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Case December 01, 2016

Financial planning system modernised in ten weeks

A-Katsastus Group is Northern Europe’s leading private provider of vehicle inspections, registrations, driver’s examinations, vehicle damage inspections and testing, crash repair and maintenance services. Promoting road safety is at the core of the group’s business operations and focusing on customers is one of its key values.

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"The key goal was to find a solution that is nimble and transparent and that will support our business operations. Our expectations were exceeded regarding the user-friendliness of the system and ease of implementation.

Terhi Vähähyyppä, CFO, A-Katsastus  

CASE A-KATSASTUS

Changes made in 2014 to Finnish legislation governing vehicle inspections paved the way for an accelerated rate of change in the business environment of A-Katsastus, creating both challenges and new opportunities in the improvement of business operations. The system used for financial and business planning at A-Katsastus had reached the end of the road and the group began seeking a solution that met its new business planning needs. The group was keen to find a genuinely modern and versatile planning system which it could maintain and develop mainly on the basis of its own resources. It sought a tool suitable for the needs of subsidiaries performing vehicle inspections in Finland and abroad, and in order to meet the requirements of its new business operations. Based on the group’s business and financial needs, and after an extensive preliminary survey, A-Katsastus was one of the first Finnish organisations to opt for Anaplan, a cloud-based and browser-operated system

The solution

The modernisation project was implemented in cooperation with Enfo Rongo. The project was divided into two parts with the first one, the modernisation of the budgeting system, being launched in June 2015. In just seven weeks, two budgeting models were built for the group; one for Finland and one for subsidiaries located abroad. Certain parts of the models, such as those related to investment planning and budgetary reporting, are the same in both systems. However, the models mainly consist of two independent entities, one in Finnish and one in English. A shared balance sheet and cash flow budgeting tool were also incorporated in the system for all countries involved.

The new solution was introduced within the group’s budgeting process in mid-September. The process ran smoothly, despite the new, tighter budgeting schedule, thanks to the implementation of the new system. Feedback on the new system has been positive, with the users being especially happy with its focus on business operations and ease of use. The system is used by almost 40 people within the group, many of whom have no background in finance, which just adds to its usability requirements. Tero Välimaa, a Business Controller at A-Katsastus, says that the new system has made the budgeting process easier to complete, as there are more opportunities for the versatile analysis of information and less manual work to be done at various stages. In terms of key business operations, budgeting is now easier because wider use can be made of business drivers in planning. Budgeting has also become a more consistent and progressive process, which is genuinely supported by the system.

The modernisation project continued in the spring of 2016, when the planning system solution was extended, with Enfo Rongo, to include rolling forecasts. The model was purpose-built for the group, in order to enable monthly performance and balance sheet forecasts and the preparation of weekly cash flow forecasts.

The new system has reduced the need for manual work and background calculation in all areas of the planning processes. This speeds up budgeting, forecasting and reporting schedules, making it easier to meet internal targets within the organisation.

The timetable was adhered to at all stages of the project and workloads were sometimes even smaller than estimated. The A-Katsastus Business Controller was actively involved in the project, while the customer’s strong views on what the system should do made the definition stage quick and clear. The project was split into parts and an iteration round was arranged upon the completion of each part, so that changes could be made to the tools designed. A nimble delivery method helped to ensure that the solution hit the mark. Implementation of the new system has helped A-Katsastus to streamline its financial and business management processes.