Bravedo – From laborious budgeting into agile planning from Cloud

The Bravedo community consist of specialized and synergic companies from several different business sectors. To answer the diverse community’s performance management demands, they were looking for a powerful and flexible new planning solution. With IBM Planning Analytics Cloud, they can now easily create detailed forecasts and build alternative scenarios for different needs. This ensures their resilience in an ever-changing business environment.

Business challenge

Old planning solutions could not support their current business planning needs with their diverse business models and high data volumes. Laborious and slow planning solutions took up too much of Business Controllers worktime.

Transformation

From laborious and time-consuming budgeting into fully integrated and agile planning from Cloud.

Results

Extremely easy to use, fast and intuitive planning and reporting solution. Management has a better visibility and control over business. Less time needed to analyze data, create forecasts, and build scenarios.

Case Story

Bravedo has grown and evolved from Barona Group. Bravedo’s growth community is a group of businesses and people who want to grow together. Bravedo’s businesses operate in the fields of working life, technologies and social and healthcare. Community-wide turnover in 2018 was EUR 550 million. Today, it operates in 11 countries, has 22 member businesses and 7500 employees worldwide.

“We see our three fields as clusters of businesses working under Bravedo. For example, Barona still exists under Bravedo and it is the biggest organisation in the Bravedo community. It is part of our working life cluster together with Saranen Consulting and many others. Barona is the market leader in private employment services in Finland. Our technology cluster helps companies leverage digitalisation, and our healthcare cluster is focused on supporting the well-being of people, organisations and communities,” explains Barona’s CFO Jussi Ropo.

Planning solution for a complex busines model

As the Bravedo community has grown, the old planning solutions could not support their current business planning needs. Creating budgets and forecasts was laborious, so it was time to invest in a new planning solution to achieve better control and visibility in reporting, forecasting, budgeting and consolidation throughout the whole organisation. Previously, Bravedo had one solution for both consolidation and planning. During the renewal project, it ended up with two specialised solutions: one for planning and one for group consolidation. Intito helped with the new planning solution, which started with building the yearly budgeting capabilities, and after which the development focused more on financial reporting and forecasting processes.

Bravedo was trying to find a planning solution that could support its diverse business models. Some of its requirements for the planning logic were highly detailed. Due to Bravedo’s structure, it has a lot of data sources from many different businesses. Data volumes are remarkably high due to the many dimensions and complex allocations. The solution Bravedo was looking for needed to be both agile, in order to enable a flexible overview of the big picture, and powerful enough to perform well with crunching the numbers. One key feature was a planning solution it could easily manage independently.

”We have businesses ranging from start-ups to big enterprises, like Barona, working in our community, so we needed a planning solution that could fulfil these truly diverse demands. IBM Planning Analytics has limitless possibilities for different models, so we could build business-specific models for all member organisations and create custom workbooks for people in different positions. The platform is fast, flexible and extremely easy to use on all devices, so it meets all of our planning and reporting demands,” says Jussi Ropo.

One key part of the project was to renew sales planning among the different business operations, such as private employment services , social and healthcare services, consulting and training. Another important factor from the group perspective was to make management accounting more efficient and transparent. For example, overhead costs are allocated to the member businesses using several different allocation methods and the new solution offers capabilities to perform the allocations in real time and keep an audit trail of what is allocated and on what basis.

”Our Business Controllers now have time for truly important tasks such as analysing data and forecasts and building scenarios. This adds value and makes managing the community data driven. We are better prepared for the future.”

Jussi Ropo, CFO, - Barona

Collaboration started with an ambitious schedule

Bravedo’s project with Intito started in the late spring 2019. In a few workshops, the project scope was defined and the target state regarding the budgeting round in October was established. During the summer, Intito’s consultants worked iteratively on the planning models that were finalised together with Bravedo during August and September. All in all, the schedule for this project was quite ambitious but, through close co-operation and Intito’s agile way of working, the finish line was reached on time.

“It is critically important to choose a good planning solution, but I’d say it’s at least as important to choose the right consulting company as a partner. After a thorough check of Intito’s reference cases, we were convinced of their expertise. During the project, they were flexible and capable of understanding our briefs, quickly and intuitively. This and open discussion allowed us to proceed rapidly with the project. It has been delightful to work with Intito’s consultants. They take excellent care of us and treat us like an important client,” says Jussi Ropo.

Fully integrated solution enables efficient planning

All the goals of the original budgeting project were fulfilled with Planning Analytics. A fully integrated planning solution automates the flow of data from all sources into the planning solution. From the beginning of this year, the functionalities have also been applied to Bravedo’s forecasting processes and developed further to cover balance sheet and cash flow statements. The integration to ERP is close to real time and other source systems have been integrated to Planning Analytics as well.

Planning Analytics has also been used as a master platform for calculating various internal charges and allocations. Together with the real-time consolidation functionalities and scenario tools, Planning Analytics has been successfully used as the main reporting engine for the finance and operative management. It makes Bravedo’s finance and operative management more efficient and accurate. Administration has better visibility and control throughout the whole community of businesses working under it.

“Technical execution of budgeting and planning takes only a fraction of the time it used to. Now, we have an extremely easy to use, fast and intuitive planning solution. For us, forecasting is a way of managing the business. We can now include a broad group of people in forecasting. For example, our salespeople budget for how much they think we will sell to a certain customer in a certain timeframe. With the data coming from all the levels of the community, we can build exact forecasts and several different scenarios,” explains Jussi Ropo, summing up the advantages gained with the new planning solution.

The next steps in Bravedo’s and Intito’s co-operation are already in progress and include integrating more source systems to Planning Analytics and implementing new business-specific modules to further support the streamlining of the group’s reporting processes. Adding more automation to planning with Intito’s Advanced Analytics and Optimization Solutions is also on the roadmap.

Barona

Bravedo, previously known as Barona Group, is a growth community that was originally established in Finland in 1999. Today, it operates globally in 11 countries. All businesses from the fields of working life, technologies, and social and healthcare operate independently and under their own brands. To create even greater value for their customers, Bravedo businesses may collaborate by sharing customer and market insights, creating co-offerings, developing new solutions by pooling the skillsets of several businesses and sparring with each other to become better.

Solution components

- IBM Planning Analytics Cloud

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