Mining the Customer Journey

35:31Recorded on 29 June 2017 at TU Eindhoven

Mick Langeberg(Veco, Netherlands)

Mick and his team identified a new process ‘From Engineering to Order’ that was not managed before. By experimenting with this new process for a few weeks they were able to get jaw-dropping results.


Mick is a supply chain manager at Veco, a precision metal manufacturer. With process mining, Mick found a technique to radically accelerate the New Product Development cycle and convert this to an opportunity for faster growth.

Veco had started using process mining three years ago as an addition to their Lean Six Sigma methodology, which helped them to reduce the lead time of production orders significantly. However, you often see that when you solve one problem, you uncover another.

As part of their growth strategy, Veco wanted to expand to new and existing customers outside of their existing part portfolio. When customers request a new product that they have not ordered before (so, it does not yet exist in the product catalogue), additional steps take place in the sales process: A sample first needs to be engineered, produced, and shipped to the customers before larger quantities are ordered.

To be able to close new deals quickly, Veco has the ambition to produce and deliver these samples within 15 days. However, by extracting data from the CRM and ERP system and analyzing it with process mining, they saw that it in fact took on average 52 days to deliver the samples to the customers. The longer the sample production process takes, the higher the risk that they may be losing these orders to the competition.

To understand the root cause of the delays, Mick and his team identified a new process ‘From Engineering to Order’ that was not managed before. In contrast to the production process of their regular catalogue parts, these sample parts required the involvement of the engineering department before they could be produced.

By involving members from both engineering and production, a “fast lane” was created for the engineering and production of these samples to speed up the ‘Engineering to Order’ process. By experimenting with this new process for a few weeks they were able to get “jaw-dropping” results. Within weeks, the director gave them the green light to implement this new way of working as the standard process, paving the way for future growth.

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