Vestas Wind Systems, the world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines, is meeting the world’s demand for clean energy by automating and simplifying procurement with SAP Ariba solutions.
Streamline, simplify, and standardize procurement processes
Wind power is clean, renewable, and cost-effective. With more than 130 gigawatts of installed wind turbines in 80 countries and over 100 gigawatts of wind turbines under service, Vestas Wind Systems A/S is a pioneer and leader in the wind energy sector. To help it deliver quality products and services and minimize waste, Vestas counts on thousands of suppliers worldwide. Troels Fleckenstein, vice president of IT solutions at Vestas, explains, “Developing our supply chain and supplier base as we penetrate new markets is critical.”
Vestas was struggling with various siloed procurement systems, which created lots of manual work. “People had to do a lot of copying and pasting to get the information in one place,” says Lene Sondergaard Hansen, director of digitalization and processes for global procurement at Vestas. “It was not efficient. We needed a single, unified procurement platform.” Daniel García López, IT director for Vestas operations, explains, “The goal is to provide total visibility and transparency while simplifying and standardizing the way we work with suppliers, moving from communicating to sharing data and converting this data into business insights.”
Sustainability is also key to Vestas’ mission. “We have a zero-emissions goal for our products,” says Fleckenstein. “That includes our suppliers and the materials they provide. This means we need to ensure each one is complying with our standards and adhering to our code of conduct.”
To make all this possible, Sondergaard Hansen explains, “We needed a simple, user-friendly system so new suppliers could be onboarded quickly.”
A simplified source-to-pay solution
After looking at various options, Vestas decided that SAP Ariba solutions were the right fit. “SAP Ariba solutions,” says García López, “will allow us to improve lead times, not only in procurement but also in supply chain, planning, logistics, and more, by boosting collaboration across lines of business. It’s a holistic supply chain suite, especially since it integrates with our SAP ERP application.”
“With SAP Ariba solutions, we have the capabilities to manage all our spend – direct and indirect,” comments Fleckenstein. “That is really what made it stand out from the other solutions we looked at.”
In addition to SAP Ariba solutions, Vestas deployed the SAP Signature Management application by DocuSign to enable electronic signing and online management of documents from any device, further improving transparency and processing time.
Vestas has had significant success. “We have a team to help with change management and communication internally and with suppliers,” explains García López, “and mobile access has made adoption easier. We have roughly 2,000 users with SAP Ariba solutions installed on their devices, and thousands of new and existing suppliers have been onboarded.”
Faster processes and better buying
Since deploying SAP Ariba solutions, Vestas is seeing better supplier compliance, more advantageous contracts, and streamlined buying. “With qualification questionnaires built right into the solutions, compliance is automatically enabled in the onboarding process,” states Sondergaard Hansen. “And with everything on the same platform, people have to follow the process. POs and invoices are automatically matched, and there are fewer delays with POs and parked or blocked invoices.”
“Keeping track of costs and getting the best price is critical,” says Fleckenstein. “SAP Ariba solutions help us deliver through our contracts so we can scale while continuing to ensure quality.” Recently implemented e-auction functionality saves time on price bidding. Vestas is also improving its catalogs and has introduced the guided buying capability. “Now, our people can be sure they are buying the right products from the right suppliers at the right price in-line with our global priorities and agreements,” adds García López.
“Currently, we have 9,000 colleagues working remotely around the globe,” says Fleckenstein, “so having a single, cloud-based procurement solution is a big advantage. All in all, SAP Ariba solutions are dramatically reducing our time to market and helping us keep pace with the push for new products and new suppliers."
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