Treasury Today Country Profiles in association with Citi

Dong Energy

Dong Energy, Highly Commended, Best Cash Management Solution

Lone Bang Jespersen, Nordea, Kim Japp and Anne Heidemann, Dong Energy and Rob Van Peer, Nasarius

This project was a very comprehensive transformation at DONG Energy including implementation of SAP In-House Bank and the establishment of a streamlined payment process for 200+ legal entities at a newly established Financial Shared Service Centre.

Photo of Lone Bang Jespersen, Nordea, Kim Japp and Anne Heidemann, Dong Energy and Rob Van Peer, Nasarius.

Anne Heidemann

Director, Treasury Front Office

Kim Japp

Director, Financial Shared Service Centre

Headquartered in Denmark, DONG Energy is one of the leading energy groups in Northern Europe. Around 6,500 employees are involved in areas such as oil and natural gas exploration and production, the generation of electricity and heat from offshore wind farms and power stations, and supplying energy to residential and business.

in partnership with

The challenge:

DONG Energy was created following the merger of six companies in 2006, each with its own procedures, systems and bank relationships. This gave rise to a number of challenges for the treasury. “We remember first-hand the scale of the task involved in managing payments to the company’s subsidiaries and joint ventures – more than 200 legal entities – and how the decentralised structure made it impossible to get a complete view of the company’s funding and liquidity,” explains Kim Japp, Director, Financial Shared Service Centre at DONG. Bringing its financial processes into alignment was a huge task for the team, but also one vital to the company’s success.

The solution:

The company therefore embarked on an ambitious multi-year programme of activities to optimise its finance processes, with the vision of establishing an internal bank and payment factory and a completely centralised treasury. This would involve a broad range of process and operational transformations, new IT systems and changes to its legal, banking and commercial relationships.

After setting up a shared services centre and with ambitions for instituting an internal bank and payment factory, DONG Energy had a need to revisit the payment processes. They hired Nasarius, an external SAP consultant, to help with this process transformation. The solution enables centrally approved payments to and from all subsidiaries in DONG Energy’s SAP system, sent to one central bank hub, Nordea eGateway, covering payments from Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the UK. In addition, Nordea developed a flexible zero-balance structure in the global cash pool system, so the company can match the needs in the internal bank set-up.

The new payment platform was live by the end of September 2014, and the cash pooling solution has gone from strength to strength. The solutions are fully integrated into DONG Energy’s SAP and treasury management solution, and also into its shared services and treasury processes. “These have been two major projects,” says Japp. “And the implementation has been a success. Now DONG Energy has truly updated, modernised and enhanced its core finance processes, producing tangible results.”

Best practice and innovation:

DONG Energy has achieved a total transformation and modernisation when handling and executing payments. The connection between SAP at DONG Energy and the Nordea eGateway payment hub has proved to be the perfect match for simplifying and streamlining the processes at DONG Energy. All payments are delivered in one place independent of which Nordea country the payer account is located. Nordea automatically distributes the payments to the local payment infrastructure where the payment is executed. As Anne Heidemann, Director, Treasury Front Office explains: “this set-up gives the opportunity to change expensive cross-border payments into cheaper local payments for both payer and payee.”

A perfect example of best practice is demonstrated by the right people being on-boarded from all three parties, DONG Energy, Nasarius and Nordea, at the very start of the project in physical meetings. All members of the team got to know each other and were present when defining the scope. Discussions concerning the solution were taken up front, so any later disputes were avoided. It was clear to all participants exactly what to implement, and with a minimum of redesigns during the process, it only proved to enhance the entire project.

Key benefits:

  • Reduced reliance on bank credit lines.

  • Reduction in bank charges.

  • Cost savings.

  • Productivity gains.

  • Process efficiencies.

  • Risk removed/mitigated.