After a range of acquisitions, Solar focuses on consolidation and efficiency
Back in 2006, after almost two decades of fast paced growth, both organically and via acquisitions, Solar intensifies its focus on business consolidation, with Flemming H. Tomdrup, newly appointed CEO in front. Solar has developed into a significant international wholesaler in the Northern European market.
During the past 22 years, revenue has increased from 1 billion DKK to 1 billion EUR. Time has come to assemble the companies under one common strategy, in the name of One Solar. The strategy will ensure Solar’s continuous development and growth as a business. Solar unites all forces for an even stronger Solar, which is ready to meet and challenge the future.
In 2007, Solar launches the three year long strategy "New Solar 2010".
In order to reach the group’s financial targets by 2010, the focus areas Growth, Efficiency and People are implemented. The group’s continuous growth is ensured through the companies’ organic growth. Efficiency and consolidation rewards are collected in order to ensure profitability and employee and management competencies are mapped and developed so that the group’s social capital matches the growth ambitions of the company, going forward.
In 2008, Solar initiates a process that should lead to increased branding of Solar, as a part of the strategy. All employees of the subsidiaries are involved and they see an increased feeling of solidarity. It is strong and passionate solarians who march under one banner; the pay off “Stronger together”. With this, they identify with the new mission, vision and values of the company.
At the same time, Solar’s IWS service concept is introduced (Integrated Workflow System). With this system, Solar and the customer optimise their collaboration and ensures the most efficient and profitable solution for both parties.
In 2007, the entire Solar management team (SMT) decided to introduce LEAN as a tool to make operations and the many processes in the company more efficient. With a LEAN Academy, the LEAN culture is carefully planted in the company and becomes a central part in organising the daily work.
In 2010, Solar is awarded the Confederation of Danish Industry’s Productivity award based on a successful LEAN implementation and the remarkable results that the company has achieved, despite a world-wide financial crisis.
A significant journey from SGS to SAP
The many acquisitions and the speedy expansion into new markets put a considerable pressure on the business system that Solar has developed on its own, SGS (Solar Group System). Based on a comprehensive SGS-Renewal Business Case, Solar decides to initiate the switch to SAP with the project called Solar 8000.
Solar 8000 entails the implementation of group standardised business processes supported by the IT system SAP. The same IT platform in all companies. One managerial reference with harmonised data from a common group database.
Solar 8000 future-proofs Solar’s business and it generates increased efficiency. Workflows are optimised by letting the employees share best practice across borders.
An agile organisation and sublime change management ensures a successful switch from SGS to SAP over the coming years. So far, this is the biggest and most significant project in the history of the company.
In 2010, Solar 8000 is implemented in Solar Norge as the first in the row. Afterwards, the important business system is rolled out in the other subsidiaries.
With People as a focus area in mind, a cross border HR organisation is established. With Solar Navigator and Solar Business Academy, managers all over Solar are challenged and educated in developing their employees. This should make them competent and prepared to meet business related challenges, both long-term and short-term.
Solar initiates the biggest investment in employee training and development, when Solar Business Academy is established. 250 line managers from the subsidiaries participate in Solar’s GLP programme (Group Leadership Programme). But Solar Business Academy is not just about educating managers. The academy has a total of five training areas; 1) Basic Business Skills, 2) Lean & Process, 3) Project Management, 4) Talent Development og 5) Leadership.
At the same time, Solar also initiates the development concept Solar School in all subsidiaries. Among other things, the school offers competence improving courses of a more technical nature to all the customers and employees of the company.
Follow the intense preparations up to the event and see how Project Management Office (PMO) and our IT department works almost night and day to reach the common goal.
In 2008, Solar develops the energy optimisation concept – Blue Energy, which should introduce energy-efficient solutions everywhere. The following year, the knowledge centre Solar Explorium is inaugurated by the Danish minister of Climate and Energy, Connie Hedegaard. In Solar Explorium, Solar demonstrates how to use the latest technology and products for obtaining energy-efficient solutions that benefit the global climate situation, to consulting engineers, architects and fitters. The players in the industry show great interest in the concept and the successful launch is followed by an Explorium on wheels where a Blue Energy truck visits 100 selected cities in the five main markets in Northern Europe.
An efficient business with a high service level
In November 2013, when CEO Flemming H Tomdrup announces that he will resign by the end of April 2014, we see a united Solar who have become stronger together by living the Solar values glow, courage and smartfun. A company who is ready to challenge the future.
Stay tuned for the next chapter, where we dive into the period when Solar transforms into a sourcing and services company.