Improved quality of Yliopiston Apteekkisi’s budget process

Yliopiston Apteekki’s budget process was time consuming and didn’t support the need of real-time overviews and simulations. The company needed a system that was self-sufficient and easy to integrate.

We have shortened the budget process in terms of both time and resources. I think that the whole quality of the budget has improved. We have a better real-time overview thanks to Effectplan’s simple integration with QlikView and the finance app, says Anu Littunen, Business Controller at Yliopiston Apteekki

Yliopiston Apteekki’s challenge

Yliopiston Apteekki is the biggest pharmacy chain in Finland with 900.000 loyal customers. They have 17 pharmacy stores in Finland and an online pharmacy serving customers nationwide around the clock. The company offers a variety of services, such as manufacturing of pharmaceutical products, doze dispensing, services to health care customers. University Pharmacy also operates 38 pharmacies in Russia and 26 in Estonia. Anu Littunen, Business Controller at Yliopiston Apteekki, explains that from finance point of view the budget process, with almost hundred business units with Excel solution, was time consuming. It didn’t engage the business unit managers as much as desired. The biggest challenge was the lack of real-time overview of forecasts and versions and the difficulty in making simulations. The finance department wanted to move away from Excel and get better control of the process. They wanted to work more with workflows and spend less time consolidating the numerous Excel sheets from the Business Unit Managers, including Estonia and Russia. They also wanted more central documentation and include internal allocations. ”The biggest wish was to make different simulations and different versions for simulations. We used QlikView for reporting and wanted to consolidate only certain cost centers and then make another different combination to see various potential results” says Anu Littunen.

Yliopiston Apteekki’s solution

After investigating the different software on the market, the choice fell on Effectplan since one of the main priorities was to find a self-suffcient system that could be handled by their own administrators. ”We wanted simple administration, but with enough required functionality. The software needed to have flexibility for changes to the process and in the organization, and the possibility in the future to work with rolling forecasts. We also needed support for our business units in Estonia and Russia.” says Anu.

The Effectplan project

Effectplan project was in great deal run by Effectplan’s Finnish partner Affecto. Affecto’s business centers around enterprise information management, advanced business process systems, agile software development and location solutions. They already had an estabished collaboration with Yliopiston Apteekki around QlikView so the project turned out to be a compact, fast and good process according to the organization. They decided to have a light project around the training and the implementation of the system and thanks to the simplicty of Effectpan, the learning curve for Effectplan was very fast for the organization.

Mikko Dragon, from Affecto, who was responsible for the project together with Effectplan’s own consultant, says: “From the outside, the project was very easy to follow. It was a compact process and I am very happy with the whole project rollout. It took a certain discipline to pull it out of scope. But – we accomplished exactly what we had planned and met expectations! This is the whole benefit of the easy implementation and flexibility of Effectplan together with very good communication around the project. It was great!” The first budget process commenced after summer, shortly after the project had started. “I trained 50 end users via Skype sessions.” Anu explains. ”The users found the software very easy to use so it was enough with a couple of sessions over Skype. They had a lot of questions and felt very involved in the process, as the system’s interface allows for transparency in the organization and encourages involvement from the users.” Also the administrators and IT administrators agreed that Effectplan is very user friendly, and quickly understood how to build the templates and set up the system. The users were already familiar with QlikView, and experienced the integration of Effectplan with QlikView to give the whole process new dimensions. They could now in real-time test different budget scenarios and see the outcome in QlikView.

The value of Effectplan for Yliopiston Apteekki

The first budget process went well, and from the administrative point of view, the ability to be self-sufficient was of big importance. “Using Effectplan for our budget process has helped in speeding up the consolidation phase as all the data entered can be viewed real-time which gave me more time to analyze the budget.” says Anu. The end users really appreciated moving away from the Excel solution that was used before. The system gave them more possibility to document decisions and proposals. Overall there was a feeling of more structure to the budget. Effectplan offers more of a package solution and creates transparency and increases communication during the process. The ease of the system allows for more interaction and focus for the Business Unit Managers and gives the possibility of better control. In the future, Yliopiston Apteekki wants to move towards rolling forecast.