For multinational groups, the ability to instantly appraise cash positions has long been a challenge. Selecting the right treasury management system (TMS) can be key to liquidity and the ongoing running of the business. Mubea – the German multinational automotive parts producer – chose BELLIN’s tm5 system in 2014, and according to Guido Ludwig, global head of treasury, and Ruth Leopold, corporate treasury & global cash manager at Mubea, the firm hasn’t looked back.
Please explain why you decided to work with BELLIN.
As a globally active group with many subsidiaries, we were searching for a technology partner that offers a tool that could provide visibility and transparency regarding our global bank status and bank balances on a daily basis. Besides gaining full transparency and visibility, our CFO wanted to find a system that our group could use to perform and manage payment transactions worldwide, covering a variety of banks and supporting the specific cash management demands of a variety of jurisdictions.
BELLIN’s tm5 system supported these goals. The company exhibited a high degree of customer service and support, including an experienced consultant team who would guide our project, and a reliable support team for daily questions and business requests.
In connection with SWIFT, BELLIN gave us the option of a worldwide rollout of tm5 throughout the Mubea group. The system interface displayed a high degree of user-friendliness and could easily be adapted for various aims of financial management. The modular structure of tm5 also leaves the possibility of adding new functions and to adapt to new demands within the project’s scope. Overall, BELLIN’s offer was also economically beneficial from our point of view.
Besides the system’s technological aspects we were looking for a vendor with a solid track-record and an international footprint. The implementation of a treasury management system is comparable with laying cables in an office building, and nobody likes to replace building infrastructure in an up and running business. BELLIN could tick that box as well.
What benefits of the system attracted you the most?
For us, the biggest benefits were to gain worldwide cash visibility in an instant and to use one centralized tool for electronic banking within the group. The central administration of users, rights and bank related data provides a great level of transparency and security, which has proven valuable many times. These background functions also have the potential to be developed further, in terms of digitalization for secure communication between banks – such as in regards to know-your-customer procedures.
Another hidden benefit is tm5’s function as a database for past transactions, actions and status snapshots, which can be used for a wide range of analyses and evaluations.
We also highly appreciate the possibility of connecting tm5 to ERP systems via an interface or a direct integration. BELLIN presents itself as a competent partner for the upcoming challenges of digitalization, so we are hoping for many more benefits and developments to be realized in the near future.
How smooth was the implementation?
Initial implementation in our home country was smooth and closely guided by BELLIN. Our international rollout of tm5 was a learning curve: the implementation process differs in every country and depends on many factors, including the involvement of related external and internal parties, ERP systems, unique local cash management requirements and other challenges. However, we felt well supported by BELLIN, in particular by the payment consultants, who shared their experiences, fostered mutual understanding and built bridges between related parties and departments. The knowledge we gained was invaluable, and helped us master the technological challenges of the implementation while supporting users in embracing the system.
Has tm5 lived up to expectations?
Yes, indeed. We were able to roll out tm5 for payment transactions across a number of countries and have not yet come across any limitations. The system has proven to be flexible and can adapt to different settings and factors.
tm5’s interface itself offers a broad variety of options, which users need to adapt and grow accustomed to - naturally not all functions are self-explanatory and 100% intuitive. That said, the variety allows for an array of analyses, data aggregation and evaluation. BELLIN is also working on some major improvements in the system’s design and interface which we hope will support the intuitive handling of tm5 in the future and make it easier for new users to onboard.
How do you rate the technical support team?
Technical support has proven to be reliable throughout the process. As experts for the system we require, the consultants have always been able to find solutions to any issues, suggest new approaches and to shape and perfect the way we use it. Also, we really benefit from the expertise of BELLIN’s payment team, who have shared much of their valuable experience and offered sound advice to enable us to successfully complete our payment transaction projects. In general, we felt supported and empowered by our advisors who have provided deep insights and shared their expertise.
For issues without existing solutions, we were able to direct them to BELLIN’s development team for investigation. Sometimes this approach resulted in small pilot projects, which have been a challenging addition to our initial project with BELLIN. We hope to continue in the same way in the future.
How has it made your treasury requirements easier to process (compared to how you were working previously)?
So far, tm5 has granted us worldwide cash visibility of up to 99% of our global bank accounts with a high and increasing automation level. Missing pieces of information due to technical restrictions are beyond BELLIN’s control, but can be overcome with some manual work. Due to dynamic developments within the payments/banking sector we are optimistic that remaining “blind spots” will be resolved in a matter of time. tm5 has replaced various single-bank systems by giving our users a central access point for their cash management and payment demands. Through the central administration of users and user rights we have gained transparency into payment approvers in every country in which the system is active, have been able to enforce and control group guidelines, and we can also handle changes fast and efficiently. Instead of collecting data manually from our subsidiaries, tm5’s database supplies us with valuable information that is ready for analysis according to our specific needs.
We are looking forward to BELLIN’s support to face and master new challenges that arise with digitalization and increasing technological developments in line with the group’s aims.