Quicker budget process and increased involvement with Hypergene's system

The municipally-owned company Växjö Energi works in one of Sweden’s fastest-growing regions. The company plays a vital role in the region’s development. Växjö Energi builds, manages and ensures the sustainability of the infrastructure that is required to meet the region’s needs for heating, cooling, electricity and broadband.

Challenge

  • Budget work – a far too time-consuming process
  • Difficulty in gaining an overview of the process
  • Desire to increase participation from operations

Solution

  • Hypergene’s support for budgeting

Results

  • Significantly quicker budget process
  • Increased participation and understanding from operations
  • Improved communication regarding outcomes and required measures

Challenge

With an annual turnover of almost SEK 750 million and around 200 employees, Växjö Energi is a company with an eye to the future. Its plans include exploring new areas of use, new business models and new products. As part of its continuous improvement work, the company can see the benefits of increasing the effectiveness of its operations.

Budget work was one area the energy company identified as a process in need of improvement. Växjö Energi was not entirely without system support for its budget process – they used a solution based on different spreadsheets.

“One of the challenges we faced with our old system support was the difficulty of getting an overview of the process and seeing various information and data at an early stage of the process”, explains Ing-Mari Färdig, Controller at Växjö Energi.

At that time the budget work was a time-consuming process that was primarily handled by the accounting function. As a result, the operational divisions were given a finished budget to follow, instead of one created through a common process based on their plans for how the operations should be managed going forward.

The results came quickly. In the same time it used to take us to create the budget, we were now able to both create the budget and implement our new tool.
Ing-Mari Färdig, Controller Växjö Energi.

Solution

Växjö Energi implemented Hypergene – a solution that not only provides support for Budgeting & Forecasting, but also offers powerful functionality for Strategic Management and Reporting & Analysis. The product’s flexibility allowed the energy company to select and use the part of the solution in greatest need of development – the budget process. The implementation went quickly, and the solution was soon rolled out to operations. An important aspect of the company’s ambition with the new solution was to more easily involve the operational units in the budget process.

 

Outcome

Getting started with Hypergene was a smooth process for the organisation. The users found the new tool to be easy to use.

“The results came quickly. In the same time it used to take us to create the budget, we were now able to both create the budget and implement our new tool.”

The budget process is no longer driven by the accounting function. Instead, it is almost entirely driven by the operational units, where users now also can work with a driver-based budget, enabling them to use measurements with which they are familiar. This has led to many positive effects. The level of participation is greater. The users’ understanding of why the results look like they do has increased. And the fact that the entire organisation now works in one cohesive, common support system has also improved the company’s internal communication.

“We have been provided with a common language for talking about various situations and developments.”

In considering the organisation’s strategy to improve its effectiveness, Ing-Mari is now looking to the future.

“We are now working on the development of other management processes. Part of this process involves using Hypergene in a number of other areas. We will be using Hypergene for project monitoring, strategic management and reporting.”

Ing-Mari sees the possibility to give operations quicker and easier access to both budget and important role-based information regarding finances and personnel and, looking further ahead, also operational data. The ambition is to gather the information in the web portal that Hypergene provides.

“When the information becomes more accessible, I will in my role be able to spend much more time on performing analyses, and highlight the measures that need to be taken, instead of having to spend so much time compiling various information and data.”