Wästbygg Gruppen AB one of Sweden's largest construction and project development companies. With hundreds of simultaneous ongoing projects, it is important to be able to plan, control and follow up the operations in a flexible way.
"Welcome," says Andreas Berntsson, financial manager at Wästbygg, and receive us in the self-designed office building in Borås. It feels pleasant and warm. Little as one perceives the entire company.
Andreas and Jonas Jönehall, CFO, are ultimately responsible for the selection and implementation of INSIKT. We're here to find out why and how they decided on INSIKT and what it looks like after the system is installed.
But first, to understand the challenges, we need the background. So, who are Wästbygg?
Jonas tells us about the company: "We are a contracting and project development company with offices in six locations in Sweden. The company has approximately 300 employees, turnover 2.8 billion in 2017. We run our own development projects, but also carry out client projects for customers such as HSB and Riksbyggen. The number of ongoing projects is somewhere around 100".
We go out and look at a building just outside Borås where a commercial property is being built for Hornbach. Andreas tells us that they specialize in housing, logistics facilities and commercial properties. "Right now, for example, we are building the Halland Art Museum in Halmstad, the Asecs shopping area in Jönköping, and then we are building what is called Loft 46, a rooftop apartment in Borås". However, the project wall in the lunchroom bears witness to many more.
The fact that the business models differ for the Wästbygg Group's three subsidiaries is a challenge in financial reporting. There are also many projects, all with their own finances, which makes it extra important to mind your Ps and Qs.
Andreas says: "Previously we used Excel and other support systems. But above all Excel, of course, with macros, pivot tables, linked formulas between worksheets and with high complexity. And a lot of manual application. Of course, also a lot of sending files and a stressful version management between our various companies and financial units." He further explains that in the end it becomes unsustainable. As the company grows, the projects become more and bigger, so do the risks and the manual work. It's easy to imagine a pressured situation where something has gone wrong in a formula, and the bottom line just doesn't add up."
Why did the choice fall on INSIKT? Wästbygg evaluated a number of tools, but INSIKT was the tool that could best meet the company's most important criteria. "First and foremost, we wanted to find a system that could be adapted to our processes and our way of looking at things," says Jonas. "It couldn't be the other way around. The other important factor was finding something that was user-friendly.” Wästbygg has many different users who must report and to some extent use the system. With many users, the data habits are naturally varied.” But there is something much more important about this that Jonas clearly wants to point out. "With a simple system, we first get the data in. It is like a law of nature that if the system is too complicated, it becomes a threshold to use, even if you may know how it works. And secondly, it will be the right data.”
With the right data, in time, there is time to work with analysis and control. Budget, forecast and planning work will be much more precise and of higher quality.
Andreas also believes that from a technical perspective it was also important to find a tool that could take in data from surrounding systems. Payroll systems, business systems and calculation programs must be able to be refueled. "You shouldn't have to jump between a lot of programs. With the INSIKT suite, we manage to bring everything together in one. There we have had a very good ongoing dialogue with INSIKT's implementation team."
A few days into the implementation process, Andreas and Jonas were able to verify that everything looked good. "Figures from surrounding systems were available and they were able to get complete balance sheets and profit and loss statements, which made us feel safe and we could proceed according to plan."
Wästbygg today balances its projects monthly and quarterly. The goal is to achieve daily use, but everything has its time and the project process is something close to Andreas' heart. During the reconciliations, the latest forecast is updated, which is the basis for the successive profit calculation.
"A partial aim has also been to use our time for the right things. We want to use our time to analyze and understand rather than compile and spend time on repetitive exercises. Previously, compilation took 80% of the time and 20% could be devoted to analysis. We want to change that relationship and spend much more time on analysis and proactive work with control and forecasting," says Jonas.
Andreas believes that INSIKT makes the numbers more accessible, which creates an awareness. And the awareness gives birth to new thoughts and ideas about how they can become even better. "In that way, we really build the system according to the users. By them seeing and understanding their data better and sparking new thoughts, which renders in reports and functionality that help them become even sharper," concludes Andreas.