Case Study

Microsoft Power Platform for Vynova

Technology integration improves manufacturing productivity

The Client

Established in 2015, Vynova is a leading European manufacturer of chlor-alkali chemicals and PVC. With over 1,275 employees working throughout a network of manufacturing sites in Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Germany, and the UK, Vynova achieved an annual revenue of 1.3 billion euros in 2021.

Although a young company, Vynova possesses decades of expertise gained under the umbrella of major international chemical groups, adding value to the manufacturing process of numerous industrial products and consumer goods that improve our quality of life.

The Challenge

  • Information scattered across different systems and paper archives
  • Finding information was a timeconsuming, cumbersome process
  • Email still used as primary channel to exchange information
  • Safety of everyone involved in the production process

Vynova uses an electrochemical process to produce chlor-alkali chemicals. This process takes place at the company’s electrolysis plants. The Belgian electrolysis (or ‘ELY’) plant looked for a digital solution to streamline its information exchange processes.

As the production process is complex, a lot of planning is needed to ensure smooth running. In addition, accurate information and documentation are both vital for supporting all manufacturing processes.

Planning was communicated via email, while the information and documentation were scattered over different systems and on paper archives.

This lack of structure led to miscommunication issues as there were different versions of production procedures, too many emails to keep track of and no way to find all the latest information quickly and easily.

The decision was therefore made that a new system was needed to bring all information together: planning, technical information and documentation.

Why Acolad

Based on 20+ years of experience, Acolad Digital has developed a deep expertise in analysing, implementing, and supporting information management solutions.

As a Modern Work Microsoft Solutions Partner, we also have a broad offering around Microsoft 365, Power Platform and Azure. The combination of both this information management and Microsoft skills makes Acolad Digital an ideal partner for supporting Vynova in their digitization and automation journey.

Since 2021, Acolad Digital has delivered numerous Power Platform applications for Vynova for a broad range of use cases.

The Solution


Vynova ELY Communication App based on Microsoft Power Platform, SharePoint and Power Apps

The aim was to provide users with a consistent and up-to-date overview of information from multiple sources: the production planning, technical status of machines and related documentation and information. That way a single application, the “ELY Communication App”, would deliver all the relevant information for employees to perform their tasks in an efficient and safe way.

Microsoft Power Platform integration with SharePoint

The Microsoft Power Platform was selected to build that solution as it allows for quick development of enterprise applications based on low code. Acolad Digital coupled the Power Platform to Vynova’s SharePoint environment as a database for storing data and documents.

Power Apps, the low-code development component of the Power Platform, was used to develop a user-friendly application covering all needs. The home screen of this Power Apps application is shown in the screenshot below.

A single dashboard combining planning details, machine status and product documentation

The main part of the dashboard is taken up by a weekly task overview, displayed per shift. By clicking on a task, more information is displayed, such as the related production procedure. It’s possible to attach additional documents to a task, which are managed in SharePoint. The task overview can be further filtered based on task type or operational function.

While tasks are the core information for employees, the dashboard also brings in information from other sources. For example, users can see the status (on/off) of the electrolyzer machines located in the production hall. When clicking on a specific electrolyzer icon, users can see additional information and related documentation.

Also on the dashboard, users can find production agreements and general company information that are relevant to all employees. Again, clicking on each of those items takes the user to a detailed screen with possibly additional related documents.

User Profiles and Permission Management

All the information displayed in the application can be consulted by all employees. Creating and editing the information is limited to a group of ‘contributor’ employees, who also control the access to the solution, without the need to involve Vynova’s IT department.

Why Microsoft Power Platform

No additional software licenses needed

Power Platform was included in the existing Microsoft 365 Business Subscription of Vynova; no additional software licenses had to be purchased.

Customizable to end-users’ requirements

The platform is low-code, the development cycles were short and fast, and feedback from end-users could be implemented quickly. This ensured that the application could be fine-tuned to the end users’ requirements.

Interoperability with other systems

The integration with other (non-)Microsoft products went seamlessly due to the more than 500 available connectors of the Power Platform.

Scalable, flexible functionality

Since a Power App is built from predefined controls and formulas, the complexity remains limited and it’s easy to add extra functionality, or adjust existing ones, later on.

We reduced our number of emails by 70 to 80%. The application allows us to find everything in one single place and can make the use of e-mail even unnecessary. We now have a lot more time for other things instead of reading mails. I only hear positive feedback about the application.

Davy Linsen, Shift Supervisor at Vynova Group


The Result

Information is centralized and easily searchable

As described, the dashboard brings together planning details with machine status information and relevant documentation. Employees thus no longer need to search through e-mailboxes, network drives, SharePoint and even paper to get the information required to do their daily job. The Power App brings all this information together in an intuitive way.

Integration with other systems

The functional power of the solution lies in the fact that everything is nicely integrated with existing tools and systems such as planning, the management of documents, or the integration of the live status of the electrolyzer machines (on-off state). 

80% reduction in email exchanges

This eliminates the need to send emails (up to 80% reduction!), avoids inefficient searches, and makes it possible to proactively offer the latest relevant safety information to everyone involved in the production process. 

Successful user adoption

Vynova ELY Communication App was easily adopted by employees as it was completely in line with their needs. The integrated analytics show that the application is actively being used: it’s consulted by all users within the ELY department several times a day. From an IT portfolio perspective, since SharePoint is used in combination with the Power App, this also helps towards user adoption of SharePoint and the surrounding Microsoft tools within Vynova.

Development and launch in record time

In addition, the relatively short implementation cycle and related limited budget needs were obviously an additional benefit: analysis, design, implementation and roll-out were all covered in less than 50 mandays of work. 

Future-proof technology

Technically, the fact that the Power Platform offers the possibility to build a custom application that is easy to maintain and expand is a great added value. So-called ‘spaghetti’ code (extremely unstructured and non-maintainable code) is thus avoided. At Vynova, the ELY Communication App has once again improved the belief that the Power Platform provides an amazing tool to digitize and really impact the daily work of employees. 

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