Customer story: Relais Group

 

Clausion responds to the needs of a growing and changing wholesale company. Learn about Relais Group’s FPM implementation project.

Background

Relais Group is a wholesale company specialized in the import and distribution of car electrical spare parts and equipment in the Nordic and Baltic region. In the recent years, the company’s business environment has changed significantly.

Relais Group’s business has expanded, and the corporate group structure has changed. In 2017, Relais Group consisted of 8 companies, and business activities between the companies have continuously increased. The companies use different ERP and accounting systems as well as different currencies (EUR, SEK, NOK).

At the same time, financial reporting has become more complex. The quality of reporting also needed to be harmonized, developed, and improved in general. The management and investors constantly need more regular and accurate information. From the organization point-of-view, a legal and geographical segmentation was needed. The upcoming transition to IFRS, a new financial organization structure, and the fact that Excel was a difficult and no longer a sufficient tool in the changing circumstances, were also important factors in the decision to look for a new solution.

 

Why Clausion FPM?

The internal management accounting and group consolidation processes at Relais Group needed to be developed. Other financial management challenges, such as financial statements and a big acquisition, were also relevant in making the decision.

One of the reasons for choosing FPM was that FPM enables budgeting and financial forecasting as well as multi-currency processing and automatic counter entries. With the IFRS transition, Relais Group will need flexibility to add more accounts to the account chart. The FPM solution supports IFRS reporting as well as reporting and forecasting with the organization and product dimensions (forecasting is not yet in use). Monthly consolidation can also be done with FPM.

A goal was also to find a solution for staying up-to-date with cash flow and notes. In the future, Relais Group is also planning to transfer the figures of the different companies directly to FPM using an interface.

Practice and user experiences

FPM implementation until May 2018

  • December 2017: consolidation using FPM, but the group FAS balance sheet book still with the old Excel model
  • History data starting from Dec 2016 imported on a monthly level
  • Monthly consolidation Jan–Apr 2018 already done using FPM
  • Some customized reports made
  • Management monthly reporting to be done completely using the Dynamic Reporting (DR) Excel tool
  • Company-specific budgets of 2018 imported
  • Readiness to update the estimate for 2018 and the budget for 2019

In the IFRS transition phase, group reporting is done from the FPM according to the FAS standard. The effects of IFRS are reported separately to the income statement and balance sheet (“bridge calculations”) from three different points of time.

Relais Group feels that the implementation of the FPM system has been even smoother than expected. There have been some delays to the original project schedule because of other simultaneous efforts, but once the IFRS transition is finalized, the whole project will reach the finish line. Especially DR reporting gets praise because of its ease-of-use if you are familiar with Excel. Relais Group’s whole monthly management report is done with DR which retrieves the data automatically from FPM.

The challenges of the project are mostly related to IFRS. The final schedule of the transition has not been decided, and reporting is done according to the FAS standard at the same time. Transferring history data from the old consolidation Excel sheets to FPM also took more time than expected, but Relais Group wanted to complete it by themselves.

”I think our FPM project has been very successful.”

 

Future and goals

FPM implementation continues

  • The group’s cash flow tested and working in Dec 2017. Year 2018 not yet implemented.
  • Work in progress: IFRS adjustments and IFRS group consolidation
  • FAS and IFRS group consolidation simultaneously?
  • Work in progress: Notes
  • Work in progress: FPM roll-out to subsidiaries

Lessons learned & tips

  • Try to avoid unnecessary and double work
  • Put enough effort in the project specification phase
  • Stick to schedules
  • Avoid changes in project personnel in the middle of the project
  • Don’t start other big projects at the same time
  • Reserve time also in addition to the consultation days
  • Converting history data takes time
  • Account chart changes affect many other things: history data conversion, reports, input templates, planning

Practice and user experiences

FPM implementation until May 2018

  • December 2017: consolidation using FPM, but the group FAS balance sheet book still with the old Excel model
  • History data starting from Dec 2016 imported on a monthly level
  • Monthly consolidation Jan–Apr 2018 already done using FPM
  • Some customized reports made
  • Management monthly reporting to be done completely using the Dynamic Reporting (DR) Excel tool
  • Company-specific budgets of 2018 imported
  • Readiness to update the estimate for 2018 and the budget for 2019

In the IFRS transition phase, group reporting is done from the FPM according to the FAS standard. The effects of IFRS are reported separately to the income statement and balance sheet (“bridge calculations”) from three different points of time.

Relais Group feels that the implementation of the FPM system has been even smoother than expected. There have been some delays to the original project schedule because of other simultaneous efforts, but once the IFRS transition is finalized, the whole project will reach the finish line. Especially DR reporting gets praise because of its ease-of-use if you are familiar with Excel. Relais Group’s whole monthly management report is done with DR which retrieves the data automatically from FPM.

The challenges of the project are mostly related to IFRS. The final schedule of the transition has not been decided, and reporting is done according to the FAS standard at the same time. Transferring history data from the old consolidation Excel sheets to FPM also took more time than expected, but Relais Group wanted to complete it by themselves.

”I think our FPM project has been very successful.”

 

Future and goals

FPM implementation continues

  • The group’s cash flow tested and working in Dec 2017. Year 2018 not yet implemented.
  • Work in progress: IFRS adjustments and IFRS group consolidation
  • FAS and IFRS group consolidation simultaneously?
  • Work in progress: Notes
  • Work in progress: FPM roll-out to subsidiaries

Lessons learned & tips

  • Try to avoid unnecessary and double work
  • Put enough effort in the project specification phase
  • Stick to schedules
  • Avoid changes in project personnel in the middle of the project
  • Don’t start other big projects at the same time
  • Reserve time also in addition to the consultation days
  • Converting history data takes time
  • Account chart changes affect many other things: history data conversion, reports, input templates, planning

Company

Relais Group is a leading wholesale company specialized in the import and distribution of auto electrical spare parts and equipment in the Nordic and Baltic region. The company’s products include, for example, car electrical components.

Relais Group in numbers:

  • group turnover 60,4 M€ in 2017
  • 145 employees in five countries
  • subsidiaries in Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
  • approx. 55 000 products in storage
  • over 3000 retailers in the Nordic and Baltic region
  • 16 500 m2 storage and office space in Lempäälä, Finland

 

Information and data provided by

May 2018

Relais Group
Group Financial Controller
Anna Vitikainen

Contact us for further information!

Please fill out the form, or contact us directly: Viljami Frank (viljami.frank@clausion.com) +358 44 263 7012