Connected solutions help manufacturers modernize their enterprise

  • November 09, 2023

Data. You know there’s gold in the mine, but that means you have to pay someone to dig for it.

Even when you have business intelligence systems in place, you can only know what you plan to know. The way you set up your business intelligence dashboard defines — and limits — the maximum potential for those systems.

So how are you going to identify all the numbers and find out what you couldn’t plan for? How can you reveal the parts of your business causing a drag on your profits?

As you probably know by now, NTT DATA unrelentingly strives to make your business as efficient as possible. We combine ServiceNow Source-to-Pay Operations (SPO) with the ServiceNow App Engine, NTT DATA methodology and Celonis' powerful process mining to make your business flow in a self-monitoring environment.

Let’s dive into what makes these solutions powerhouses and why NTT DATA brings them to our manufacturing clients.

Source-to-Pay lowers cost of goods sold (COGS)

Every unit of material used, every individual involved in its handling, every distance it travels and every moment it remains unsold represent additional costs to manufacturers.

That single sentence already roped in business development, operations, sales, marketing and a few more groups involved in the manufacturing process. It also helps explain why we often see departmentalization. Why should marketing care about the cost of source materials? (Answer: because it’s going to impact their price.) Why should sales care about storage costs? (Answer: because the longer an item sits in a warehouse, the more important it is to sell.)

Of course, all of that is easy to see. But what isn’t easy to see is where along the way you need to grease the skids. Celonis creates a clear, intuitive visual map of your entire source-to-pay process, so you can lower your cost of goods sold and increase margins.

You know the way that the process is supposed to happen. But what are the exceptions? Has a process broken down, and if so, is it limping along with a patch? Celonis shows you, in graphic form, exactly where process deviations are happening. Every deviation adds cost to the process, causing you to bleed capital without knowing why your bottom line continues to crater.

Not selling a physical product? You still have a train of events leading to the sale. As pros in the software space, we can attest to the fact that clients still have to wait to get their instances stood up. If you don’t ship items through Amazon, you probably ship software pre-sales, installation or support experts around the country — or around the world.

Worse still, process issues can hide even when systems are in fact, integrated. Quite often, systems that do connect don't exchange useful communications, so the problem remains. CRM and ERP, for example, are always connected to talk back and forth. But many processes happen manually via email and phone, for example. Celonis identifies the process gaps and ServiceNow automates the work of closing the gap.

Integrating Source-to-Pay with ServiceNow and NTT DATA

ServiceNow is an automated intelligence system. Think about what could change in your manufacturing enterprise — and even in your own life — if you could combine the power to identify deviations in your source-to-pay process with automated intelligence to either resolve the issues in real time or to get an alert.

You could spend your time only working on the most important parts of your manufacturing operations that require your attention.

The NTT DATA platform can synchronize your business processes and digital transformation to make that possibility a reality.

Legacy systems holding leaders back

Disconnected processes are only one of the challenges facing manufacturers. There’s also the issue of legacy ERP systems, which just aren’t built to do what a modern business requires. How do you know? Because you’re still reading. You know that there are problems keeping you up at night that ERPs installed ten years ago — or more — simply weren’t built for.

Trying to make a legacy ERP instance manage the modern load is like trying to squeeze 30 miles per gallon out of a 1975 pickup truck or run a Bitcoin mining stack on an electric system installed decades ago: there’s not enough luck in the world to get you there.

That’s where NTT DATA plays into this technology stack. NTT DATA can get you on the hardware, software and cloudware needed to power an optimal level of automation. Celonis finds the key weak points. ServiceNow, the automation engine, runs the fix while you’re dealing with other fires. You’ll have problems solved before you ever knew they were an issue.

How Source-to-Pay participates in integrated risk management

Anything that is constantly repeated can be automated. Here’s an example of how that could work:

  1. To determine if a control is effective, Celonis looks for instances where employees appear to spend excessive time on the control.
  2. Celonis analyzes data that sits in multiple systems across multiple teams that are integrated and managed via NTT DATA.
  3. Celonis connects to the source systems to mine the process continuously and collect evidence.
  4. Celonis then continuously tests process controls across 100% of the data population and then pushes the evidence into ServiceNow.
  5. ServiceNow can then assess the evidence to determine if a control is violated and, if so, notify the control owner for further action.
  6. ServiceNow can then guide the control owner in resolving the issue by fixing the underlying workflow causing the violation.

What changes when you have that power in your business? You can expect your workforce’s feelings of burnout to turn around. You could repeatedly save your business from costly pitfalls that it doesn’t even know it’s experiencing. And you can better manage your part of the business with a deeper level of insight and accountability.

Source-to-pay and integrated risk management together create an unparalleled level of decision-making with profound business implications. NTT DATA is committed to bringing manufacturers the highest level of business value, and to keep striving for more.

Learn more about how we’re helping organizations say YES to enterprise modernization and NO to technical debt as an award-winning ServiceNow Elite partner.

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Tanushree Panigrahy

With more than 15 years under her belt, Tanushree has delivered sustainable and monumental transformations across an array of Fortune 500 titans, particularly making a mark in the manufacturing sector. Her knowledge canvasses various domains, from enterprise software and media to healthcare, tech, ecommerce and the intricate workings of modern manufacturing processes. An insatiable learner, her prowess isn't restricted to ServiceNow. Beyond this, she has been at the helm of large-scale transformations, turning vision into actionable strategy.


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