Alko store

Alko: Smooth budgeting and forecasting

Alko is a nationwide specialty store chain with more than 350 stores. Alko’s net sales in 2020 was approximately 1.3 billion euros and it employs approximately 2,500 people.

Alko had been using Basware’s Business Planning system for years in budgeting and financial planning, which was replaced by a more modern tool in 2013 and ended up with the Clausion system.

In Alko’s environment, it is notable that there are many units i.e. stores – more than 350 all over Finland. With so many units, it is clear that budgeting and financial planning need to be made as efficient and user-friendly as possible.

“Entering a budget itself can be quite a hassle. We strive to make budgeting at the stores as easy and simple as possible. We make efficient use of system automation and ready-made templates. We, in the finance function prepare the budget as accurately as possible. After that, the stores’ service managers have clear points to give an opinion on in the budget. This makes their work on budgeting easier and faster”, says Tero Manninen, Alko’s Controller.

Cloud solution as part of a functional overall architecture

Deployed in 2021, Clausion’s cloud solution provides a modern foundation for the future. “Clausion Cloud fits into our overall architecture and simplifies the entire palette. Also, technically everything works really well. With the cloud, future version upgrades are also smooth and fast compared to the on-premises world”, says Manninen.

The importance of forecasting in financial planning is growing

Alko uses even some other tools in its financial reporting, but Clausion’s position as an effective tool for financial planning and budgeting has remained strong. The importance of forecasts has also grown significantly in recent years. Alko approaches the world of rolling forecasting. The forecast is reviewed on a monthly basis from sales to profit, the balance sheet is currently forecast at a slightly lower pace – a few times a year. In recent years, forecast versioning has been developed and the pace of forecasting has been condensed. It is important that a constantly up-to-date view is available and that changes are taken into account.

“We have extensive experience using the Clausion system and it serves our business needs well in budgeting, forecasting and financial planning. The system is stable and easy to use for a wide range of users. One of the strengths of the system is its very good compatibility with Excel and how it can be flexibly integrated into different business systems. We find that Clausion’s system is constantly being developed – new features are coming and the system is being taken forward.”

Tero Manninen, Controller, Alko

Top 3 reasons why Alko uses Clausion’s solutions:

  • Meets business needs for budgeting and forecasting – a powerful tool for a multi-unit organization.
  • Long experience – has worked well and it is seen that the system will continue to meet needs flexibly in the future as well.
  • A modern cloud solution suitable for the overall architecture.