The Vodafone business was originally created in order to operate the UK’s second cellular telecommunications license; it was launched in 1985. It now employs over 100,000 people around the world.

Over the past 10 years Vodafone has implemented a global back-office consolidation programme, focused on unifying and streamlining systems, processes and organisations – particularly in supply-chain management, human resources and finance functions.

As part of this consolidation, all Vodafone’s country operations transitioned to common, shared SAP systems-of-record in these areas (this work was completed in 2012-13). Common, shared business processes were defined across these functions, and a group of Process Owners identified as responsible for documenting, controlling and improving these processes. Shared service centres in India, Egypt, Hungary, Romania and South Africa now operate these processes on behalf of individual Vodafone operating companies, employing around 20,000 people.

Project background and drivers

As part of its global back-office consolidation programme, Vodafone’s process owners worked with operations teams to design, define and document detailed process models and procedure definitions. However, there was no way of knowing to what extent the prescribed processes were being followed.

Of course, Vodafone had put some process management systems in place: for example, an internal audit team was used on a periodic basis to sample-check the work of shared-services teams – but this could only ever give a very partial picture of process conformance and fitness-for-purpose. In addition, every month KPI reports were created that showed how operations teams had performed over the previous month, but again these gave only a partial and backward-looking view.


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