Case Ylva

NetSuite was the solution for the special features and automation needs related to Ylva's business

Ylva had in its hands an outdated financial management solution that did not enable the automation and streamlining of operations. NetSuite was chosen as the new system, which ensures that Ylva always has an updated and modern financial management solution.

Ylva is the asset manager of the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY), the business operations of which focus on the real estate and restaurant sector. Ylva operates valuable real estate properties in the centre of Helsinki around Kaivopiha. The most well-known properties are the New and Old Student Houses and the Seurahuone building. In addition, Ylva operates UniCafe restaurants serving ethical and affordable student lunches. Ylva also provides, for example, financial services to HYY.

In order to enable diverse business operations, back-end systems must be adaptable and flexible. However, Ylva was in a situation where the existing financial management solution was no longer able to meet the growing demands and, above all, it had also otherwise reached the end of its life cycle. In particular, the old solution provided only limited possibilities for automation.

“We were aware that modern solutions could help us achieve efficiency, quality and cost benefits. The aim was to be able to use financial management resources in a more sensible manner,” says Matleena Eteläsaari, Project Manager at Ylva.

milla-teimme.pngWhat we used

We easily found common ground and well-functioning working methods with Digia's consultants. The cooperation worked well even though the COVID-19 pandemic and remote work initially brought about some challenges. Manual work has in many cases been eliminated and the level of automation has improved. NetSuite has proven to be as good as its image in terms of usability and adaptability.

Matleena Eteläsaari, Project Manager, Ylva

 

NetSuite's adaptability and Digia’s references were convincing

When choosing the solution, Ylva had several criteria that the new system was expected to fulfil. The number one priority in the reform was to come up with a sensible package that would meet the needs of Ylva's various businesses. In addition, the solution was required to promote the automation of work tasks and paperless operations.

After comparing various options, Ylva selected NetSuite delivered by Digia. “Our impression of NetSuite was that it could be adapted and it seemed to be visually clear and intuitive to use. The prerequisites for automation were also met,” Eteläsaari lists.

As for Digia, they made an impression with their references and the smooth cooperation already at the sales phase. “Digia gave an impression of being a reliable partner. The smoothness of the sales phase also anticipated good cooperation in the actual project,” Eteläsaari says.

Competent professionals and comprehensive testing led to successful deployment

The implementation project started in March 2020. According to Eteläsaari, the project went smoothly, although the tight initial schedule was not quite met. “We easily found common ground and well-functioning working methods with Digia's consultants. The cooperation worked well even though the COVID-19 pandemic and remote work initially brought about some challenges,” Eteläsaari describes.

In addition to remote work, Ylva's special feature related to its real estate and restaurant business, the partial VAT deduction, posed some problems, as there was no ready-made solution for this in NetSuite. The partial VAT was also an element in many of Ylva’s financial processes, which meant that it was a recurring challenge. “The original planned solution to the partial VAT deduction did not work as desired, but Digia's consultants tackled the problem, and now we have our own tailor-made solution for it.”

The new system was put into action right after its deployment, when Ylva entered the busy period with the financial statement preparations at the turn of the year. The fact that there were no major challenges at this time is a testimony of careful testing. “Before deployment, we tested a lot, with this also serving as user induction. Digia’s consultants provided close support at this phase as well.”

In retrospect, Eteläsaari says that the solution-oriented attitude was one of the key elements in the successful project. “Whenever there were challenges, they were solved immediately instead of moaning and groaning. The pace of such projects is often rapid and sometimes decisions must be made quickly. This is why it's important to have a clear picture of the desired outcome already in advance,” Eteläsaari says.

Targets have already been achieved shortly after deployment

Although the new system has only been used for a few months, Eteläsaari says that some of the targets set for the solution have already been achieved. “Manual work has in many cases been eliminated and the level of automation has improved. NetSuite has proven to be as good as its image in terms of usability and adaptability.”

The deployment of the new system provided a good opportunity to review procedures and processes. According to Eteläsaari, the reform has had an impact on how things will be done in Ylva in the future. “During the project, we reviewed all our financial processes. We also aimed to take into use NetSuite’s existing features, which in itself shaped our operating methods. Of course, the development of procedures and processes is still ongoing while we consider what the next steps would be in terms of system development and improvements.”

One of the challenges with the old system was that it did not evolve with the changing needs. Regular updates and development are thus some of the benefits that NetSuite is expected to provide. “We will certainly benefit from this in the future and we are also interested in using any new features added to NetSuite,” Eteläsaari says. “Now that the mandatory financial management functions have been taken into use, the main focus of further development will shift to taking into account the needs of businesses,” she concludes.