As it grew organically and by acquisition, Huurre found it challenging to assimilate financial data from its many divisions, limiting management’s ability to understand overall performance.
Huurre engaged IBM Business Partner Valamis to roll out a central solution for financial reporting and planning, based on IBM Planning Analytics on Cloud.
Savestime and effort for Huurre’s financial department, increasing productivity
Providesa single version of the truth for group-wide financial performance
Powersbetter decision making by placing insights at managers’ fingertips
Business challenge story
Feeding an appetite for energy-efficient refrigeration
The demand for environmentally-friendly, low-energy refrigeration solutions is rising, as companies seek to ramp up their green credentials and cut costs. Huurre is leading the response, developing state-of-the-art CO2 systems that deliver exceptional performance alongside lower energy and running costs.
Headquartered in Finland, Huurre has extended its reach further within northern Europe through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions. The company’s previous financial planning tool was not powerful enough to offer a comprehensive overview of performance, providing static reports that were time-consuming to generate.
Olli Niiranen, Business Controller at Huurre, explains: “In the past, we had a decentralized business model with many divisions in multiple countries. Each finance team had to log into our existing planning tool remotely to upload data and run reports. We decided to consolidate as an organization and introduce a new, more flexible solution for financial analysis.”
Stepping into the cloud
Determined to keep costs down and flexibility high, Huurre began looking for a cloud-based financial planning tool. Following a thorough review of solutions available in the marketplace, the company chose IBM Cognos® TM1® (now IBM Planning Analytics) hosted in the IBM Cloud and teamed up with IBM Global Financing to minimize the impact on cash flow.
“We wanted a software-as-a-service offering so that we could avoid the expense and hassle of managing infrastructure and didn’t have to over-provision on licenses,” says Niiranen. “The IBM solution satisfied our requirements as it’s cloud-based, has broad functionality and is simple to access from anywhere – so our employees across Northern Europe can use it with ease. We opted for a financing deal from IBM to spread the cost of our investment.”
Huurre engaged IBM Business Partner Valamis to assist with the implementation. Niiranen comments: “IBM recommended Valamis to us, and they proved a highly committed, flexible partner with the expertise we needed.”
With help from Valamis, Huurre kicked off the project by switching one division over to the new planning tool for actuals reporting, before extending it to the entire group and adding new functionality incrementally. A few months ago, Huurre upgraded to the most recent version of the solution: IBM Planning Analytics. Today, the company accesses data from its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform and accounting systems to the solution as a basis for analytics and reporting, building monthly forecasts, weekly sales reports and long-term plans.
“Now, our finance teams can use the Microsoft Excel add-in within IBM Planning Analytics to create their own reports using a familiar interface,” says Niiranen.
With IBM Planning Analytics, Huurre has increased the efficiency of its financial planning and reporting processes dramatically. The solution provides dynamic reporting, giving users greater flexibility about how they analyze data.
“Feedback from users about IBM Planning Analytics has been positive,” comments Niiranen. “They can create more detailed reports in less time than before, allowing them to focus on using the data rather than managing it. They can adjust the variables they include in their reports, rather than starting from scratch each time. As a result, it’s much more straightforward to respond to ad hoc requests for information from the business.”
Huurre has gained better group-wide insight into financial performance, putting the company in a strong position for further expansion. Niiranen explains: “Our operations are complex, but IBM Planning Analytics makes it simple to get an overview of our financial performance. We can build every report we need within the platform, whereas other solutions would require much more complicated development.”
Equipped with the insights from the IBM solution, Huurre can enable better decision making, putting it on the path to greater profitability.
Niiranen concludes: “Financial reporting from IBM Planning Analytics helps us identify where we’re performing strongly and where we need to adjust our strategy. With help from IBM and Valamis, Huurre is sharpening its focus on key areas for growth.”
Huurre provides energy-efficient CO2-based refrigeration systems and refrigeration automation solutions and services. Its primary customers include ice rinks, retail operations, food producers, warehouses, professional kitchens and medical facilities. Employing 650 people in five countries, Huurre is headquartered in Vantaa, Finland.
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Valamis is a digital learning company specializing in workforce development. The company also has strong expertise in analytics, automation, and data science, and offers the Valamis – Learning Experience Platform. Valamis' customers are large organizations spanning across all industries, but predominantly in finance and insurance, complex manufacturing, and professional services. Headquartered in Joensuu, Finland, Valamis operates internationally with offices in the US, UK, Germany, and Russia.