Centralising regional liquidity management
by Ken Osuga, General Manager, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe
Konica Minolta Business Solutions is a leading provider of advanced document solutions and networking/imaging technologies for use from the desktop to the print shop. With 27 subsidiaries operating across Europe, each with its own profit centre, the company identified a need to improve its existing cash management structure and selected RBS to develop the solution.
The challenge: Achieving greater visibility and control over Europe-wide balances
Konica Minolta Business Solutions combines award-winning colour printers and multifunctional copiers with powerful software tools to deliver integrated imaging and document management solutions to customers. Our European business is headquartered in Langenhagen, Germany, with subsidiaries across the region. Whereas some subsidiaries were cash rich, others required local bank financing. Being able to gain central oversight of cash positions, and mobilise cash across the region, were therefore key priorities. We sought a ‘lean and mean’ cash management structure, with a centralized approach to liquidity management across Europe. Our main goals were to:
- Increase the transparency, control and centralisation of cash positions
- Reduce interest costs through better use of internal funds and reductions in local borrowing
- Shorten the balance sheet
- Reduce banking costs (administrative costs, banking fees, systems).
By being able to pay down debt in one part of the organisation with spare cash lying elsewhere, we could maximise internal cash to reduce interest charges. In addition, a Europe-wide rationalisation of our banking relationships would help to reduce banking fees and administrative costs.
Choosing a proven banking partner
We recognized the benefit of adopting a regionally centralised liquidity management structure and we needed a bank with the geographical reach and advanced solutions to help us achieve this goal successfully. We had clear criteria for our cash management bank. We were looking for a bank committed to partnership, with a proven track record in liquidity management and a global footprint combined with regional expertise. After detailed discussions with selected banks, Konica Minolta mandated RBS as our bank for multi-currency European liquidity management. Among the key factors behind our decision to select RBS were the bank’s competitive pricing, systems capability and geographical coverage. RBS’s ability to provide strategic advice on the solution was also a major point in their favour.