25. May 2011
International renewable energy consultancy Natural Power selects IFS Applications
IFS, the global enterprise applications company, today announced that one of the leading international renewable energy consultants, Natural Power, has chosen to deploy IFS Applications, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, to consolidate its business systems and support 50% minimum year on year growth plans. The contract was signed in December 2010.
Natural Power provides practical consulting, management services and product innovations for the global renewable energy industry. Its capabilities include onshore and offshore project management for the lifecycle of renewable energy ventures, from design and development of wind farms to the geotechnical analysis, site management and due diligence of client sites. Natural Power is widely respected as one of the leading consultancies for the construction of wind farms in the UK, currently operating one in five of the UK's installed onshore wind capacity. With such a wide range of services offered from international offices in the UK, North America, South America, France and Turkey, Natural Power requires access to business critical information to help achieve the success of its projects.
Previously operating with a legacy system that had been in place for a number of years, Natural Power’s global expansion created a number of integration challenges for the business. The consultancy has chosen to invest more in customer relationship management and financial information, across all its locations. With multi-location clients and a rapidly expanding workforce (substantial growth has seen Natural Power transition from 12 UK employees in 2000 to 250 employees worldwide today), there was a clear need for a new IT system that would unify the business, help improve internal processes and communications, and in turn support the company’s growth strategy. Following a competitive tender, IFS was selected to implement an international ERP roll out to over 250 users. The new system is expected to enhance integration and visibility across all locations, and will improve business performance by centralising critical information, enabling simpler and more efficient project coordination.
The scope of the IFS Applications product was a key factor in the selection process. Billy MacMillan, Finance Director at Natural Power, said: “We selected IFS on the basis that it has a single product encompassing a complete suite of business management modules offering seamless visibility and reach. As a product and project-based company, we need a fully-integrated solution to secure a real-time global overview of business critical information. We chose IFS Applications as it doesn’t try to bridge communications between various different systems, but instead offers one unified product capable of spanning our entire business.”
Natural Power is also set to benefit from IFS Applications’ reporting and document management functionalities: “As the business has expanded and stringent environmental reporting regulations have increased, business heads in the renewable energy industry are required to be increasingly accountable for their revenue streams and environmental accountability. This has placed greater pressure on finance teams to provide meaningful data on a timely basis,” explained Natural Power’s Macmillan. ”An added benefit of IFS Applications is that it will allow the finance functionality to tie into document management. We expect this will enable us to analyse both our financial status and environmental accountability more accurately and cohesively.”
Natural Power is currently implementing IFS’ Project Management, Finance, HR and Document Management modules. “We are keen to ensure that we implement the system effectively, to ensure that we maximise the great potential of IFS’ solution. We are excited about getting the project started, and are looking forward to reaping the rewards of this business investment,” concluded MacMillan.
IFS’ UK managing director, Paul Massey, commented: “We have a strategic focus on project-based solutions, and our knowledge and experience in providing seamless business integration is attractive to project-based companies like Natural Power that operate on a global scale. We are proud to join forces with such an exciting consultancy in the fast-paced renewable energy industry; it stands as testament to our excellent working knowledge of the energy sector and its specific reporting and business requirements.”
Utilities and Telecommunications
Energy and Power Generation Utilities and Telecoms is one of IFS’ targeted market segments. Since it was founded, IFS has developed and delivered best practice industry-specific solutions with leading functionality for enterprise asset management, product lifecycle management and project management.
The solution supports all critical business enterprise processes—planning, engineering, procurements, construction/project management, commissioning, O&M, and asset performance assessments with integrated applications in financials, capital project management, supply chain, asset and work management, service and contracts management, human resource management, etc. Customers include Three Gorges (China), National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (India), Hafslund (Norway), Mälarenergi (Sweden), GECOL (Libya), Horizon Utilities (North America), Brookfield Renewable Power (North America) and nuclear projects OKG (Sweden), PBMR (South Africa), and Qinshan Nuclear Power (China).
IFS is a public company (OMX STO: IFS) founded in 1983 that develops, supplies, and implements IFS Applications™, a component-based extended ERP suite built on SOA technology. IFS focuses on industries where any of four core processes are strategic: service & asset management, manufacturing, supply chain and projects. The company has 2,000 customers and is present in more than 50 countries with 2,700 employees in total. Net revenue in 2010 was SKr 2.6 billion.