RDR: THE BENEFITS OF SAP TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION IN THE UTILITIES SECTOR

RDR is a leading provider of services and technologies for the integrated water cycle.

Luca Serena, CEO of RDR, in this interview explains the meaning of a direct experience of innovation such as the one achieved thanks to the SAP technology and the support of Software Business consultants.

RDR is a success story that started out as an electromechanical workshop. Today, it is a market leader. What are the strengths of the company?

One of our strengths lies in the fact that there is an internal know-how starting with the founder, Franco Di Ruocco, focused on an important set of knowledge and skills in the field of electromechanics, and it is still a foundation of professionalism that has been integrated over the years with new skills and technologies. Today, RDR can boast a technologically advanced workshop: we have about 50% of engineers who are highly specialised in the field. I think there are only a few structures of this type in Italy. The second aspect that characterises us and distinguishes us from our competitors is, in my opinion, our decision not to operate according to a logic of order acquisition, which is then managed within a chain of subcontractors. RDR has chosen the more challenging route of carrying out all its projects in-house. This allows us to grow steadily in terms of know-how, which then becomes an internal asset from both a company and an individual perspective. Despite the pandemic crisis, we have been hiring new staff in recent months, unlike our competitors.

What made you choose an ERP system for your company?

The ERP system allows us to manage and plan company resources like few other tools. Being able to efficiently manage administrative and financial resources and everything related to business processes is in itself an element of competitiveness. Being able to have information quickly thanks to an integrated system such as the ERP means not only more efficiency in the company, but also being able to make strategic decisions quickly, which is what the market requires. Of course, to have a positive return from the implementation of ERP in the company it is necessary to make an investment, not only economic, but also cultural and educational.

Which business processes have undergone the greatest changes and with what outcomes and benefits?

The software is modular and makes it possible to apply the different solutions to all company sectors. In our case, however, there are three sectors in which we benefit most: purchasing, warehousing and administration, the latter in particular, given that SAP was created as administrative software, with a great deal of know-how in this area.

Implementing SAP in your company can also be a very complex process. How have Software Business consultants helped you facilitate this transition?

The process is certainly complicated, it can be very complicated, regardless of the company’s size. Even a large company can have difficulties because the implementation concerns internal know-how: it is a moment of learning and strong change compared to the previous situation that also has a great impact from an organisational point of view. For this reason, there must be specialist support. SAP is made up of many modules, and each of these parts has a dedicated specialist. It is unthinkable for a company to be able to introduce the ERP and use it without the vital support of a consulting company, as in our case Software Business.

In addition to the SAP ERP solution, you then chose the SAP CRM cloud solution to manage the pre-sales and tendering processes. What has your experience been on this?

The tool is very powerful and we have a better use for it in the cloud. It is very interesting because it offers the possibility to exploit different opportunities from a commercial point of view: you can share a lot of contacts and information, interact with customers, and monitor administrative aspects such as credits.

In an increasingly interconnected economy, which is facing the difficult test of the damage caused by the pandemic, what role do technology and innovation play in business growth?

In my opinion, technology had an important value before, but today, post-pandemic, we have understood it even more. Just think of the role that technology has played in the lockdown, making it possible for many companies, including ours, to work almost at full capacity thanks to smart working platforms. In a way, this period has allowed us all to get a bit closer to tools and mindsets that are perhaps culturally distant from certain corporate environments. Today, if we imagine the economy as a big sea, I would say that it is not the biggest fish that eat the smallest, but the fastest are destined to beat the others and win. You have to be the fastest. For a company like ours, technology works as a driver and is leading us to explore new territories: in utilities, for example, there is still plenty of room for application in relation to the needs of the sector.