Taking Treasury to the Next Level
Corporate Recognition Awards 2018
By Eleanor Hill, Editor
It genuinely gets tougher every year to judge TMI’s Corporate Recognition Awards. Not only did we receive a record number of entries in 2018, but the standard was higher than ever. For the first time, the judges have chosen highly commended projects in certain categories, as well as winners. This decision directly reflects the quality of submissions – we simply could not let the highly commended treasury teams and projects go unrecognised.
The following overviews of the huge efforts undertaken by corporates over the last 12 months cannot possibly do these projects justice. As such, we will be running full-length case studies looking at many of these innovative and best practice solutions in future issues of TMI, so do keep a lookout.
All that remains to be said is congratulations to this year’s award winners – and thank you to all of those corporates who took the time to submit nominations. We look forward to an equally exciting judging process in 2019!
Nominations for the 2019 TMI Awards will open in April 2019. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to be notified.
Treasury Team of the Year
Stanley Black & Decker
Stanley Black & Decker (SBD) is a USD$13bn company with a common organisational goal to achieve revenues of $22bn by 2022. Determined to position treasury to support this ambitious target, SBD embarked on a project to simplify the company’s complex treasury set-up. This saw SBD simultaneously implement a treasury management solution, FIS’ Quantum™, and a payment factory, using FIS’ Trax™, while also centralising 100 ERPs down to one.
This project involved a huge collaborative effort, with buy-in and commitment from SBD’s executives, IT function, the company’s 20-member treasury team, and a partnership with FIS. Through this initiative, SBD’s treasury team has already assisted the company in improving revenue. Moreover, treasury has greater insight into liquidity, helping the department, and the leadership team, to make better-informed decisions. This transformational project has also provided a competitive edge, with SBD now running a thoroughly modern treasury that is more than deserving of TMI’s Top Treasury Team 2018 accolade.
You could easily argue that a treasury team the size of a small army would be required to rationalise transactional banking in 94 subsidiaries across 41 banking jurisdictions, while simultaneously centralising and automating bank interfaces for a Global Finance System (GFS) implementation. Yet this was precisely the scale of the project undertaken and successfully completed by the PageGroup treasury team. The achievement is even more impressive given the size of the team – two permanent employees and three independent contractors.
Group treasury now has global oversight and control over banking facilities, while acting as a central banker for liquidity. Transactional processing has fully transitioned to a shared service centre set-up and its users take centre stage within a rationalised and efficient GFS environment.
Throughout the project, the treasury team continued to maintain their day-to-day business functionality to the highest standard and have in turn become trusted advisers to both the executives and the business. These achievements, among many other benefits garnered throughout the project, make PageGroup a clear Highly Commended Treasury Team of the Year.
Best Non-Profit Treasury Team
As a non-profit organisation, WWF is constantly looking for opportunities to improve its operations and deploy donations as efficiently as possible for the purpose of wilderness preservation. As such, WWF embarked on a project to integrate its ERP systems with its banking platform, enabling all country offices to transmit payment information directly from their respective ERP systems to banks and receive secure status messages and statements.
Together with PwC, WWF focused on a concept of ‘electronic payments and statements’ to automate the process and worked with key banking partners to deploy this solution – across a number of challenging geographies. The core solution was designed in a cloud ERP platform, in order to facilitate a faster adaption of the solution and achieve integration to the banking platforms.
Treasury is now in full control of the organisation’s cash positions and has full visibility over outgoing payments. Electronic payments have enabled compliance with security rules, greater control and transparency in the country offices, and easier handling – all of which have helped the organisation in tracking disbursements and donations. The huge team effort involved to achieve all of these efficiencies is why WWF was chosen as TMI’s Best Non-Profit Treasury Team 2018.
Working Capital Management
To help improve working capital management and maximise cash returns, Microsoft’s treasury team has implemented an intercompany payments factory for all worldwide settlements – these are now centrally authorised by the treasury team through a new dashboard tool and accompanying workflows.
The revamped tool provides full visibility on intercompany payments, meaning that treasury no longer encounters any unplanned funding issues. Treasury is also now able to precisely position the company’s cash balance and all the billions of excess cash are invested until the day they are needed. Other benefits include improved FX risk management and improved compliance. The Microsoft team also has plans to build on the new dashboard – and the clean, visible data it has provided – by leveraging Azure machine learning. This will enable better forecasting of cash flow needs and foreign currency exposure.
The treasury team at ABB has undertaken an impressive financial transformation through an initiative called Cash Applied Before Breakfast (CABB). As a global company with more than 50 subsidiaries, handling cash application on a local level was becoming increasingly challenging for ABB with regard to process efficiency, standardisation and cash visibility – which was in turn leading to inefficiencies in working capital management. Country-specific priorities and budgets had resulted in the use of different solutions in the cash application process.
Centralising cash application processing on a global level therefore made complete sense for ABB, especially since the company had centralised accounts receivable operations in a global shared services (GBS) environment at end of 2017. By working diligently to roll out one global solution for cash application – AutoBank from Serrala – ABB has cut the costs for local solutions, increased efficiency, harmonised processes, and improved cash flow, financial control, transparency and compliance by reducing the volume and value of unallocated payments. In addition to improving working capital management, through close collaboration with Serrala’s experts, treasury has also boosted customer satisfaction.
Supply Chain Finance
Given the highly competitive landscape that food retailers operate in, Ahold Delhaize decided to implement supply chain finance (SCF) to build a stronger relationship with its suppliers. Working closely with ING, Ahold Delhaize has now successfully rolled out SCF programmes in six countries including challenging geographies such as Greece, Romania and Serbia.
The company opted for an inclusive roll-out strategy, covering its entire supplier base – one of the many impressive features of this project. Moreover, the innovative technical solution deployed for the latest SCF roll-out in the Netherlands fully integrates the SCF data exchange with Ahold Delhaize’s existing procure-to-pay process, and also the SWIFTNet FileAct connection with ING, through one centralised solution.
Already, these SCF programmes have made a significant contribution towards improving the group’s working capital position and market valuation. They have also further enhanced the relationship with the company’s suppliers, helping them to garner their own working capital efficiencies. This project is the true definition of a ‘win-win’.