The implementation of the BIC Platform at German food retail giant EDEKA Handelsgesellschaft Südwest mbH (EDEKA Südwest), headquartered in Offenburg, has illustrated how it is possible to continually improve the transparency of company processes, to clearly define responsibilities, and, ultimately, to optimize these processes.
Objectives for the implementation of the new Process Management Software
The objective of the project was to improve methodological and technical support for procedures that had been set up at EDEKA Südwest to analyze and optimize processes (e.g., processing times and costs), as well as to enable more rapid identification of areas for potential optimization, allowing the implementation of appropriate measures. The existing business process management program used by EDEKA Südwest, which was based on MS Visio and Excel tables, was also planned to be optimized with a modern database-supported platform. An important component of the project was to transfer the existing modelling as seamlessly as possible to the new technology. In addition, on the basis of content that was to become database-supported, state-of-the-art evaluation procedures needed to be developed and implemented.
The initial situation
The tool that EDEKA Südwest had been using required a large degree of manual effort for the maintenance and management of the approximately 1,800 processes. The navigation was set up on a number of different layers and, among other things, a high level of detailed knowledge was necessary in order to be able to use the limited search function. In addition, functions for process evaluation were limited or non-existent, and options for expansion had been exhausted as well. The new EDEKA Südwest process portal needed to be intranet-based, set up for the company’s documents, processes, IT systems, and management, and all employees needed to be able to access their processes and work materials.
At the start of the project, approximately 1,800 process diagrams were semi-automatically transferred from MS Visio to BIC Design. As a result of this semi-automation, some 750 work hours were able to be saved. As the processes for each work assignment were recorded, each process goal was quantitatively and qualitatively determined and defined. The definition was done in a flexible manner, determined by the specific process. For instance, the processing and idle times for selected processes were recorded, compared to target times, and then evaluated, using an analysis component custom-designed for EDEKA Südwest.
Support in implementing corporate strategy
The project supported corporate strategy by making it possible to quantify optimization, compare variants, and to design best-practice processes that were easy to both identify and repeat. Through the process modeling that was conducted, cost-savings became visible and the cost-benefit analysis of the selected processes came more clearly into focus. Rounding out the picture was the ability to use process scenarios as the basis for easily evaluating and communicating alternatives within the transformation of processes at EDEKA Südwest. The navigation of the new process model is multi-layered. It is based on a hierarchical multi-level model that continually adds detail to processes. The different views that are available upon entering the portal (Process View, Corporate Strategy, Organigram, Documents, and Roles) allow intuitive navigation. Further, a user-friendly display provides a good overview of the individual processes that make up a process house. Processes can also be accessed as handbooks, making it possible to use them in meetings or for other purposes.
Conclusion and benefits
In this project, BIC Platform was used to implement a future-oriented and functional system at EDEKA Südwest. It fulfilled all stated requirements and met with an enthusiastic response from the different user groups. With BIC Platform, an information platform was created that has sustainably increased the quality of work processes and has been of great benefit for all participants:
- the most current versions of processes are accessible at any time, and form the basis for optimization
- process interfaces are determined and handover points are defined
- responsibilities are clearly laid out and are visible to portal users
- by submitting suggestions, portal users can actively participate in the improvement process
About EDEKA Handelsgesellschaft mbH
Within its sales territory (the federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland, as well as portions of Hessen und Bavaria), EDEKA Südwest is among the largest food retailers. Together with about 540 independent merchants, EDEKA Südwest operates approximately 1,400 stores belonging to the EDEKA, E center, ...nah und gut, Union SB, Marktkauf, and Treff 3000 distribution channels. These range from small neighborhood markets to enormous warehouse stores of over 6,000 square meters in size, with more than 50,000 products. EDEKA Südwest has five logistics centers, located in Offenburg, Ellhofen, Balingen, Heddesheim and St. Ingbert, with a total of approximately 220,000 square meters of storage space. The company’s own production operations include numerous meat plants and industrial bakeries, a wine cellar, a wholesale fish and seafood operation, and a mineral spring. For each of these operations, the same strict regulations apply: stringent controls and certified quality management are key.