About Niklas Kankkonen
Niklas Kankkonen is a global business executive with extensive international experience - in Finland, Sweden and Canada. He has held executive management positions in financial management, human resources, strategic management, international sales, research and development.
About AHola Transport
With over 500 trucks and 700 employees, Ahola Group is a very visible logistics company in all the Nordic with roots going back to 1965.
Go to Ahola Transport's website.
“I NOW SPEND MY TIME DEALING WITH THINGS INSTEAD OF LOOKING FOR THINGS”
"When you don’t have a clear overview of your contract landscape you don’t see your company’s financial liabilities. "
"As a CFO I believe in having a strategic role in the company. Spending time mapping all our agreements should neither be manual detective work nor time-consuming routine work. "
"The support we received from House of Control during the onboarding was excellent. It is always easier to use a new software than to improve the way we work.
The practical advice we've received from House of Control has helped us build efficient and scalable contract management processes. Plus, the implementation has been smoother and faster I expected, based many years experience with multiple software implementations."
How Ahola Group's CFO could spend more time being strategic
“I now spend my time dealing with things instead of looking for things.” Contract management has changed a lot for CFO Niklas Kankkonen in one of the largest Nordic transportation companies.
With over 500 trucks and 700 employees, Ahola Group is a very visible logistics company in all the Nordic with roots going back to 1965. With their dynamic logistics concept, the company has developed into a leading transport company in the Nordic countries, now expanding rapidly into the Central and Eastern European market.
Rapid growth and considerable size come with their own challenges, according to CFO Niklas Kankkonen. He says one of them is the overview and control of an increasing number of agreements:
“Our biggest contract management challenge was that we didn’t know how many agreements we had. Contracts were signed all over the place – at different locations, and by a number of units and teams. Secondly, we didn’t know what kind of agreements they were – what they governed and did for us. And thirdly, the contract management was very people-based; information wasn’t shared well between teams, and we had hand-over problems when people who owned the contract quit the company. Were the agreements transferred or not?”
In addition to the lack of operational overview, there were challenges to financial management, Niklas says:
“When you don’t have a clear overview of your contract landscape you don’t see your company’s financial liabilities. That makes cash management as well as budgeting more difficult, time-consuming and prone to errors. Then comes pricing questions regarding vendor and customer contracts: Do we have the right prices, do we renegotiate in time, are the price adjustment clauses handled correctly? The answers to those questions have real impact. So, an ad-hoc approach to contract management simply doesn’t translate into sound financial management.”
Things changed when Ahola Group chose the SaaS solution Complete Control for contract management. Soon, Niklas expects to have almost 300 agreements registered in the cloud-based software. The contracts cover a wide spectrum of the business, for example: Financial contracts, facility management, rental agreements, utilities, IT services, leasing agreements, and marketing.
“As a CFO I believe in having a strategic role in the company. That includes making sure we have the right contracts from the right vendors at the right terms. The more time our team have dealing with the big questions, the better job we can do. Spending time mapping all our agreements should neither be manual detective work nor time-consuming routine work. With Complete Control this is automated. It’s a huge relief when all things are stored in the same place. I now spend my time dealing with things instead of looking for things.”
Of course, it didn’t all happen in an instant. From the time of acknowledging the pains of insufficient handling of agreements to harvesting the fruits of better contract management facilitated by new software, what can be said of the process?
“The support we received from House of Control during the onboarding was excellent. It is always easier to use a new software than to improve the way we work. We still have some way to go, but the practical advice we’ve gotten from House of Control has been helpful to build efficient and scalable contract management processes. Plus, the implementation has been both smoother and faster than I would expect, based on the experience of multiple software implementations over the years.”