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How the Vandebron green energy marketplace streamlined complex processes to enhance flexibility and scalability and empower its teams to manage workflows and increase efficiency.

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Key Benefits

  • Overcoming organizational bottlenecks
  • Managing legacy systems/technical constraints
  • Custom code complexity
  • Ownership and responsibility issues
  • Increase in scalability and flexibility

Camunda Products

Camunda Platform

Vandebron and Camunda

Vandebron, the pioneering green energy marketplace, connects its Dutch consumers directly with local sustainable energy producers. Founded with the mission to accelerate the transition to 100% renewable energy, Vandebron provides transparency and a human touch to energy consumption.
However, this innovative model came with its own challenges, particularly within customer onboarding and data management. Dependence on a legacy system that required a high degree of customization and developer specialization hindered the company’s ability to scale and adapt.

The challenges: Flexibility, scalability, and complexity

  • Organizational bottlenecksVandebron relied heavily on Salesforce for both CRM and workflow functionalities, leading to organizational constraints. A single team managed and maintained numerous custom business processes, which slowed down onboarding and stifled innovation.
  • Technical constraintsSalesforce’s workflow automation capabilities were limited, and a capacity limit hindered performance and scalability, causing delays in process execution.
  • Custom code complexityThe existing custom workflow solution in Salesforce was highly complex, with over 55,000 lines of code. This complexity made it difficult for new developers to learn and maintain the system, leading to resource scarcity and inefficiency.
  • Ownership and responsibility issuesTransitioning workflow ownership to different teams was challenging, as those teams lacked the necessary knowledge and expertise. This led to operational concerns.
  • Scalability and flexibilityTheir custom solution struggled to scale efficiently and adapt quickly to new business needs, impacting their ability to innovate and serve customers effectively.

The solution: Embracing process orchestration with Camunda

Recognizing the need for a more flexible and scalable solution, Vandebron’s Salesforce consulting partner recommended Camunda to address the limitations and bottlenecks of the custom-built Salesforce workflow solution, providing a more flexible, scalable, and efficient process automation implementation.

  • Decentralized process ownershipBy adopting Camunda, Vandebron moved from a black-box workflow tool to a comprehensive toolbox for process automation. This shift enabled various teams to take ownership of their processes, fostering innovation and allowing improvements to be made in parallel. Creating a ‘center of excellence’ (CoE) for process management further supported this collaborative approach.
  • Simplified onboarding and maintenanceCamunda’s user-friendly interface and comprehensive BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) capabilities reduced the time required for new team members to get up to speed. This simplification was crucial in addressing the steep learning curve that plagued the previous Salesforce-based system.
  • Improved collaboration and transparencyCamunda facilitated better collaboration between developers and stakeholders. By having both groups work together on process modeling, Camunda ensured that business requirements were accurately captured and implemented. This collaborative approach resulted in living documents, which could be continuously updated and refined for best orchestration practices.
  • Enhanced performance and scalabilityCamunda’s distributed architecture allowed Vandebron to overcome Salesforce’s performance limitations. Handling large-scale process executions more efficiently was a significant improvement, facilitating Vandebron’s upgraded management of its growing transaction volumes without delays.

Implementation and early results

Some pushback came from developers worried about a potential increase in their scope of work. However, Vandeborn aims to smooth this transition through structured training and support from Camunda and their partner, Incentro.
Expert guidance facilitates the adoption of a new technology in the early stages. Incentro played a crucial role in providing best practices and acted in tandem with the Camunda support team to ensure a smooth implementation.
One of the early successes was the implementation of processes for updating personal details. These processes provided increased visibility and control over business workflows. For instance, when a customer changes their email address, and the Camunda-based process encounters a data inconsistency, a back office employee can easily oversee what steps in the process are yet to be taken and resolve the incident.

Future plans and next steps

Vandebron’s journey with Camunda is in its early stages, but the results are highly promising. With several processes live and more in the pipeline, Vandebron is creating a clear roadmap for migrating the remaining processes from Salesforce to Camunda. The goal is to accelerate innovation and reduce dependencies between teams, allowing for faster response to business needs.
Looking ahead, Vandebron can already see opportunities for further automation, particularly in automating sales processes to increase their producer portfolio and production steering capacity, where Camunda can further drive efficiency and scalability. By continuing to refine and expand its use of Camunda, Vandebron hopes to further enhance its ability to balance the grid and support the energy transition effectively.

Key learnings and conclusion

  • Change management is crucialImplementing new technologies requires strong executive support and effective change management strategies. Vandebron’s BPM team was vital in championing the transition to Camunda.
  • Collaborative process designInvolving developers and business stakeholders in process modeling ensures that the resulting workflows are technically feasible and meet business needs. This collaborative approach fosters a sense of ownership and accountability.
  • Incremental implementationStarting with simple processes and gradually increasing complexity allows teams to build confidence and expertise with the new system. Vandebron’s phased approach helped them manage the transition smoothly.
  • Ongoing support and trainingProviding continuous support and on-demand training is essential for maintaining momentum and ensuring long-term success. Vandebron’s partnership with Incentro exemplifies the benefits of leveraging external expertise.

Vandebron’s journey with Camunda shows the transformative potential of effective process orchestration. By addressing their automation challenges and fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation, Vandebron is well on its way to achieving its mission of accelerating the energy transition. As they continue to expand and refine their use of Camunda, the future looks bright for this forward-thinking energy innovator.

“By having both groups work together on process modeling, working with Camunda ensured that business requirements were accurately captured and implemented. This collaborative approach also created living documents that could be continuously updated and refined.”
Niek Crasborn, BPM Team Product Owner, Vandebron

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