"Our treasury has grown rapidly in the last five years as we have centralised processes at our head office in Switzerland," explains Dr. Carlos Linares, Head of Group Treasury, "The island solutions weâve used up to now â spreadsheets, small databases and so on â have become increasingly difficult to use effectively. The move for a new solution is a reflection of the increased professionalism of our treasury; we have to have an integrated system with genuine data integrity."
Dr. Linares particularly looks forward to improved access to group wide information. "In the past it has been necessary for us to hedge FX back-to-back, but now weâll have much more timely access to global position information and will be able to hedge on that basis using a much smaller number of trades," he says. As well as such improved effectiveness, SaurerGroup will be using IT/2 in a streamlined FX dealing flow, by interfacing it with platforms such as FXall and Deutsche Bankâs e-Trade, and also with the DB-direct internet Multibank payments system. "From trading decision to settlement, manual involvement will be necessary only to initiate the trade and to approve payment" says Dr. Linares. "Efficiencies of this kind will allow us to reduce treasury headcount by 20%".
SaurerGroup is also among the first users of IT/2âs new Treasury Process Maps functionality, the release of which this summer ties in neatly with SaurerGroupâs firm-wide transition to a process-oriented organisational structure. "This is a very good tool for us and we have mapped out our FX processes already," comments Dr. Linares, "In our new structure, processes are defined and then people are identified as owners of them and responsible for them. This visualisation tool really covers our thinking from a BPR point of view and documents our processes very well."
It is planned to develop SaurerGroupâs treasury efficiency even further in future, by using a new enhancement to the internet-based IT/2 NET module in the groupâs 40 subsidiaries. This will streamline the communication of account balance information to Group Treasury. "With the deployment of IT/2 NET, cash management processes could also be further improved, as this would provide a solution for reporting of bank account balances," says Dr. Linares. "This will help us obtain an overview of the total cash position across the Group â major account balances reported via SWIFT MT940 directly into IT/2, with local account balances reported via IT/2 NET."