Case Study Apex
Axelor Helps Manage its 3-Digit Growth
To support its growth, the IT team of Apex Energies wanted to equip itself with a business management solution that would be available in open source and that would allow the company, with a solid technological base, to be able to shape its own solution in total suitability with its business and its needs.
CompanyCreated in 1991, APEX Energies is a green energy supplier that has had several lives since its creation. Bought in 1998 by the BP group to become its 100% solar solutions subsidiary, APEX Energies was taken over in 2013 by five employees of the company. Since then, the green energy supplier has doubled its turnover every year by creating, developing, building, and operating photovoltaic power plants for over 7,000 customers throughout France.
After its acquisition in 2013, Apex Energies experienced a 100% growth every year. In fact, the solutions used until then quickly reached their limits. In actuality, the management of purchases was ensured with the only tool Microsoft Excel until 2013. In addition, each department of the company managed its activity with its own files, which limited the consultation and sharing of data with other departments.
As the business grew, data entry errors became more and more numerous and many obstacles appeared, particularly due to the heavy regulatory constraints regarding land, connections, and the deadlines to be followed.
The Apex Energies IT team began actively searching for a tool that would centralize all of the company’s data, across all departments, in order to allow for the merging of information.
The solution needed to be usable by all the company’s departments and to offer precise and adapted reports for each one’s activity.
“Initially, we had planned to develop a single module for management and purchasing,” recalls Goulven Jorand. “Then we quickly realized that the company’s other departments were also looking for an automated solution. So, we extended the scope of our needs.
Apex Energies consequently worked with Axelor in an agile mode to develop the modules as they came along. With each version, the energy company sent the developed module to the different departments concerned, which were thus able to test the tool and report their need specific to their business.
Goulven Jorand explains, “For example, the photovoltaic power plants are sub-companies of the APEX group. Thus, they are both customers and suppliers of APEX Energies. This particularity was obviously not included in the standard Open Suite. We therefore had to develop it in collaboration with Axelor so that the solution would fit us perfectly.
This agile side of Axelor allows Apex Energies to go further in its developments, with in particular, a phase 2 being implemented that covers the management and monitoring of operational processes.
A phase 3 of the project will take place with the possibility to create an interface between Open Suite and the Microsoft Sharepoint EDM solution.
Despite a somewhat difficult implementation due to the need to support the change with the operational business teams, phase 1 of the project is finally satisfactorily completed.
The implementation of phase 1 represented a challenge on two levels: technical, with the monitoring of a highly strategic digital project for the growth of Apex. And human, by accompanying and training the teams to the new tools and processes. This challenge was met and all the milestones of phase 1 were delivered on time.
Indeed, all orders placed, invoices issued, and all accounting elements are produced and managed by Axelor’s Open Suite.
The follow-up of the photovoltaic power plant budgets is also directly integrated into the ERP.
Finally, the APEX Energies and Axelor teams have developed an interface with Microsoft’s Power BI in order to produce quality reports that provide real decision-making support.
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