The renewable energy solutions distributor relies on SAP’s integrated offering to accelerate growth and the goals of rapid globalization. VP Solar migrated to the new SAP S/4HANA Cloud solution in just over six months
Vimercate, June 12, 2023 – VP Solar has been operating since 1999 in the distribution of components and systems for renewable energy and energy saving. Over time, VP Solar has built and consolidated a reputation as a reliable partner with a clear B2B positioning, expert in selecting and testing innovative solutions to be proposed systemically thanks to the engineering approach of its research and development team. With a family business footprint, VP Solar is committed to sustainability through a long-term vision, contributing to the production and use of decentralized, sustainable, emission-free and affordable energy.
Based in the province of Treviso (Italy), with 45 employees and a turnover of 300 million euros, the vision of VP Solar has always been to offer totally integrated systems that start with the creation of energy through photovoltaic panels to energy supply through heat pumps, heating, air conditioning, or storing it in batteries, in order to make zero emission homes and companies run greener and with low energy impact.
The new challenges for VP Solar: Globalization and new market positioning
With the entry in January 2022 of the Tadiran Group, an Israeli leader in the sale of solutions for air conditioning, VP Solar, which is already a reference point in Italy for the distribution of solutions for renewable energy, now aims to a rapid expansion in Europe. Today, the main European markets for renewable energy are Germany, Spain, Italy and France. Several countries show a low maturity in the implementation of integrated energy systems, for example the storage of self-produced energy, often due to the lack of incentive policies.
Another important short-term challenge for VP Solar is to position itself on the Commercial & Industrial (C&I) market with an integrated offering that allows companies to produce their own energy in-house, avoiding a total dependence on the electricity system, natural gas or other fossil source. At present, market conditions allow a company a rapid return on investment, achievable even in less than three years, exploiting both incentives related to the National Recovery and Resilience Plan funds and those provided for Italian and European legislation.
New business scenario demands more mature and flexible choices
One of the main motivations behind VP Solar’s focus on GROW with SAP, a comprehensive offering of solutions to enable midsize companies to successfully transition to cloud ERP, was the technological evolution that Tadiran Group is implementing from an SAP on premise (SAP ECC) system to SAP S/4HANA in the private cloud version, scheduled to end by 2026. The Group, which recorded about 700 million sales in 2022, aims to more than double that number within the next three to four years. To achieve this goal, it must equip itself with new skills and tools suitable for a sustainable development of the business.
VP Solar, for its part, has also adapted its systems from SAP Business One to SAP S/4HANA Cloud public edition, with a project that started last September and went live in early April of this year. This implementation effectively acted as a pilot and best practice for other companies in the group operating in the same context. This evolution of the company’s technology systems will help managers to control all the processes and business data of the group’s companies more easily.
“With the GROW with SAP offering, we have focused on the best solution available on the market and we have equipped ourselves with a tool that can support our continuous evolution and that adapts to the specificities of our industry. This change is also reflected in a greater involvement of our people, who feel stimulated by the innovative developments that the company is doing to them to improve efficiency, to evolve the way of working, and to sustain their professional growth,” said Alessio Maso, CFO of VP Solar. “With this project VP Solar wanted also to demonstrate its distinctive value compared to direct competitors, using cutting-edge solutions and technologies that competitors do not use yet.”
Benefits achieved with GROW with SAP
The GROW with SAP offering, which includes the SAP S/4HANA Cloud public edition solution, provides many standard best practices that allow companies to understand how to adapt their business models to the new technological evolution.
“The project involved a huge effort to review all our processes and in fact GROW with SAP was also a way to deeply understand them and try to improve. This path has allowed us to achieve an overall efficiency of between 20% and 25%. To give an example, it looks like we no longer have 45 employees but we have the twenty percent more resources,” concludes Maso. “Another aspect of great impact was change management considering that today processes and operational flows and workflow are well defined, with tighter control over data and well-orchestrated information management.”
The partner on the project was PwC, chosen after two months of selection among the best technology consulting companies, with a first assessment done in July 2022. Together with PwC, VP Solar initially assessed whether the public cloud version could respond appropriately to its business needs, including a proper management of regulations affecting the renewable energy market.
The project started in mid-September then ended in a little over six months, respecting the schedule, with a series of further developments that are expected in the coming weeks, such as the automatic import of passive invoices and the integration with an external logistics partner with an order process that exceeds the logic of e-mails that automatically will be integrated with the entire management system.
“With GROW with SAP, you can develop and execute digital transformation projects in the short term, as VP Solar has hugely demonstrated. For example, if a company want to expand its business, explore new markets or grow through acquisitions, this integrated offering from SAP is an easily replicable solution that allows to have a unique and real-time access to the information and a fast time to value,” said Fabrizio Moneta, director of Mid Market and Channel at SAP Italy.
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