Digitalization and standardization facilitates Waterleau’s international business story
Waterleau’s wastewater treatment expertise is increasingly required across the globe, which means the Belgium-based company is rapidly growing. What better time to take a look at streamlining the company’s processes and making them flow together seamlessly?
That’s why the organization invested in a future-proof infrastructure and state-of-the-art ERP. The result: Waterleau is able to get realtime insights, and processes run more efficiently by having a strong focus on digitalization and standardization.
SAP as a business platform
Waterleau has two main business pillars: projects and services. The initial scope was to focus on the project-based business: designing, constructing, operating and maintaining wastewater treatment installations. However, along the way, Waterleau realized SAP had potential for its service offering and other areas of its business as well, like R&D.
A future-proof SAP infrastructure for a maximum peace of mind
Different options for hosting the infrastructure were explored. As Waterleau was running several systems on Microsoft Azure within the company, they decided to extend Microsoft Azure to deploy SAP S/4HANA. Supported by Arxus, as an Azure Expert Managed Services Provider (MSP), Waterleau can now reap the benefits from a future-proof infrastructure that opens the door to great new possibilities for innovation, scalability and disaster recovery. The SAP on Azure design is tailored to the business requirements of Waterleau in terms of high availability allowing them to grow their business, both service- and project-based, internationally.
Aligning business processes
“In order to make the shift to a centralized SAP S/4HANA ERP system, we first had to align some business processes”, Marie Sullivan, Reporting & Finance Manager at Waterleau, explains. “This meant taking a strategic look at our flows, and optimizing them before we implemented the new system. We also made the shift from a mainly manual to an integrated and automated approach. And of course, we tackled the entire project mid-pandemic, adding an extra challenge. But in the end, our efforts were more than worth it! We’re now live in 4 countries and are planning to roll this project out further.”
By focusing on the essential processes, we were able to roll out quickly and optimize along the way, setting ourselves up for success.
Increased efficiency in both services and projects with SAP S/4HANA
Thanks to its new platform, Waterleau transitioned from manual to integrated processes:
- Waterleau stabilised its processes for sales and logistics in project and service management reusing SAP standard and best practice flows giving their business units their identity.
- Procurement and timesheeting for projects and services is standardized to avoid confusion and create an accurate foundation for financial follow-up.
- The approval flows for projects, invoices and services are digitalized and integrated with Sharepoint, leading to faster and more comprehensive processes. Processes are also more efficient, thanks to automatic WIP calculation and the integration of the Waterleau Engineering Platform (WEP).
- With the integration of Concur all trips expense management is digitized and automated making admin for reimbursement of employees and invoicing processes of expenses towards customers more effectivie and efficient
- With embedded analytics, Waterleau profits from real time insights in logistics and shipment status of their projects, a better invoice status overview for both customers and suppliers thanks to ageing reports, and detailed p&l reports per project.