Fastned is a listed company (Euronext Amsterdam Stock Exchange) that builds and operates a fast charging network along highways in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. The majority of the 134 stations are located in the Netherlands. Fastned is expanding rapidly. Fastned has the goal to build a European network of 1.000 fast charging stations. In 10 years time the number of transactions will be measured in 10’s of millions.
For years Fastned used software from a Dutch ERP vendor, but this became increasingly difficult due to international aspects such as different tax regimes, consolidations and working with multiple currencies. In the search for a more suitable ERP system Fastned decided on (Oracle) Netsuite Cloud ERP software. According to Simon Batchelor, Financial Controller at Fastned, Netsuite is very suitable for medium-sized, international companies. “Netsuite is not only highly scalable, but also a lot less complex than for example SAP and other Oracle systems. Therefore, Netsuite is ideal for international start-ups.”
In addition to creating efficiency gains, Fastned had two main goals in mind with the switch to Netsuite ERP:
- Automated consolidation and reporting for the balance sheet, cash flow statement and profit and loss account. As a listed company, Fastned has to comply with strict requirements, including the IFRS standards and all kinds of tough audit demands. Netsuite had to facilitate this, including fast access to all required information.
- Improved handling of Purchase Orders (POs), including tighter budgeting and smoother set-up, reconciliation and approval of POs. The availability of a proper audit trail on recorded data was an explicit requirement as well.
Due to their extensive experience, broad expertise and proven skills with Oracle ERP systems like Oracle Netsuite, the E-Business Suite and Oracle ERP Cloud, 4apps was designated by Netsuite as the most suitable party to implement. The implementation took place between December 2018 and mid 2019 and the system was delivered well within the required timeframe. Batchelor: “Because there were only five of us working in the Finance department and we already had more than 500,000 transactions to process in 2019, we had ambitious goals and timelines. The project went smoothly due to the three implementation consultants of 4apps who were always on top of things.”
The first year-end closing using Netsuite succeeded without any problems worth mentioning. Equally important is the fact that, according to Batchelor, Fastned is now administratively ready for the future, which is characterized by further, rapid growth. Batchelor is also enthusiastic about the cooperation with 4apps during and after the implementation. “Besides the smooth implementation, they gave us a lot of useful advice with regard to the use of templates, layouts and how to automatically scan and process invoices we receive as PDF or XML, to name a few. On their recommendation, we now process most of our invoices using ReadSoft’s scanning solution, which saves us a lot of work.”
“4apps also responds very quickly if we are at a bit of a loss, for example during a six-monthly or annual closing. I would also like to mention that Oracle has provided us with a lot of documentation on the system, which is very useful for new employees. On top of that, the people at 4apps are easy to approach and make no promises they cannot keep. They are very honest about that and I really appreciate that.”
After a fast and smooth transition to Netsuite as their ERP system, resulting in automated consolidations across multiple countries and more grip on PO processes, Fastned looks to the coming years of rapid growth with confidence. The Netsuite end users – including people from the Construction department – are no longer having sleepless nights over the fact that the number of annual transactions will run into the millions and the number of charging stations will rise to 250 in 2-3 years. Fastned trusts 4apps to assist them with new ERP expansions and challenges in the future.
Fastned builds and operates a fast charging network along highways and in cities in Europe. The vast majority of the 134 charging stations are located in the Netherlands. Fastned’s mission is to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility by giving freedom to electric drivers. The company has the goal to build a European network of 1.000 fast charging stations. In addition to crowdfunding, the listed company is also raising money from institutional investors through shares and bonds. In early 2021, another 150 million euros was raised through share issues.