Leading alternative energy producer drives efficiency through streamlined operations

June 9, 2021 | 6 minute read
Janet Poses
Product Marketing Director
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SB Energy, a global renewable energy leader with a growing portfolio of 7.7 GWp of solar and wind projects under long-term contract, needed a solution to improve process efficiency as the complexity of their business increased.

In the past, the energy company had used several different point solutions to manage their various activities.

SB Energy wanted to revisit their processes and tools across their organization and throughout the entire lifecycle—including how they used their accounting, document management, approval tools, and spreadsheets—as they grew and collaborated with larger and more distributed teams.

SB Energy’s mission is to provide low-cost renewable energy to customers across the globe, creating value for those customers and society overall. The renewable energy producer, one of the largest renewable companies in India “values process efficiency in alignment with their mission.”

Company stakeholders asked for a single source of truth for project information, but “[W]e had multiple point solutions and also used spreadsheets and email extensively,” says Vaibhav Kapoor, head of SB Energy’s project management office. Some solutions were not online, meaning SB Energy had to maintain hundreds of spreadsheets, documents, and emails. The company tried to coordinate these tools, but it was impossible to prevent overlapping information.

In fact, spending a significant amount of time ensuring everyone had the same correct and up-to-date information during team and management review meetings was common.

A long-time customer of Oracle's Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management, SB Energy wanted an integrated and intuitive project management platform to unite their data (drawings, reports, correspondence, memos), processes (quality, environmental, management, safety) and people (teams, vendors, partners).

The energy company chose Primavera Unifier to bring everyone together following a competitive request for proposal (RFP) including multiple vendors. “We are very proud of our implementation and our partnership with our implementation partner, Gaea,” says Kapoor.

SB Energy’s achievements using Primavera Unifier

  • Tracking and approval of incoming bids with organization-wide collaboration improves timelines and accuracy
  • Collaboration of all stakeholders, including external EPC partners on this single platform, ensures perfect transparency and reduces the need to process the same information multiple times
  • Engineering & Quality document reviews include visibility into changes, rationale, and associated drawings to ensure timely approvals
  • Inspection processes take less administrative time and dispatch clearances are issued electronically
  • Procurement process are streamlined on Primavera Unifier with material and labor suppliers
  • Integrated internal approvals keep budget and completion estimates current
  • All vendor invoices are tracked, providing timely approvals and payments
  • Construction drawings are submitted to the site through the platform, ensuring the latest documents are available to the relevant team members instantaneously
  • Safety and field quality deviations are recorded in real-time on project sites with the Primavera Unifier mobile app
  • Long lists of lender compliances are digitally tracked and closed out timely
  • Consistent, up-to-date information provides substantial savings in meeting time
  • Management values one single source of information

SB Energy’s success factors

1. Flexible organization and platform

The six-year old company digitally transformed and surmounted hurdles that ordinarily would have been much more difficult for more mature organizations that rely on ingrained, decades-old processes. “Being a young organization gave us a great advantage,” says Kapoor.

SB Energy’s agile culture is a perfect fit for the flexible Oracle platform.

The asset lifecycle management tool provides the building blocks to manage any process in a centralized, integrated manner. This extensive configurability allowed SB Energy to build a quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) process that provides 100% tracking with all the information inside the system—from approving quality plans to receiving inspections and clearing materials for dispatch.

“We definitely have increased control,” says Kapoor. On the construction site, the mobile app version is helping to identify quality issues on the spot, enabling contractors to take immediate remedial actions. These issues are captured in the system and included in SB Energy’s Knowledge database to support ongoing continuous improvement.

“We see Primavera Unifier as a LEGO kit. We can create anything we want,” says Kapoor. SB Energy says that confidence extends to Primavera Unifier’s ability to support future needs—even though those are not yet known.

 “The agility and flexibility of Primavera Unifier is what has made it successful,” says Kapoor.

For example, when SB Energy began defining their engineering processes, which require large amounts of information to be exchanged internally and between external contractors, they didn’t immediately see the exact solution they were looking for. By looking at the problem they were trying to solve in a slightly different way, “[W]e were able to create the process we wanted, in the way we wanted,” says Kapoor.


“Because of Primavera Unifier’s flexibility we have been able to build and implement processes quickly.”

-Vaibhav Kapoor, Head of Project Management, SB Energy

 


2. Centralized deployment across functional areas

Various stakeholders in the organization wanted their own tool they felt comfortable with. “This could have meant 15 plus different tools, completely defeating the goal of bringing everyone together,” says Kapoor.

SB Energy management was confident in Primavera Unifier because the Oracle solution was created by a solid company. “Primavera Unifier provides a platform to build whatever you want and to build it very quickly,” says Kapoor.

The energy company has maximized their benefits from the Oracle system and optimized their investment by deploying the platform across their business.

“We now have a single system supporting everything from business development, regulatory functions, procurement, and design and engineering through construction. Primavera Unifier is so diverse,” says Kapoor. Most organizational processes live in Primavera Unifier – and many more processes are being built.

3. Bringing organizations together

In the past, the energy company relied on an internal document management system, which had stability issues. Primavera Unifier allows SB Energy to bring their subcontractors into the system while managing tens of projects simultaneously, faster, and more accurately.


“We can now review the entire package within Primavera Unifier and we built the process exactly how we wanted to."

-Vaibhav Kapoor, Head of Project Management, SB Energy


The agility of both the system and the SB Energy implementation team allowed for a seamless transition of over 100 transactions daily across all subcontractors from their old document management system. “Now, we can track the workflows, easily access document history, and have a single view over multiple projects,” says Kapoor.

“Our transition has been very successful. No one is sending engineering information internally or between contractors using email,” says Kapoor. “We achieved similar success in processes to manage material inspections.”

4. Integration

Integration is essential to achieving one central source of information. The energy company can manage all business processes in Primavera Unifier. The information seamlessly flows in and out of SAP due to the integration between SB Energy’s ERP system and Primavera Unifier.

The cost control functions SB Energy is required to follow from budget to final payment are very specific. SB Energy was able to build these defined, specific processes due to the Oracle platform’s ultimate flexibility.

The energy company has also made it easier for team members to do their jobs by building as much as possible in Primavera Unifier. All invoicing and budget control is easily managed in the system with solely the finance team members managing accounting in the more complicated ERP system.

 “I am happy, and my team is happy. I know we can continue to build. We will address KPIs, pay approvals, organizational governance processes…there is a long list of what we can do with Primavera Unifier in the future,” says Kapoor.

Learn more about Oracle’s Primavera Unifier.

Oracle Construction and Engineering, the global leader in construction management software and project portfolio management solutions, helps you connect your teams, processes, and data across the project and asset lifecycle. Drive efficiency and control in project delivery with proven solutions for project controls, construction scheduling, portfolio management, BIM/CDE, construction payment management, and more.

* http://www.sbenergy.com/

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Janet Poses

Product Marketing Director


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