Sapa: Aluminium giant with Oracle HFM
Hydro Extruded Solutions, formerly known as Sapa Group, benefited enormously when they introduced Oracle HFM for group consolidation, with inlumi as the supplier and project partner. The advantages were seen immediately in the form of working time reduction at the head office and subsidiary companies, expeditious access to reports and higher quality data.
Group consolidation for more than 40 companies
In 2013, when Norsk Hydro and Orkla combined their international aluminium extrusion companies under the name of Sapa, the need emerged for an efficient group consolidation system for the new organisation. Indeed, Sapa suddenly had to account for its 23,000 employees in more than 40 countries. Oracle HFM (Hyperion Financial Management) was selected for Sapa’s financial consolidation, business segment operation reports and internal reports for the group management team.
With inlumi selected as the supplier and project partner, the HFM solution was effectively developed and adapted to Sapa’s business segments, reporting requirements and various undertakings. After just over a year of operation, key individuals at Sapa’s head office experienced noticeable benefits on many levels in the form of higher quality data, reports, and working time reduction at both the head office and subsidiary companies.
“HFM has demonstrated that it is a modern and future-oriented system for group consolidation, and inlumi has been a solid partner who thoroughly understands our needs,” says Kirsti Botheim, Group Accounting Director and Knut Ravnås, Group Business Controller.
Local management, global execution
With consultants from inlumi working closely with Sapa’s project group, the development project spanned over a period of 15 months. The system was built with Sapa’s group account plan, which supports consolidation of the accounts in line with IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) with integrated management reports for different management levels. The system also facilitates data capture from the ERP systems of the various companies.
With approximately 400 users globally, this is the most comprehensive HFM installation in Norway. Both Kirsti Botheim and Knut Ravnås emphasise project collaboration and user training as the most important criteria for helping the project to reach its goal. “Excellent training on the premises of the numerous companies of the Group is a prerequisite for establishing local ownership where the data is registered each month. This is why we selected a combination of on-site training for users and a web-based class-room solution for Smartview. inlumi’s consultants were solution-oriented and played a central role in this work,” they said.
“Excellent training on the premises of the numerous companies of the Group is a prerequisite for establishing local ownership where the data is registered each month. This is why we selected a combination of on-site training for users and a web-based class-room solution for Smartview. inlumi’s consultants were solution-oriented and played a central role in this work.”
Kirsti Botheim, Group Accounting Director at Sapa
Sustainable metal and unique qualities
Aluminium has unique qualities in that it is lightweight, extremely robust and it offers sustainable recycling. It is also widely used in construction from vehicles and vessels to industrial machines, buildings and large offshore installations. As a young group, Sapa is perhaps the least known of our international key players. This will probably change quickly, as the Orkla/Hydro-owned group is one of the world’s major suppliers of aluminium pro-file-based solutions.
“It was an ambitious move to commit to the implementation of a new group consolidation system so soon after the merger, during a period of multiple projects and new systems plus routines during establishment. However, we can only conclude that the project was satisfactorily executed. The system has worked in the way we wanted from the first month of reports (June 2015), and it has also met all the accounting and reporting requirements,” says Knut Ravnås.
Higher quality, reduction of working time
After using Oracle HFM for just over 12 months, key individuals at the Sapa Group would sum it up as: “Better quality data and quicker access to reports and information for managers. Regarding management reports, we are talking about freeing up one week’s work each month. In retrospect, there is no doubt that the decision to select Oracle HFM as a consolidation system and inlumi as a project partner was a good one, and it has contributed positively to our competitiveness.”