Gasum took the first step towards integrated business planning

Gasum is a forerunner in sustainable Nordic energy solutions and the circular economy. Thanks to centralized financial planning using IBM Planning Analytics, business controllers are able to save time analyzing numbers, building scenarios and studying forecasts. As a result, the first step towards integrated business planning has now been taken in Gasum.

Business challenge

Laborious and time-consuming Excel-based budgeting. The tools only allowed the financial experts to participate in budgeting. It was practically impossible to make scenarios of the figures critical to business.

Transformation

The existing systems and processes were replaced by IBM Planning Analytics Cloud.

Results

Financial planning is now centralized in a single location. This ensures that the internal parameters are the same for all business units. As budgeting is now easier, resources have been released for analyzing and making scenarios of the numbers.

Gasum is a Nordic energy company that seeks to contribute to the clean mobility of people and goods on land and at sea. The company offers cleaner and more cost-effective energy and raw materials and energy market expert services for industry and combined heat and power generation, and for road transport and maritime. Additionally, they help customers master the energy market and provide services and consultancy throughout the market chain. Gasum promotes development towards a carbon-neutral future on land and at sea.

“Gasum provides a wide range of services in the energy sector. We help our partners operate responsibly in the energy market offering advanced services covering the entire market chain. Moreover, we process biodegradable wastes and produce fertilizers for use in agriculture,” says Business Controller Jussi Kauppila of Gasum. 

Previously Excel-based planning

At the time when the cooperation between Gasum and Intito was initiated, Gasum’s financial planning, profit and loss planning and operational planning were done in Excel. A lot of business controller’s working hours was devoted to entering figures in numerous spreadsheets required for budgeting. It was hard to make scenarios of the business-critical estimates and forecasts of the movements in gas prices with the tools available at that time.

”For example, entering the changes in gas prices took an inordinate amount of time for business controllers. The figures lacked transparency, the process of updating them was slow and complicated. We also wanted to involve more people in budgeting, but the old tools did not allow this,” Kauppila explains the situation at the outset of the project.

IBM Planning Analytics replaced old systems

A decision was made to replace the existing systems and processes with IBM Planning Analytics. What Gasum wanted to put in place was a financial planning system that facilitated the management and processing of data, while at the same time improving its quality and the accuracy of the plans. Instead of just entering and correcting figures, business controllers were to focus more on analyzing the data, building scenarios and preparing forecasts. What they hoped to achieve was a system that allowed them to plan sales at various volumes from purchase to delivery.

“We screened a number of budgeting and planning applications. We chose IBM Planning Analytics, because it gave a clear idea of the technology involved and because we believed that it was efficient enough to respond to the challenges we were facing in terms of business planning. All the people involved in the decision-making process were excited about Planning Analytics,” Kauppila says.

“The biggest benefit of centralizing financial planning in IBM Planning Analytics is that now the business controllers have more time to analyze figures and build scenarios.

Jussi Kauppila, Business Controller, - Gasum

Brisk progress through close cooperation

The project to adopt an integrated business planning solution at Gasum in collaboration with Intito was launched in April 2021, starting with financial planning. The project was completed by the end of September, and the last pieces of the puzzle fell into place in November. “The first step was to study Gasum’s needs and wishes in close consultation with the customer. “We analysed Gasum’s business model and created the first prototype planning model, which was then used as a basis for building the final design,” says Janus Timperi, Business Owner of Intito’s xPA Team, who was involved in the project from day one.

“We selected Intito because they exuded a spirit of getting things done right from the first presentation, and had experts of the highest calibre. Technology played a major role in the selection. From the project point of view, it was fortunate that the same people were involved right from the beginning. This gave them insight into our business and helped them prepare proposals as to how things should be done. At the same time, we were able to learn best practices as the Intito people presented their own views instead of just going along with our proposals,” Kauppila describes the cooperation with Intito’s experts.

More time for Gasum’s business controllers to analyze figures and build scenarios

Thanks to the project, Gasum’s financial planning is now mostly centralized in a single location. As IBM Planning Analytics is integrated with the consolidation system and ETRM (Energy Trading and Risk Management), the data needed for planning is easily accessible and capable of being forwarded to other sub-systems. As a result, the transparency of figures and quality of data have greatly improved.

“The biggest benefit of centralizing financial planning in IBM Planning Analytics is that now the business controllers have more time to analyze figures and build scenarios. Close cooperation with Intito helped us achieve a financial planning model that responded to our needs,” Kauppila concludes.

Gasum is moving towards integrated business planning

Following completion of the project, Gasum and Intito will continue to work together on small-scale development schemes and by incorporating components such as sales planning in IBM Planning Analytics. “We’ve signed an Intito CARE service agreement with the company, which allows us to carry out small-scale development on a highly flexible basis.

Gasum

Gasum is a forerunner in sustainable Nordic energy solutions and the circular economy. It was founded in Finland in 1994. The Group employs 380 people in Finland, Norway, Sweden and Germany. Today Gasum owns biogas plants in Finland and Sweden, and it is the largest processor of biodegradable waste in the Nordic countries. Gasum offers cleaner and cost-effective energy and raw materials and energy market expert solutions for industry, road transport and maritime.

Solution components

- IBM Planning Analytics Cloud

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