“We need a consistent, reliable, measurable approach to gathering process insights that is reliable and in which ‘everybody’ is in.”

A clear, stated goal that is now in sight for General Motors Co., based on past and ongoing work across different SAP Signavio capabilities.

During an interview to preview a GM session at last month’s SAP Signavio Forum, Melissa Antovski, Global Process Transformation Manager, and Sam Floyd, Request to Pay Transformation Analyst, described the business context, the focused request-to-pay (RTP) transformation project, early findings, and the SAP Signavio growth path at the Detroit-based auto company.

To set the pace, Antovski and Floyd talked of the organization-wide focus to standardize and simplify processes; essential work as GM pursues its major strategic shift from internal combustion to electric vehicles. GM in 2021 achieved $114B in automotive revenue, and counted 6.3 million vehicles sold, 146,000 employees, and nearly 19,000 suppliers, among other stats.

Source of Truth

GM seeks to achieve a “Global Process Owner governance model” to enable “KPI visibility, ownership and clear accountability, agility, and end-to-end benefits.

“One source of truth across the company helps users function and perform more efficiently and effectively,” Antovski said.

She described GM’s search for a process mining tool that would deliver “reliable, consistent and measurable” data and insights, while Floyd added that because of GM’s size and scope, transformation is a multi-year journey.”

Proof of Concept (POC) Approach

The search paused last year when GM decided to test how SAP Signavio could support GPO and process mining through a POC; focused on the end-to-end Request to Pay process. From June through December of last year, POC activities included development; building process models; data mining; scenarios and analysis; and shared findings.

Antovski and Floyd quantified the POC work, noting the goal of one end-to-end RTP process involved 200 data elements; 100 hours of workshops; more than 50 contributors; more than 100,000 cases; and more than 10 functional groups. They also recalled a few “light-bulb moments.” These included documenting the cycle time for the overall process and conformance issues related to rework/rework reduction, Floyd said.

The efforts also achieved an “RTP on a page” process snapshot and a RTP value chain model. Both were used to assess performance and understand variation.

Floyd also listed POC lessons learned, namely:

  • Data integrity and security
  • Cross-functional team and contributor value
  • Time and effort investments
  • Leadership support—business and IT.

SAP Signavio Becomes GM’s Foundation

Speaking of leadership, Antovski said the ongoing work since the POC, more recently on Process Insights, is driving strong leadership backing to move forward, particularly from Peter TomHon, GM Request to Pay Transformation Leader, who said “SAP Signavio will be a foundational set of applications for our GPO providing the transparency and capability to oversee and govern our business processes in order to drive ongoing improvements and to achieve industry leading KPIs.”

The duo said GM’s process mining journey continues across the RTP workstream being deployed throughout the company, implementing both SAP Signavio Process Intelligence (Signavio Process Mining Solution) and SAP Process Insights.

“We are using SAP Signavio for enabling transformation and improved governance through Global Process Ownership,” said Antovski.

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