By Gina Keeler, SAP
Delivering clean water to billions across the globe is no easy feat. According to the United Nations, 700 million people worldwide could be displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030. De Nora is on the front lines of these environmental problems by developing and distributing mission-critical water treatment technologies to fight water scarcity. De Nora also provides solutions enabling a shift from fossil fuels to the hydrogen economy—the use of hydrogen as low carbon energy.
De Nora, founded in 1923, is a pioneer in electrochemical technology and the world’s largest manufacturer of DSA® electrodes for almost every electrochemical process. De Nora continues its leadership by pressing forward with a multi-year digital transformation that began in 2013 when the company implemented SAP ERP with the goal of harmonizing business processes. De Nora experienced significant growth in 2015, driven by a series of acquisitions to consolidate its water treatment technologies business, which then led to the need to consolidate many ERPs onto SAP S/4HANA.
“Our interest and focus on digital transformation centers around adding value for our customers and making water easy for them,” said Mirka Wilderer, CEO, De Nora Water Technologies. “We believe technology is key and allows us to focus on the functionality and optimized performance of our products so that our customers can focus on what matters most: clean water.”
Wilderer believes proactive maintenance makes this ambitious goal possible.
“The digital transformation journey will provide our customers with proactive maintenance and support where our team will always be aware of how our equipment is functioning in the field and can reach out to schedule a service call before there is an issue that can potentially disrupt service,” said Wilderer. “Technology, particularly virtual reality, is a cornerstone in how we educate our customers on our solutions.”
It would be understandable to put ambitious plans on hold during the pandemic. But De Nora’s vision to leverage digital technologies to be a modern, agile water technology supplier drove the company to press forward with their ERP implementation under 100% remote conditions during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“Undoubtedly, any technology implementation is a challenge,” said Wilderer. “When we faced the go/no-go decision in March, the leadership team decided to move forward despite a complete virtual work environment. Everyone demonstrated resilience and we were able to surge through to success.”
With nine De Nora companies now using SAP S/4HANA, they are seeing some early benefits including eliminating the manual effort required to reconcile the financials between business units every month. This has accelerated closings by reducing the steps required by a third.
“Implementing SAP S/4HANA during these extraordinarily difficult times required everyone to step up, and thanks to the fantastic efforts of the entire team involved, we are already streamlining operations and improving customer outcomes,” said Wilderer.