• Customers

    Automated forecasting streamlines monthly project monitoring.

    Real-estate company Wallenstam put a lot of effort into producing monthly forecasts for project monitoring and control of their construction projects. In order to streamline the work Wallenstam introduced SQL Spreads. Wallenstam now has an automated forecasting process with increased safeguards, a higher quality of submitted forecasts and saves about 500 man-hours a year.

    Situation

    Wallenstam is one of Sweden’s largest real-estate companies, managing, building and developing properties in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Helsingborg. Wallenstam makes monthly forecasts for all ongoing construction projects to ensure that their cost parameters are followed. The project managers felt that the amount of work required to make these predictions was very time consuming. It was largely a manual effort, where project managers input data manually thus increasing the risk of errors.

    The work was performed in Microsoft Excel. Håkan Lindhén, project controller at Wallenstam, says: “We dealt with a variety of files that could be difficult to structure. Another problem was that our users have different levels of Excel knowledge and use templates in different ways, resulting in an unsafe and unreliable template.”. Wallenstam’s controllers had to expend much time and energy to help project managers in their efforts to develop forecasts.

    Meanwhile Wallenstam employees were used to working with Microsoft Excel and it was perceived as a problem to switch to a completely new solution. “I’ve worked in web-based cost management programs in the past and the problem is that they are so extremely inflexible that you always encounter problems. They become difficult to work with and can result in project managers not using the system.” says Håkan Lindhén.

    Solution

    Using SQL Spreads, Wallenstam implemented a new solution for project monitoring. “The introduction of SQL Spreads has worked very well. The employees who will work with the forecast have been able to see the progress and influence the design of the final solution along the way. This facilitates implementation because the project mangers’ views are incorporated and through their participation they are already motivated to start working with our new forecasting tool.” continues Håkan Lindhén.

    “We have together with project managers christened the program as WaKS, Wallenstam Cost Control.”

    SQL Spreads connects to Wallenstam’s data warehouse so that the comparative data is loaded into the forecasting spreadsheet automatically. – “To automate the input of comparative data into the forecast will save a lot of time and we know that the values in the forecast are identical to those we have in the financial system.”

    “Project managers can spend more of their time running their projects instead of creating forecasts”

    Wallenstam’s employees can easily access the forecasting tool via Microsoft Excel. “With SQL Spreads we get a very consistent and pleasing interface, with a common entrance to both current and archived forecasts. It gives us a much more unified view.”

    When users work with SQL Spreads, they receive a lot of automatic support – “Now it is handled mostly by automation which means that project managers can spend more of their time running their projects instead of creating forecasts.” states Lindhén.

    Results
    • Saves about 500 man-hours a year
    • Project managers can spend more time running projects
    • Higher quality of submitted forecasts
    • Better understanding of the forecasting process
    Wallenstam project
    Customer:

    Wallenstam AB is a Swedish real-estate company listed on the Nasdaq OMX Nordic Stock Exchange. Wallenstam develops and manages properties worth 3.7 billion USD.

    Requirement:

    The need to introduce a new forecasting tool to produce monthly cost forecasts for on-going construction projects.

    Solution:

    A user-friendly, secure and automated forecasting tool – built in Excel using SQL Spreads.

    Results:

    Significantly higher quality of submitted forecasts. Greater security in the forecasting process. Saves about 500 man-hours a year.

    Links:

    www.wallenstam.se

    Contact:

    Håkan Lindhén
    Project Controller,
    Wallenstam AB