Wärtsilä, a global leader in marine solutions, is digitalizing its procurement and purchasing processes. Cerion has provided the company with a new supplier portal that has improved delivery reliability and made the entire supply chain completely visible. For Wärtsilä’s customers, this means improved service quality.
“We make the sea and sky cleaner,” Wärtsilä promises in a video playing at its head office in Helsinki, Finland. With more than 18,000 employees worldwide, Wärtsilä is a giant in marine and energy technology solutions. To achieve the ambitious vision it presents in its video, Wärtsilä needs to ensure its supply chain is as efficient as possible.
In recent years, the company has collaborated with Cerion to maximise its operative purchasing performance by introducing digital purchase-to-pay (P2P) processes. This is a major change, as these processes are used extensively: Wärtsilä has thousands of suppliers and makes hundreds of thousands of purchases every year. The new supplier portal created by Cerion is a cloud solution linking Wärtsilä to its suppliers. The portal has all the information about the P2P process, such as orders and the related designs and material certificates. The portal’s supplier dashboard shows suppliers how reliable and high-quality their deliveries are.
“Our ERP system and supplier portal form a perfect symbiosis, enabling the automatic exchange of information. Moving all purchase-related collaboration to the portal has significantly cut email volumes between us and our suppliers,” says Wärtsilä’s Antti Heikkinen, who is responsible for the digital transformation of the company’s supply chain globally.
Cerion supports Wärtsilä’s new market opportunities
In many industries, global economic uncertainty means purchasing processes are being transformed. Stricter environmental standards and the increasing unpredictability of future market developments will make resource efficiency ever more important. Wärtsilä has reshaped its product portfolio in accordance with the Wärtsilä-as-a-Service philosophy. This means that all solutions are sold as comprehensive services.
“Supply cycles are becoming shorter and shorter. Exchanging information with our suppliers reliably and instantly has become a crucial part of our value chain. Every small saving in time and resources the new system brings in individual purchases helps add up to significant annual savings as our purchase volumes are so large,” Heikkinen says.
Since its foundation, Cerion has participated as Wärtsilä’s partner in a host of development projects. Launched in 2010, the Supply Chain Digitalization project has reached the point where a major proportion of Wärtsilä’s suppliers use the portal. Naturally, reforms of this scale take time.
“Digital is here to stay. This goes both for large companies that are already harnessing digital platforms and SMEs that have to meet the standards of larger industrial companies. Software developers are key in enabling organisations of different sizes and types to improve their operations and exploit their digital potential to the full,” Heikkinen says.