Hanwha Q Cells, a specialist partner in the construction of turnkey solar-powered plants, uses SAP Business One to provide visibility and control of the financial aspects of project delivery and inform strategic decision-making.
Accurate tracking of project costs
Integration with construction management software
Unparalleled ease and speed of reporting
To replace a legacy accounting package with more robust financial management software.
SAP Business One
Hanwha Q Cells USA Corporation is part of the Hanwha Group headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, which offers a full spectrum of photovoltaic solutions – from modules to systems and utility-scale solar power plants. The US subsidiary has designed and built over 500 megawatts of projects to date.
For project-based businesses, effective project management and financial controls are vital to protect margins and drive overall financial success. Turnkey engineering firms like Hanwha Q Cells typically have many moving parts, so without integrated systems, it can be a challenge to gain visibility and control over projects, and operate efficiently and profitably.
As Max Chen, Staff Accountant at Hanwha Q Cells explains, “our business model is wholly project-based, so the ability to accurately track project costs is crucial to understanding the financial health of the business at a granular level. We had outgrown the accounting package we had been relying on, and it lacked robust financial controls. As a result, approvals were being done over email, which was becoming increasingly cumbersome to keep track of as we grew.”
“We chose SAP Business One for the best-in-class tools that come with the accounting and financial management module, to enable us to automate common processes, associate costs and revenues with different projects, and generate the insights needed to make informed decisions.”
SAP Business One enables Hanwha Q Cells to capture and link costs and expenses to each project, and monitor project budgets in real-time to proactively identify potential issues and overruns.
Sapphire provided a smooth implementation, including the back-end integration of SAP Business One with Hanwha’s construction management software, which handles the majority of its planning and communication with vendors. The Sapphire team introduced a templated system and dedicated reporting tool to further improve productivity. SAP Business One’s robust financial controls have addressed Hanwha’s previous challenges around Standard Operating Procedures relating to approvals and segregation of duty, particularly around credit limits. With all transactions now running through SAP Business One, approvals are now not only streamlined but fully traceable, making it simpler to satisfy audit requirements.
“To prevent margins from being squeezed on projects, we use SAP Business One to monitor and manage budgets, control direct and indirect costs, and streamline purchase orders. As well as day-to-day financial management, SAP Business One gives us valuable insight into the overall health of the business. We use SAP Business One to aggregate and analyse the financial records, because it offers unparalleled ease and speed of reporting,” says Max.
“Our introduction to Sapphire came about through a chance meeting in the same building. The round-the-clock support they offered was a deciding factor in our choice of partner, and the fact that they have a truly local presence – their office is literally within walking distance – is very reassuring. I’ve been working with Sapphire for about three years and have always found the whole team very responsive. Our account manager and project manager are extremely dedicated: it always feels like they’re giving us 100 per cent. It’s a wonderful relationship,” concludes Max.
One of our team will be in touch shortly.