Autoliv, Inc. (NYSE: ALV; Nasdaq Stockholm: ALIV.sdb) is the worldwide leader in automotive safety systems. Through our group companies, we develop, manufacture and market protective systems, such as airbags, seatbelts, and steering wheels for all major automotive manufacturers in the world as well as mobility safety solutions, such as pedestrian protection, connected safety services and safety solutions for riders of powered two wheelers. At Autoliv, we challenge and re-define the standards of mobility safety to sustainably deliver leading solutions. In 2022, our products saved close to 35,000 lives and reduced more than 450,000 injuries.
Our close to 70,000 associates in 27 countries are passionate about our vision of Saving More Lives and quality is at the heart of everything we do. We drive innovation, research, and development at our 14 technical centers, with their 20 test tracks. Sales in 2022 amounted to US $ 8.8 billion. For more information go to autoliv.com.
“We now have created the opportunity to rethink how we view financial processes. It is evolving upstream. OneStream allows us to look further into the future as to how the business will develop as we go forward.”
— Dennis Popma, Director of Strategic Projects, Performance and Transformation, Autoliv
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“We have to be very confident in the decisions that we take.” It is not a surprising statement from the world’s largest safety provider. But Dennis Popma, Director of Strategic Projects at Autoliv, is responsible for business decisions that affect people both on and off the road. While Autoliv continues to shape the world of mobility by creating life-saving solutions for vehicles, leadership also recognized an internal need to deliver comprehensive support for Sales, Operations and Finance.
As part of a core team of decision-makers, Popma embarked on a finance transformation journey to create a global view of profitability across the vertically integrated business and allow teams to plan on costs and revenue down to an SKU level.
Used by major car manufacturers worldwide, Autoliv’s products save over 35,000 lives every year. Through organic growth, acquisition, and a merger, Autoliv has become a market leader with over 65,000 employees across 27 countries.
This rapid growth ultimately created a complex, multi-divisional operational structure on both the product and organisational side, including data spread across several systems.
“We’re in the automotive industry, which is not exactly known for fat margins, so we have to fight for the profit that we have,” says Popma. “Accuracy is key to maximize the value for operational and financial reporting and forecasting.”
To that end, Autoliv decided to transform the Sales, Operations, and Finance organisations with unified, best-in-class processes. Popma explains, “Knowing that we could create more value from our data has been one of the key motivations to start this project. We realised, with the technology today, that we can do quite a bit more than just consolidation and have it all in one holistic landscape.”
On a mission to deliver forecasting and reporting through the entire value chain, Autoliv selected OneStream for their actuals and unified planning processes. By having a single platform for unified business planning and reporting, Autoliv has transformed financial and operational planning into a collaborative, supported approach.
With data unified and accessible, Autoliv can answer the hard and important questions:
Having a single planning process enables Autoliv to proactively respond to changes in the market, as information moves along the value chain, and impact what they produce.
Automation and unification target much-needed efficiencies which enable the effort from preparing plans to acting upon insights they provide. Not only does this mean less time spent on mundane work, but it provides an opportunity to develop new skills, and to transform the Finance function into strategic business partners within Autoliv. In addition, the reporting process has been simplified with more automation and maximised commentary capabilities. Autoliv can now derive more value from the data loaded via dashboards and data blending at a part number level of granularity.
“With our ambitious agenda, working with OneStream Diamond-level Partner, inlumi, enabled us as an organisation not only on the implementation side, but also on the art of the possible with regards to technology, processes and transformation,” says Popma. “The programme plays a significant role for strategic decision making. inlumi’s expertise and constant research on priorities for the CFO office helps us further define our strategy to get the most out of our value chain by standardising and optimising our processes, from operations to finance.”
One key to Autoliv’s success has been the ability to combine sales and purchasing data at a part number and SKU level, into financial and operational reporting and forecasting.
Another major benefit of the aligned data model in OneStream has been the significant improvement to the management of master data. Autoliv relies on OneStream’s crucial role in the governance of master data and ensuring data integrity throughout the organisation.
Autoliv is exploring machine learning (ML) enabled forecasting to improve operational forecasting and interpret customer demand planning. By unifying granular demand and supply forecasts with financial plans, Sensible ML would enable Autoliv to proactively respond to changes in the market, as information moves along the value chain, and impact what they produce. Here are a few additional benefits of the approach:
By leveraging Sensible ML’s capabilities to produce detailed, granular forecasts at a daily level, Autoliv was able to create forecasts to match the granularity of their demand planning. In addition, Sensible ML can produce more accurate and more frequent forecasts at scale and at a fraction of the time and cost. This would allow Autoliv to quickly pivot from demand forecasting to supply-oriented forecasting due to Covid disruptions of the market conditions. Using Sensible ML’s Auto AI feature, Autoliv’s team could automatically bring in new drivers representative of the current business environment and therefore save time and increase agility.
With these processes, Autoliv has a common methodology to develop common measurables. This allows Autoliv to connect strategic decisions with the bottom-line impact more confidently than they have done in the past. “We now have created the opportunity to rethink how we view financial processes,” says Popma. “It is evolving upstream. OneStream allows us to look further into the future as to how the business will develop as we go forward.”
From its early roots in the year 2000, inlumi has grown into a pan- European full-service provider of everything from advisory, technology implementation to managed operations. Combining finance and technology expertise, inlumi helps customers to perform at their best by enabling them to make sense of their enterprise and financial data—key to their future success. inlumi takes their customers to the next level of Performance Management and Analytics — to allow informed decision making. For more information, please visit inlumi.com.
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