Leveraging Technology for Value Creation
GN Group is a global leader in intelligent audio solutions, with key brands: Jabra; ReSound; Beltone and Interton marketed in 100 countries globally. Through these innovative products, GN enables users to hear more, do more and be more than they thought possible. This same aspiration extends to treasury which is constantly striving to achieve better visibility over data and transactions, enhanced productivity and an even greater ability to add value to the group in new ways as it pursues its growth strategy. To achieve these objectives, treasury needs to leverage new technology to deliver greater efficiency, address changing risks, enable centralisation and provide a platform for future growth.
With GN’s rapid growth, treasury recognised the need to upscale its activities in anticipation of more complex treasury needs as a result of further business expansion. Although GN’s treasury processes were appropriate to the existing business, they lacked scalability to meet future financial and operational objectives. Cash and treasury management was largely decentralised, with entities connecting directly with local banking partners. As a result, GN has embarked on a treasury optimisation exercise to reflect the evolving strategic and operational needs of the business, supported with state-of-the-art technology.
Setting the transformation roadmap
With additional recruitment to the treasury team, GN is now embarking on a step change in treasury centralisation, process efficiency and automation. By doing so, the company will be able to further rationalise its banking relationships, reduce costs by insourcing some activities formerly conducted by banks, standardise processes and controls and constantly deliver best-in-class reporting and decision-making.
The first step has been to outline the scope and objectives clearly. For example, as GN has grown, it has built up a portfolio of around 300 bank accounts with 50 different banks. This creates the potential for fragmented liquidity and a high connectivity and administration burden. Compliance going forward is also a major priority, so centralising bank account management, and obtaining electronic bank statements through a single channel will be essential.
“Technology is key to this centralisation and transformation initiative. In particular, we wanted to expand treasury’s reach, depth and influence in the company, and facilitate growth, without the need to increase the size of the team in the future.” Michael Sack, Group Treasurer, GN Group
Innovation through technology
A crucial step has been the decision to implement treasury management system (TMS) Kyriba as its treasury hub. The system supports consistent processes and reporting across the business, irrespective of users’ location. An essential capability is Kyriba’s one-stop connectivity with the group’s banking partners via SWIFT. Kyriba and SWIFT have a proven track record of working together successfully on similar client engagements globally to offer seamless cash, treasury and bank communication capabilities, which makes this co-operation very positive for GN. Having used various TMS at other companies in the past, the treasury team was attracted to Kyriba’s modern technology, intuitive look and feel, scalability and flexibility to adapt to its evolving needs. The solution also promises to be cost-effective with the additional benefit of local support in Singapore.