Improving Cash Flow Forecasting at TRILUX GmbH & Co. KG
by Yvonne Wendler, Treasury Department & Oliver Thissen, Head, Finance & Legal Department
Introduction to TRILUX
TRILUX was first founded by Wilhelm Lenze in 1912 in Menden in the Sauerland, Germany, developing gas and electric lighting. Although its initial lighting products were very simple, TRILUX developed a reputation for high quality, resulting in substantial growth and expansion to the product range throughout the 1930’s.
With sales and production units across the world, with multiple bank accounts and banking relationships, Trilux was finding it difficult to achieve clear visibility of the group's cash position.
The company’s manufacturing facilities were destroyed during WW2, and reconstruction started 1948 in Arnsberg with more sophisticated and powerful lighting solutions including lamps with threefold lumen output compared to traditional incandescent lamps, hence the name TRILUX, meaning threefold light. During the 1950’s, the company began to expand internationally with its first subsidiary in France, a trend which has developed ever since, with sales units in 14 European countries, distributors in the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the United States and 6 production sites in the Philippines, China, India and in different locations in Europe. Today TRILUX is a leading – No 1 in Germany and No 3 in Europe - international supplier of technical lighting solutions and electronic components for the lighting industry.
TRILUX maintains a treasury department of three people at its head office in Arnsberg, Germany. In addition, TRILUX Finance B.V., located in the Netherlands, functions as the group’s in-house bank and provides financing to the business units.
With sales and production units across the world, with multiple bank accounts and banking relationships, TRILUX was finding it difficult to achieve clear visibility of the group’s cash position. Cash flow forecasting was time consuming and often inaccurate as business units had to work out cash flow forecasts manually which they then sent to central treasury. As well as needing to develop more accurate cash flow forecasts, TRILUX wanted the ability to compare actual cash flows with forecast data in order to become more accurate in the future.
Treasury Technology Needs
TRILUX already had a treasury management system in place, but it could not easily be rolled out to business units from a technical perspective and TRILUX had some concerns about the supplier’s commitment to developing the system in the future. Consequently, TRILUX decided to implement a new system to supplement its existing treasury management system and potentially replace it in the future. The new system had to be accessed easily from business units globally and support TRILUX’s cash and liquidity management needs. Furthermore, as treasury already had a system in place, TRILUX wanted to limit the investment required for a new system.