Tornator’s main business is the production and sale of timber. Tornator launched a project to overhaul its business management system because it wanted to be able to simulate timber sales and gather all the figures required for financial planning in a single system. The project proceeded on schedule even though all the work had to be carried out remotely from the beginning. As a result of the system upgrade, Tornator now has an improved view of its financial figures and what is to be expected.
Financial figures are scattered across several locations. Little potential for predicting future business and creating scenarios.
All the data relevant to financial planning was imported into a single system. The upgrade made it possible to generate financial performance forecasts on a monthly basis.
Greater transparency of the figures required for financial planning. Scenarios help Tornator make better business decisions. The forecasting process gives foresight into the future.
Tornator’s main business is the production and sale of timber. They engage in sustainable forestry with the aim of a high and steady yield, guaranteeing their customers sustainably produced, double-certified wood. Tornator also buys forestland with a diverse range of tree types. In their forest management, they respect nature, using the right treatments at the right time. This enables Tornator to ensure that their forestlands thrive and remain diverse. Tornator’s systematic forest management and expert staff will ensure profitable operations in the future.
“Actually, Tornator is a unique company in the European context. Our main business is growing and selling timber. Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of the business in its current form. We are Finland’s largest private forest owner, second only to the State of Finland, with 90% of the operations carried out in Finland. The rest of the operations take place in Estonia and Romania, so we have also the international aspect in our business and reporting,” says Antti Siirtola, Tornator’s Chief Financial Officer.
Primarily, the system upgrade was needed to create a tool with which Tornator could get a better view on business performance and improve forecasting capabilities.
“Two years ago, we really didn’t have any forecasting capability. We needed a process and a tool to go forward. We invited tenders from five suppliers, some of which we provided with data for the POC. Without it, it would’ve been difficult to discern differences between the tenders. Intito’s specialists had clearly studied our questions, business model and data, and made a real effort to come up with a suitable solution. Intito’s POC, which was prepared using IBM Planning Analytics, responded to our needs precisely,” Siirtola says.
The objective of the project was to have the ability to create forecasts and compare scenarios. Since timber sales is Tornator’s core business, the new system was to assemble all data required for business planning in a single system. The new system gives Tornator more visibility to timber sales and allows the company to make better timber sales plans that are based on accurate information.
The biggest advantage offered by the system is that we have all figures in one place, accessible to all those who need them. As a result, transparency is much greater than in the past. Now we are also able to retrieve the figures generated by the business processes in all countries of operation.Mirka Roikonen, Financial Controller, - Tornator
Cooperation between Tornator and Intito commenced in spring 2020 with the POC for timber sales planning. The actual project was launched soon after that. Production data was imported into the POC to serve as a basis for a finished tool for planning timber sales. Originally, the idea was that Intito’s specialists would work in Tornator’s premises in close interaction with Tornator’s people. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire project had to be completed remotely. Thanks to regular meetings and the efforts of the steering group and Tornator’s project leader, the project proceeded smoothly even though people were compelled to work elsewhere.
“Cooperation with Intito’s specialists was smooth from the beginning. They seemed to understand what we were trying to achieve with the system. Agreement was reached on all points despite working remotely, and steady progress was made. Even though we were compelled to switch to remote working very quickly, everything went surprisingly well and we managed to complete the model on time,” says Financial Controller Mirka Roikonen.
The objectives determined at the beginning of the project included combining financial information with timber sales and forest data and ability to make forecasts and scenarios based on combined data. These objectives were achieved. With the new system, Tornator now has a better idea of Group-level performance, both current and future. The new system helps in planning and optimising timber sales: how much timber they have sold, how much is delivered, what is the expected quantity of timber available to be sold in the future. The scenario feature allows them to compare sales scenarios in an attempt to optimise sales.
“The biggest advantage offered by the system is that we have all figures in one place, accessible to all those who need them. As a result, transparency is much greater than in the past. Now we are also able to retrieve the figures generated by the business processes in all countries of operation. This makes it possible for us to create financial performance forecasts on a monthly basis and review previous forecasts. All in all, financial management is smoother when all the data exists in a single system,” Roikonen says.
The first phase of the project is now completed and its benefits are already visible. Steps will be taken to generate other forecasts beside financial performance. These future steps could relate to cash flow forecasts and the creation of business plans for strategic periods. Tornator will continue to invest in developing the forecasting process with Intito’s assistance.
Tornator is a Finnish forestry company whose main line of business is timber production and the sale of cutting rights. Additionally, the company leases land areas for a wide variety of uses, sells waterfront plots and develops wind power together with partners. Tornator’s 2020 revenue reached EUR 118.1 million. Of the company’s cash flow, timber sales accounted for 83%, property transactions 5% and other sources of income 12%. The Tornator Group owns a total of 715,000 hectares of forestland in Finland, Estonia and Romania.
- IBM Planning Analytics
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