Capital Power Corporation is a growth-oriented North American power producer headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The company develops, acquires, operates, and optimizes power generation from a variety of energy sources.
As of mid-2013, Capital Power owned more than 3,600 megawatts of power generation capacity at 15 facilities across North America. An additional 595 megawatts of owned generation (including the Shepard Energy Centre, co-owned with Enmax) is under construction or in advanced development.
When Capital Power spun-out from EPCOR Utilities, Inc. in 2009, the company inherited EPCOR’s business processes as well as its Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.0 deployment. Capital Power needed to streamline and improve its business processes, as well as re-implement the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to support a new chart of accounts designed around its evolving footprint. The financial close process in the existing system contained many manual steps, and the company wanted a new system and process to reduce the time to close.
Capital Power implemented Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1 and redesigned key business processes—including capital project planning/execution, accounts payable and receivable, financial close, supply chain management, human resources, payroll, and reporting—and aligned them with industry standard processes for improved efficiency. The Oracle solution enabled Capital Power to automate many of its manual, labor-intensive, and transactional processes across these business areas to free staff to work on higher value activities, such as in-depth financial analysis.
Capital Power also built a flexible reporting environment—based on its new Chart of Accounts and supported by Oracle Business Intelligence applications—to enhance strategic, management, and operational reporting used across the company. With the business intelligence solution, the company can produce timely and accurate management and financial reports, helping it to make more effective decisions as it continues to grow, and enabling it to release financial results to the market before its competitors. Capital Power now has a single financial system, supporting Canada and the U.S., which is the single source of truth for all financial reports.
Capital Power Corporation completed the implementation in approximately 15 months. This included four months for process redesign, nine months for design, construct, and integration testing, and two months for training and cut-over.
The challenges the company faced throughout the project was performing the analysis, design, configuration, four testing phases, and conversion within a nine-month window (February 2012 through October 2012). If the company missed the deadline, it would have had a full year delay, an estimated 50% budget overage, and, likely, a momentum issue that would have resulted in a failed project.
Capital Power also invested in an extensive training effort, delivering 37 courses and training more than 600 employees on the new system to ensure user adoption.
“The Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1 implementation was the single most successful IT initiative in Capital Power’s history. We implemented 23 modules in a nine-month timeframe. There are very few, if any, ERP implementations that can boast this implementation timeframe along with such high quality results—especially on budget and schedule. We will use this project as the model going forward for large scale IT initiatives,” said Darryl Vleeming, Director, IS and Chief Information Officer, Capital Power Corporation.
“Oracle Platinum Partner Impac Services LLC played a key role because the group had strong individuals in each functional area, including financial management, human resources, procurement, and project management. We were adamant that the individuals assigned to the project were the top performers in each of their respective functional areas. This strategy proved to be one of the key project success factors, and certainly a critical factor in us completing the implementation in the tight timeframes,” Vleeming said.