The decision to change transaction banking partners presented Harley-Davidson with an unprecedented opportunity to address all of the associated challenges and boldly put in place a best in class treasury function. While short-term benefits will be largely seen in APAC, the framework is fully scalable providing a template for Harley-Davidson to extend into EMEA and the Americas when the timing is right. This incredibly complex and geographically ambitious operation was completed within a very short timeframe.
Photo of Lynda Johnson, Tricia Norberg and Rachel Zdyrko, Harley-Davidson, Inc. and Steve Hall, J.P. Morgan.
Harley-Davidson, Inc. (H-D) is the parent company of Harley-Davidson Motor Company and Harley-Davidson Financial Services.
in partnership with
Ingenuity and vision deliver a best in class global cash management structure
The H-D treasurer established a goal for his team to become a best in class treasury operation. From a global banking perspective, the team faced several challenges in achieving this goal. These included a decentralised organisation, policies, procedures, documentation and controls; the use of numerous different banks across the globe, all with different portals and security; lack of visibility to global cash balances on a timely basis; and many manual processes outside of its ERP system. These factors increased H-D’s cost and risk.
To overcome these challenges, The H-D global treasury department set out the following objectives:
Establish regional treasury leads.
Implement a global payment risk policy.
Create a centralised banking database and documentation.
Rationalise banks and accounts.
Utilise SEPA direct debits.
Implement SAP Treasury Workstation Cash Management Suite.
The H-D global treasury department was able to implement a highly-effective, efficient and cost-saving international cash management solution which included selecting one international banking partner for all of H-D’s international subsidiaries. This solution significantly enhanced visibility to global cash balances on a daily basis; streamlined processes and user administration and controls by providing the same portal and security process for all international subsidiaries; and reduced risk to social engineering by eliminating free-form wires internationally. It provided for a follow-the-sun treasury backup process for all cash management administration and transactions. It allowed for bank account rationalisation, with 19% fewer accounts and 24% fewer banks. It facilitated the use of SEPA direct debits in EMEA. Additionally, it ensured H-D is well positioned for the next stage in its journey to be best in class for all treasury operations which may include implementation of an international notional pooling structure with its international banking provider to increase investment returns, optimise international working capital requirements and return additional cash to the parent.
Best practice and innovation
Working from the ground up, the team put in place a set of best practices, policies and systems that moved them toward their best in class objective. A global payment risk policy was implemented. This policy established formal guidelines, responsibilities and controls for payment methods; established limits and controls for payment made in a banking portal, eliminated petty cash globally; and increased awareness of cyber-security threats through communication and training. A treasury workstation for cash management was implemented in the US and EMEA, and is currently being implemented in the Asia Pacific region. This workstation optimises and standardises routine cash management; provides for straight through processing with standardised XML formats; and enables same day wire, next day ACH, and low value international payments. It also enhances productivity through the automation of journal entries and daily bank account reconciliations and automated banking information updates via SwiftRef.
The H-D global treasury department’s accomplishments were enabled by the foresight to set realistic goals that have ensured success and also set the stage for future enhancements. Treasury was committed to striking the right balance between achieving operational excellence and maintaining uninterrupted business operations which they have successfully achieved.
Lynda Johnson is the Assistant Treasurer for Harley-Davidson, Inc. Her current areas of responsibility include leading global treasury operations and debt and capital markets for both the parent and the captive finance subsidiary. She earned an MBA from the University of Chicago, an MS from the Ohio State University, and a BS from Carroll University.
EMEA Treasury Lead
Tricia Norberg, EMEA Treasury Lead, is responsible for driving Harley-Davidson treasury operations for the EMEA region including treasury process development, policy supervision, management of regional currency risk, cash flows, investment and driving key financing structures and projects for the region. She has worked for Harley-Davidson for ten years in various treasury and strategy roles in the US and UK.
Asia Pacific Treasury Lead
Shin-Yi Cheang, Asia Pacific Treasury Lead, is responsible for driving Harley-Davidson treasury operations for the Asia Pacific region. These include treasury process development, policy supervision, management of regional currency risk, cash flows, investment and driving key financing structures and projects for the region.
Michael Leblebijian is a Treasury Director for Harley-Davidson responsible for debt capital markets, foreign exchange, commodities, and interest rate hedging, investments, and domestic cash management. He has an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BS from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
US Treasury Lead
Kevin Bruno, US Treasury Lead for Harley-Davidson, is responsible for debt capital markets, foreign exchange, commodities, interest rate hedging, investments and liquidity. He has a Masters in accounting and finance from Keller Graduate School of Management and a BA from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.
Sr. Treasury Analyst
Steve Patterson is a Senior Treasury Analyst working on the Debt Capital Markets team. In 2015, he lead the implementation of treasury workstation functionality in SAP. He has been in the Treasury department at Harley-Davidson since 2008.
Sr. Treasury Analyst
Anh Le is a Sr. Treasury Analyst. She is responsible for the daily domestic cash operations for Harley-Davidson Motor Co. and Harley-Davidson Financial Services Inc.
Sr. Treasury Analyst
Ashley Eckelberg is a Senior Treasury Analyst for Harley-Davidson who is responsible for treasury operations for the company’s Canada, Mexico and Brazil subsidiaries. She oversees the global corporate credit card programme, merchant processing and is involved with other treasury strategic initiatives. She is a proud Harley-Davidson motorcycle enthusiast.
Jayne Dunne is a Business Analyst within Harley-Davidson’s Global Information Services (GIS) based in the UK. She has worked on a number of global treasury projects on behalf of GIS and responsibilities have included requirements gathering, process mapping, testing, data review, coordination and support.