Customer report: How thermon uses the Hivebuy purchasing tool to optimize cross-divisional processes

With many years of experience and finance expertise in very different industries, e.g. Native Instruments GmbH, Berlin Brands Group, Heineken and Medneo. His current focus is clearly on the digitalization of the Procure2Pay and accounting processes in order to significantly support the scaling of the heat pump in the company.

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Founded in Berlin in 2013, thermondo is Germany’s largest heating installer with almost 35,000 heating system replacements in detached and semi-detached houses and over 750 employees nationwide. Since June 2022, we have been accelerating the switch to heat pumps in Germany and enabling the heating transition as a partner for climate-neutral living.

In my role as Head of Accounting, I am responsible for all of the company’s accounting activities, from receipt of invoices to invoicing the customer. I am particularly fascinated by my work whenever we succeed in shortening or completely automating processes with the help of technology.

With the sustainability efforts of the current German government and the energy transition that has become unavoidable, thermondo is benefiting from a sharp rise in demand for climate-friendly heating systems on the market and we are experiencing rapid growth. To do justice to this, we decided in August 2021 to develop an all-encompassing ERP solution specially tailored to the company. This should primarily map the direct purchasing processes, i.e. the physical goods and heating systems involved in the value creation process, including warehousing. The project was originally intended to cover all indirect processes as well. However, due to increasing complexity, we then decided to to use a standardized software solution for indirect purchasing processes, especially for services and integrated catalog connections. In this area, some documents were still processed in analog form at this time and approvals were sent by e-mail. Our processes urgently needed to become more formalized and follow a standardized requirements process that is so Simple and cost-efficient as possible.

It was important for us at thermondo to find a tool that could be introduced without involving the IT department and without a major consultancy project. It should be a tool that employees can use intuitively and enjoy using. With Hivebuy we have a smart system that we were able to tailor to the organization’s processes ourselves thanks to the no-code approach. It solves the mapping of the procurement process for us, including all relevant approval chains and compliance guidelines, and can be easily integrated with other tools, such as DATEV or our digital invoice receipt tool from another manufacturer. Hivebuy’s solution is also financially attractive for us because its modular structure allows it to be flexibly adapted to the requirements of our processes, which are still growing.

We opted for an agile approach and started almost immediately with the very advanced prototype of Hivebuy, which we integrated within a few days. We then adapted this system step by step to the specific requirements of our company. Conversely, we also changed our internal processes in order to meet the standard of the solution and common practice in the market. I am convinced that such a system introduction should be used to adapt to established cross-industry processes. Other relevant features were also gradually integrated into the solution. So we were able to gradually develop a suitable system and train directly on it.

Its many points of contact with other departments and various service functions make the finance department a central interface within the company. However, this is also where many business processes end. If these are poorly set up beforehand, they lead to enormous challenges for everyone involved at this point at the latest. As a result, our finance department called for a digital solution that would also cover our indirect procurement processes. Hivebuy offers us an all-in-one solution for this: standardized order catalogs enable us to design our purchasing processes for services quickly and efficiently. This enables us to prevent maverick buying – uncontrolled procurement outside of standardized channels. We use integrated workflows to ensure that purchasing guidelines are adhered to and approval chains are followed.

The budget analyses and expenditure reports are particularly interesting from the perspective of the finance department which can be used to identify trends and provide budget managers with deep insights into the most important cost drivers. From a financial perspective, this is now ideal: we specify a process chain, all orders match the corresponding invoices and the system makes liquidity management easier for us. This is a great success for everyone involved. Time is saved because processes are transparent for everyone and coordination and approval loops are kept lean. This also increases satisfaction among our suppliers, as faster payments mean that there are no overdue payments.

I am currently Head of Accounting, but have a strong affinity for supply chain management issues due to my professional background. All departments that purchase services in particular have the same requirements. In addition, there is naturally a clear demarcation from physical goods in terms of inventory management and warehousing.

With the introduction of Hivebuy as our purchasing software, we have managed to formalize indirect purchasing and the associated processes in the purchasing and finance departments. As it simplifies processes for all stakeholder groups in the company, acceptance is high – I’ve even noticed that the introduction in some areas has given me a real motivation boost.


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Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

How do analyses increase cost transparency?
Gain control over your costs, transparency and an overview of all data, because thanks to our powerful analysis functions you can easily visualize and analyze your costs. With our cost management tool, you can perform budget analyses and expense reporting to get a clear picture of your cost structure. See your entire spending history at a glance to identify trends and weak points in your purchasing process. Thanks to the help of automatic alerts, which you can set up individually, you can focus on the essentials again and save costs. With our budget analysis and expense reporting, you can manage your costs more efficiently and maximize your profits.
How do contract and supplier management make everyday life easier?
Maintain control over your suppliers and contracts through automated processes and standardized databases. Thanks to a standardized presentation of all contract details, not only are changes possible quickly, but comparisons between service providers and retailers are also much easier. Automatic reminders of upcoming renewals or changes prevent human error. Finally, the history makes it easier to track changes. With our software, you can create standardized guidelines for supplier selection and contract design and comply with them company-wide. Thanks to the clear presentation and automation, not only are your employees relieved, but you also save time and money.
How does automated workflow management make everyday life easier?
You want to speed up your indirect purchasing. The best way to do this is to optimize your ordering and approval processes. Our purchasing software can automate recurring tasks such as placing orders, obtaining quotes and tracking deliveries. This minimizes human error and saves time. We also simplify internal communication by using predefined routines to regulate approvals. Thanks to integrations such as Microsoft Teams and Slack, approvals can be granted with a single click in future. Your employees receive clear budget frameworks and in your dashboard you can see the complete approval history with all those responsible.
How secure is eProcurement in terms of data protection?

How secure is my exchanged data and information in a cloud? You can be sure that your data is in the best hands with us. We attach great importance to data protection. Our data center is located in Germany and your data never leaves Europe. Furthermore, end-to-end encryption provides additional security. Particularly sensitive data, such as invoices, are stored in specially protected entities. Daily backups and redundant systems protect you from data loss.

What does Hivebuys integration mean without implementation effort?

New applications do not always have to involve a high implementation effort in the company. Some things are also easy. eProcurement solutions should be compatible with various ERP systems and webhooks that are already in place in your company.

How do I get more structure through product catalogs and reduce maverick buying?
Products or services are purchased outside the approved supplier network and the approved purchasing process is not followed. This leads to higher costs, a lack of quality control and the inability to revise purchasing activities. This is why many companies set guidelines. However, at least 30% of the company’s purchases do not comply with purchasing guidelines. With standardized order catalogs, companies can design their purchasing processes quickly and efficiently, putting an end to the shadowy existence of maverick buying. The order catalogs are intuitive to use and bring order and overview to the shopping chaos. This way you can ensure that your company receives the best products and services at the best prices and that unauthorized purchases are no longer possible.
Is the purchase associated with high costs and time expenditure?

Are you worried that the investment won’t pay off because set-up fees, implementation costs and training will tie up too many resources? Our promise to you: We do not charge a set-up fee, you only pay per user. Hivebuy is implemented so quickly that hardly any resources are required. The procurement software is ready for use company-wide within 1 hour. Employee training is redundant thanks to the intuitive usability of the software.

Who is Hivebuy for?

Find out more about how the Hivebuy platform can be integrated at your company here.

My company is unsure and has reservations about new technologies, what can I do?

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