Energising the renewable energy market.
Covento connects buyers and suppliers of spare parts and consumables across the renewable energy landscape using Adobe Commerce.
Become the leading renewable energy parts marketplace with a focused and customised buying experience
Reduce the time and complexity involved in procuring spare parts
Create a B2B marketplace that can scale across sectors and geographies
Apply B2C best practices to the B2B sales process
Provides a best-in-class experience focused on choice, convenience and transparency
Decreased average time to buy a spare part from weeks to seconds
Launched B2B marketplace in five countries with plans for global roll-out
Realised a 247% month-over-month increase in log ins, with 56% of users logging in more than once
Harnessing the power of wind
Wind is in plentiful supply, which is why it is the world’s second largest renewable energy source, behind hydropower. Today, there is unprecedented demand for wind turbines to collect and convert wind energy into electricity that benefits communities worldwide.
With 166 gigawatts of turbines install in 88 countries, Vestas — the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer and parent company of Covento — is well-positioned to capitalise on the expected doubling of the wind energy market over the next decade. However, the company identified a potential barrier in its path to growth.
Like other things, wind turbines need to be maintained. Components are worn over time and must be replaced. Identifying and accessing the right replacement parts has traditionally been a time-consuming process for maintenance teams, requiring hours of research and supplier negotiation. Vestas’s own figures showed that, in a best-case scenario, it involved seven people in six departments and weeks to procure a part. It isn't only inefficient and costly, but downtime can threaten energy supply security.
“Vestas wanted to create an online marketplace for the wind industry that connects buyers and suppliers of spare parts on a single digital platform,” says Jill Ashley Brandt, CEO at Covento, the new technology and marketplace solution launched by Vestas. “The goal was to significantly reduce the time and complexity to procure parts.”
Reimagining digital commerce
The first 18 months of the Covento project, however, were marked by development setbacks. To get it back on track, Vestas brought in Brandt. Previously global head of growth and strategy at Amazon Business and head of business development and strategy for Amazon Pay, Brandt knew a lot about marketplaces and also had extensive experience in the energy sector. Brandt could see the potential and was excited to put together a commerce strategy that would eliminate obstacles in cost-effectively maintaining powerful wind turbines.
Her vision: to become the go-to destination for the renewable parts industry. “Consumers go to Wayfair to buy furniture because they know they can find what they need quickly and easily,” she explains. “For Covento we will do the same: leverage the strength and expertise of Vestas to be best-in-class at how to help our customers find exactly what they need when they need it.”
Brandt and her team re-examined everything — from the product focus and business strategy to the tech stack — through a customer-first lens. Brandt determined that for Covento to succeed, it required an out-of-the box rather than a customised ecommerce foundation and an experienced implementation partner to bring it all together.
After reviewing multiple ecommerce platform options, Brandt and her team selected Adobe Commerce, part of Adobe Experience Cloud. The solution had been recommended by Covento development partner and software-as-a-service marketplace provider Mirakl, which had successfully collaborated with Adobe in the past. Brandt also hired Adobe Professional Services to help ensure expert and fast deployment, while also cutting staffing on the project in half.
“We felt reassured by the depth and breadth of Adobe Commerce and its proven implementation in other marketplaces,” says Brandt. “The commitment and expertise the Adobe Professional Services team showed during the pre-sales stages to complete the project in six months sealed the deal.”
With the decision made, the Professional Services team got to work, taking an Agile approach consisting of eight two-week sprints. The team worked with Mirakl to integrate Commerce with Mirakl Marketplace, which would handle back-end functions such as purchasing, invoicing and customer care. Subsequent integrations included 3PL for delivering and real-time tracking updates and Covento’s CRM, ERP and payment systems.
Covento also deployed Adobe Analytics combined with Adobe Commerce Intelligence from day one to track user journeys in the portal and understand how buyers and sellers interact with the marketplace.
“With the help of Adobe, we’ve reduced the average purchasing time from weeks to seconds. That’s transformational on many levels, from reducing operational costs and driving productivity to ensuring energy supply security for communities worldwide.”
Jill Ashley Brandt
Transforming the procurement process
In November of 2022, Covento launched in Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands and Spain. Covento aims to provide users with real-time access to parts and components for 71 wind turbine models from six manufacturers, enabling them to find and order everything they need instantly.
Using the marketplace, buyers can search six categories — electrical, hydraulics, mechanicals, consumables, personal protective equipment (PPE) and tools — and Covento’s proprietary part ID mapping easily finds all available options across suppliers. For example, a part may have a dozen different ID numbers across suppliers, but buyers only need to enter the ID they know to display all available options. From there, they can drill into detail such as technical specifications, check stock levels and compare prices and delivery timelines. After placing an order, they receive an immediate confirmation with delivery details, just as they would from a B2C marketplace.
Covento’s unique payment system, developed with Citi and Hokodo, allows buyers to transact with as many suppliers as they want from a single account and even pay by invoice. All they need to do is add Covento to their ERP.
“The transparency and selection we deliver ensures that buyers get the best deal every time and that keeps them coming back,” says Brandt. “Likewise, our suppliers gain a quickly growing base of vetted buyers, with no payment risk.”
A LinkedIn post from the company shortly after its public launch validated demand. Covento saw a spike in buyers requesting access to the marketplace, accompanied by a 247% month-over-month increase in log ins, with 56% of users logging in more than once. Searches and product views also increased significantly over the previous month.
Brandt credits time savings as a major reason buyers are embracing Covento. “With the help of Adobe, we’ve reduced average purchasing time from weeks to seconds,” she says. “That’s transformational on many levels, from reducing operational costs and driving productivity to ensuring energy supply security for communities worldwide.”
“By solving the problem Vestas originally identified, we’ve not only strengthened our own position, but we’ve provided a vital boost to the renewable energy industry.”
Jill Ashley Brandt
Brandt plans to leverage ongoing enhancements to Commerce to make Covento even easier for buyers and suppliers to use. She also wants to recruit more suppliers, including Vestas competitors, to the marketplace to provide the widest possible choice. There are further plans to scale Covento into other renewable energy sectors and geographies, including the US market.
While Brandt executes the plan, the Professional Services team will continue to provide operational support and help train and onboard new hires.
“I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved on our journey so far,” says Brandt. “By solving the problem Vestas originally identified, we’ve not only strengthened our own position, but we’ve provided a vital boost to the renewable energy industry.”