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Södra: Flexible finance platform puts forest owners in the driver’s seat

How Sweden’s largest forest owner association unlocks cash visibility and real-time asset control.

Per Dahlqvist

Head of Business Development & Analytics Products, Credit Solutions and Services

The challenge

Forest owner association Södra needed a new, standardised and adaptable financial management system to lay the foundation for new digital services, greater cash visibility and automated end-user tasks.   

The solution

Tieto helped Södra introduce a future proof lending and deposit platform which simplifies cash administration, asset management, enhances end-user experience and facilitates multiple API integrations. The SaaS-based solution incorporates elements of online banking – tailored to the needs of forestry owners.  

More about Tieto lending solution
More about Tieto Forest consulting

About the customer

Södra is Sweden’s largest forest owner association with a membership of 52,000 forest owners. Based in Växjö, the cooperative has 3,600 employees providing administration support, advisory services and forum activities. Södra also markets and sells raw materials and goods – from timber wood to biofuel – sourced from its own forests in southern Sweden.

Visit Södra’s website

Standardised system for lending and managing assets from forestry transactions.

Scalable banking solution

Standardised system for lending and managing assets from forestry transactions.

Provides real-time API integrations, full visibility and automated industry compliance.

Open integrations

Provides real-time API integrations, full visibility and automated industry compliance.

Unlocks agile tools for launching products and services in a user-friendly interface.

New business opportunities

Unlocks agile tools for launching products and services in a user-friendly interface.

Södra: Flexible finance platform puts forest owners in the driver’s seat

New lending platform ­– first port of call

When Södra, Sweden’s largest forest owner association, decided it was time to jumpstart its digital transformation and refresh its technology, a new lending platform for its 52,000 strong membership of forest owners became the first port of call.

Against the background of Södra’s broad scope of activities – from forestry management and environmental conservation to accounting, sales and product development – advanced API integration with other existing systems was a key selection criteria.

In addition, Södra wanted a flexible yet robust members’ platform that could boost cash visibility and introduce new, dynamic tools for forestry transactions.

“Our goal is to strengthen the relationship with our membership base by providing modern tools for asset management. The lending and deposit solution from Tieto gave us precisely that. It creates more transparency for users and offers far greater options for managing funds, quite similar to an online banking system.”

Axel Hjelmer

Customer and Owner Support Manager, Södra

Path to agile expansion

Employing a Scrum methodology, Tieto’s teams set up a test environment to tackle the challenge of validating multiple integrations as well as migration of sensitive data.

“When you’re dealing with people’s assets, there is no margin for error. We managed to migrate the crucial data successfully thanks to great engagement from Södra and all involved team members,” says Niklas Agnesund, Project Manager, Tieto.

Prior to going live with the solution, this meant that both the old and new systems ran in parallel during a so-called “mirroring” phase to ensure a successful transition.

“The implementation went extremely well and exceeded our expectations. The roadmap from Tieto and testing activities gave us every confidence to proceed, and we received training both before and after go live.”

Axel Hjelmer

Customer and Owner Support Manager, Södra

The impact was immediately noticeable among Södra’s staff and members who now enjoy new options for managing their assets. Moreover, the platform lays the groundwork for expanding the offering – giving a significant boost to Södra’s ability to quickly launch new products.

Hybrid delivery breaks new ground

The unconventional needs of a forestry association meant that Tieto combined its expertise in two areas – forestry and banking.

The standardised SaaS-based lending and deposit solution provided the building blocks to meet the customer’s requirements. It was reinforced by measures to ensure real-time integrations, GDPR compliance and to provide special functions such as calculating interest and profits from timber sales.

“We have implemented a robust and secure banking solution which has given users more self-service options and improved the overall member experience,” says Hjelmer. 

“The platform gives our members the freedom to track transactions anytime, anywhere, and make payments. And it gives us the ability to keep pace with trends and create a springboard for launching new products in the future, so we’re very pleased with this first step."

Axel Hjelmer

Customer and Owner Support Manager, Södra

Södra continues the process of transforming its technology with Tieto as the single point of contact for full-line platform support.

axel södra.jpg

Axel Hjelmer, Customer and Owner Support Manager at Södra (photo courtesy of Södra Skogsägarna).

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