Bravida works with all systems that bring buildings to life. The company is an end-to-end partner offering services across several areas of technology: electrical; heating and plumbing; ventilation; security; sprinklers; cooling; power; and technical facilities management.
Bravida is growing fast in the fragmented Nordic systems installation and servicing sector. To drive further expansion, it wanted to equip decision-makers with greater insight into financial data
Working with IBM Business Partner Advectas, Bravida deployed IBM Planning Analytics, hosted in the IBM Cloud, to make budgeting more flexible, user-friendly and time-efficient.
When you use a facility such as an office block or a shopping mall, you may not notice core systems such as electricity, water, heating, cooling – until they stop working, at which point it becomes clear how important they are.
Bravida is a market leader in installing and maintaining these vital services in facilities in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, and has grown fast in recent years. Unlike in other parts of Europe, the services installation and maintenance sector in the Nordic region is fragmented – giving Bravida an excellent opportunity to capture new market share.
To support the next era of its expansion, Bravida saw an opportunity to streamline and optimize budgeting processes. The company creates an annual budget and three additional forecasts each year. Its existing budgeting solution didn’t provide the flexibility Bravida needed to adapt quickly to changes in the marketplace, limiting the company’s agility.
Fredrik Larsson, Group Business Controller, Bravida, explains: “Our business is built on multiple projects, each with many moving parts, which all need to be accounted for in our budgets. Before, we had to bring in an external consultant to help with our annual budget process and whenever we wanted to make changes. We wanted a new system that could give us greater control over the planning process, plus the flexibility to adjust to capitalize on new opportunities.”
Following an extensive review of a range of vendors, Bravida decided to implement IBM Planning Analytics to transform its budgeting processes.
Fredrik Larsson recalls: “We invited several companies to present their solutions to our management and business users, and asked them to demonstrate how their system would benefit various divisions of our company. It was clear that IBM Planning Analytics offered very strong functionality that would suit our requirements, including exceptional versatility – and it was also more cost-effective than competing offerings.”
Bravida worked with IBM Business Partner Advectas to deploy IBM Planning Analytics in an ambitious timeframe of five weeks, in order to complete implementation ahead of the next budgeting deadline. Fredrik Larsson elaborates: “We had worked with Advectas for several years, so we knew that they were well acquainted with our systems and processes, and really understood our strategic goals.
“When we mentioned the deadline that we had set for ourselves, our Advectas consultant was stressed, but determined! Advectas helped us plan every aspect of the deployment to the last detail, streamlining the process to ensure that we delivered the implementation on-schedule.”
Bravida opted for IBM Planning Analytics hosted in the IBM Cloud to accelerate deployment and simplify ongoing management. Fredrik Larsson explains: “Hosting our new system in the IBM Cloud was an easy decision. We were keen to make the system as low maintenance as possible, and we were well aware of the high performance, availability, flexibility and security that the IBM Cloud offers. Deploying IBM Planning Analytics in the IBM Cloud also helped us to implement the solution quickly, which was key to meet our deadline – if we had chosen an on-premises option, our deployment timeframe would have been impossible.”
Bravida completed its basic implementation of IBM Planning Analytics ahead of schedule, creating an easy-to-use budgeting system for business users. When regional or branch managers create their budget, the system seamlessly integrates data from the company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) and payroll software, which are kept up-to-date by project and service managers throughout the year. The solution makes it simple to plan ahead for the next period.
As soon as the company closed the budgeting process, it resumed work with Advectas to implement additional features to further increase the efficiency and flexibility of its budgeting system.
“We had worked with Advectas for several years, so we knew that they were well acquainted with our systems and processes, and really understood our strategic goals.”
Group Business Controller, Bravida
Using IBM Planning Analytics, Bravida has been able to optimize budgeting processes, unlocking time and complexity savings.
Fredrik Larsson comments: “The ease-of-use of IBM Planning Analytics makes the lives of everyone involved in the budgeting process so much simpler. Using the new system enabled us to cut the time needed to set up a new budget from three days – with the help of a consultant – to two hours with no assistance required.”
Bravida also benefits from the flexibility of IBM Planning Analytics. A key example of this is payroll, where the solution is helping the company accommodate the different employment laws and tax codes in each of the four countries in which it operates.
“Our previous budgeting software did not allow us to create separate rules to enable us to integrate payroll information for each country, which meant that we had to input this information manually,” recalls Larsson. “For a company of around 10,000 employees, this was a sizeable task to complete every quarter. IBM Planning Analytics eliminates this issue by enabling us to create multiple business rules for separate countries, which streamlines the budgeting process considerably.”
Previously, the sheer number of Bravida branches meant that version control could be hard to manage. Now, the audit trail provided by IBM Planning Analytics, which tracks every entry in log files, means that it is much easier for users to search for errors and resolve any budgeting issues quickly.
Fredrik Larsson concludes: “Ultimately, we undertook this project to improve our decision-making at a critical moment for Bravida – we have an excellent opportunity to strengthen our market position. By making our budgeting processes more flexible and efficient, IBM Planning Analytics in the IBM Cloud boosted our capacity to make well-informed forecasts to drive future operations. This empowers us to take our business to the next level.”