Magdalena is a Solution Architect who has been working at inlumi for seven years. Guillermo is a Senior Consultant and has been in the team for three years. Together, they worked on a major project to transform the finance function at Arendals Fossekompani (AFK). The project started out as an implementation of a consolidation solution, and eventually expanded to include a more holistic Performance Management solution which can support AFK into the future.
|Magdalena Rønneberg, Solution Architect at inlumi Norway
AFK is a green tech investment company that owns energy- and technology-related companies which enable the transition to a green economy. Headquartered in Norway, AFK is the majority owner of companies with more than 2200 employees in 27 countries. For more than 100 years, AFK has been a proud producer of hydro power from two power plants.
AFK was experiencing limitations in their existing solution to fulfil certain reporting requirements. Their existing consolidation solution did not provide granularity from the base entity level, and lower levels were reported in Excel or other solutions. AFK were also faced with a lack of available consultants to support their legacy system and wanted local expertise to help them implement a new solution. In tough competition with multiple vendors, AFK chose to implement Oracle’s Cloud platform for Financial Consolidation and Close while inlumi was chosen out of a large selection of possible partners – including “big 4” companies. The inlumi team couldn’t wait to get started in supporting such a well-known organisation in the green tech world.
The initial ambition for the project was to simplify the monthly reporting cycles for the AFK Group and one of their subsidiaries, EFD Induction Group. The project scope was to cover financial consolidation including reporting of business regions and segments with only a limited set of reports. However, inlumi’s experienced consultants also identified a possibility to extend the solution to be even more future-proof and to prepare the client for future growth. The team didn’t hesitate to challenge AFK to look further into the toolbox of Oracle Cloud EPM. As a result, AFK also added their annual notes to the solution and are now implementing solutions for cash forecasting, revenue forecasts based on order intake, and long-term planning for the Group and their subsidiaries.
|Guillermo Martinez, Senior Consultant at inlumi Norway
Expanding the scope of the project required boldness on the part of our consultants, and an understanding that we are working in the best interest of our clients. Lars Roar, Commercial Manager for the Norway team, explains: “Magdalena and Guillermo were especially skilled at discussing with the customer how to build a solution that works the best for them in the long term. It’s not just about coming up with one solution, but also thinking of a solution together with the customer and helping them make informed decisions. This means we have to be open and honest with the customer regarding the limitations of certain solutions. So it wasn’t just consolidation skills that mattered in this project, but also communication skills and interpersonal skills.”
Guillermo and Magdalena explain further how they nurtured a good working relationship with AFK: “It was mostly a remote project which made it quite challenging. Nevertheless, from the very first day, we asked the client key questions about their model and their organisation. After gathering the requirements, we showed AFK at an early stage what their application would look like. This helps the client to understand how we convert their requirements into an actual platform. It’s also key to be proactive; before every meeting, we would always make sure to have examples to support the discussion so we could get a better understanding of their needs.”
As a result of this project, AFK went from using a fragmented system for their consolidation process, to having a single platform in which all requirements are covered within one solution, ensuring data quality on a consolidated level. The client is able to complete their consolidation much faster using an automated process without manual cut-and-paste. As Preben Trondal Nilsen from AFK says: “We have a long implementation process behind us and it is very nice to be able to report that the third quarter accounts have been completed in a very satisfactory manner. The problems that have arisen along the way are continuously solved in an impressive way.” AFK’s planning solution is currently being developed to enable AFK’s long-term success into the future.