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Explore Vestas’ journey with SAP

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.

>€20

 million

estimated savings over the next five years.

75

%

reduction in parked and blocked invoice handling time.

7

%

savings delivered through e-auctions across categories.

Troels Fleckenstein
Vice President of IT Solutions, Vestas Wind Systems A/S

SAP Ariba solutions are powerful. They allow us to orchestrate our full supply chain and better engage suppliers so that we can operate and maneuver with insights, speed, and quality while optimizing cash flow.

 

The Challenge

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.”

Daniel García López
IT Director – Operations, Vestas Wind Systems A/S

Ariba Network is the largest supplier network worldwide, so it can cover our global footprint and allow our people and suppliers to work as a team across the source-to-pay process.

The Solution

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.”

Exploring new directions in the wind

Vestas plans on entering new  markets and promoting aftermarket services. “We are looking for new digital revenue streams and new ways to engage with customers on things like energy management, storage, and even trading,” says Fleckenstein.

The Result

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."

Lene Sondergaard Hansen
Director of Digitalization and Processes for Global Procurement, Vestas Wind Systems A/S

In terms of sustainability, digitalized processes, such as the use of digital signatures, are reducing our paper use.

Daniel García López
IT Director – Operations, Vestas Wind Systems A/S

The automation and integration we get with SAP Ariba solutions will help lower costs and increase efficiency. This will help us operate in more complex markets and mitigate trade barriers to produce faster while ensuring quality products.

SAP helps Vestas run better

Key business outcomes and benefits

  • Improved procure-to-pay management and exception handling
  • Better supplier compliance
  • Fewer delays
  • Dramatically reduced time to market

Featured solutions and services

About Vestas Wind Systems A/S

Vestas Wind Systems A/S is a pioneer and leader in the wind energy sector, with more than 130 gigawatts of installed wind turbines in 80 countries.

Industry Company Size Partner
Industrial machinery and components Large n/a
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