Proservartner sheds light on Univar's
financial processes

Univar Solutions needed to deepen their understanding of Order To Cash and Procure To Pay processes across their EMEA regions.

Global chemical &




Finance analysis &


“We would not have the same process mining capabilities and insights without our relationship with Proservartner and their partner Celonis.”

Sam Horam, Process Excellence Lead

Univar's challenges

Univar’s EMEA team recognised they did not have visibility on how financial processes were carried out in each country across the region or a way of measuring efficiency. Without visibility, savings could not be identified and a modernisation roadmap could not be created.

The Univar team was aware they had a large percentage of manual process activity which should be automated and a high incidence rate of blocked invoices and changes being made to POs. However, they were not able to attribute causes to these issues, see how much process variation there was between locations and business area or what kind of changes were occurring.

A new process excellence team was being created to take on projects such as this which had not been done before. Just starting out, they knew they needed a trusted partner to help build their capabilities, introduce them to technology solutions and support their work as they got the ball rolling on modernising the business.

If they could get some quick wins under their belt, credibility could be built up and leveraged to carry out larger, even more transformational work.

Proservartner's solution

Proservartner’s team supported Univar’s process excellence team, examining the Procure To Pay (P2P) and Order To Cash (O2C) functions. A project plan was created to:

    • Extract system data

    • Create event logs

    • Use this information to build KPIs

    • Use Celonis to evaluate process flows

    • Track KPIs over time

    • Identify the root causes of inefficiencies

    • Review key findings with Univar subject matter experts

    • Present a final report with analysis carried out on root causes with recommendations on improvements based on Proservartner and Univar’s joint expertise

Proservartner got straight to work learning Univar’s differing processes across their different countries and creating a ‘happy path’ for both P2P and O2C. Before work began, one particular process had 161,899 possible variants with only 11% of cases following the eight-step happy path. This emphasised to the Proservartner team that there was high variability inside processes and significant scope for standardisation.

The process deep dive uncovered how much manual work was being done and the percentage of automation in each geographic area. It was discovered that the amount of automation was 40% of processes on average but this varied significantly with the UK region only being 21% automated.

Knowing how much work was done manually plus how much rework, such as a quantity or price change, was needed, helped inform us of the potential savings if a process was optimised and automated.

Benefits of the solution

Using Celonis data, a number of actions were proposed and have begun to be implemented which include:

  • Reduce manual effort end-to-end.

  • Identify and implement RPA and automation potential.

  • Reduce rework activities to improve the rate of ‘first time right’ processes.

  • Accelerate fulfillment and quality to receive goods on time and in full, reducing quantity change activities.

  • Reduce purchasing spend to avoid systematic price increases.

All of these changes combined are creating an estimated € 800,000 in savings for the business.

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