Horizon Pharma, Winner, Harnessing the Power of Technology

Published: Jul 2016


Photo of Dave Gannon, David Kelly, Edwin Forrest, Horizon Pharma and Alex Weaving, J.P. Morgan.


Horizon Pharma addressed the challenge of managing 15 different banks, seven different bank platforms while making payments to 3,000 suppliers in seven separate currencies with an ambitious bank rationalisation and global ERP project. They predict cost savings of $1.5m over the next five years.

Dave Gannon

Vice President, Treasurer

Horizon Pharma is a biopharmaceutical company focused on improving patients’ lives by identifying, developing, acquiring and commercialising differentiated and accessible medicines that address unmet medical needs. The company markets nine medicines through its orphan, rheumatology and primary care business units. Horizon’s global headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland.

in partnership with

The challenge

As a global organisation with entities around the world, Horizon was faced with a significant challenge in managing its numerous banking relationships and driving treasury process efficiencies. As a result of the company’s acquisition strategy, treasury inherited numerous banking relationships and accounts, banking platforms and ERP systems, which all led to inefficiencies.

As David Gannon, Vice President, Treasurer, Horizon Pharma explains: “We were tasked with managing 15 different bank relationships, seven different bank platforms, while making payments to 3,000 suppliers in multiple currencies.”

Treasury recognised the need to rationalise its banking relationships and with it implement a single, global ERP solution to gain the required critical process efficiencies.

A plan was put in place to reduce the number of banks and platforms down to one, and to implement a single SAP solution across all of the company’s entities worldwide. Adding to the challenge, treasury had to accomplish this goal, which also included selecting a banking provider and consultant, and selecting and implementing an ERP solution, in just six months.

The solution

To meet global business growth objectives, Horizon’s treasury team put an ambitious bank rationalisation and global ERP implementation initiative in place. Over a period of just four months, Horizon was able to rationalise its banks from 15 down to one, which allowed the company to move from multiple banking platforms to a single platform. By achieving greater consistency in treasury processes, such as payments and reconciliation across all of the company’s entities and accounts, Horizon has been able drive critical efficiency, increase transparency and dramatically reduce costs.

In addition, through the use of a single ISO XML file format globally, treasury has been able to reduce manpower and vital resources, redirecting personnel to focus on more strategic, value-added objectives.

Treasury has also centralised its foreign exchange (FX), setting up an FX centre with J.P. Morgan, which effectively added multi-bank authority across all of Horizon’s bank accounts, providing far greater control and visibility for the treasury team from a single trading platform.

Automated sweeps in both the US and Europe are ready to launch, to create a truly consolidated position for onward investment in the major currencies.

Best practice and innovation

Horizon’s treasury team issued a global RFP to a select group of banking providers across the US, Canada and Europe. This process identified several finalists for the bank rationalisation initiative with J.P. Morgan chosen as the banking provider.

At the same time, treasury went through an ERP selection process and selected SAP as its single solution for the enterprise. In addition to the full SAP implementation, Horizon also implemented a host-to-host platform using ISO XML for all payment types. Accenture was chosen as the consultant to oversee the ERP project.

Perhaps most impressive of all is the remarkably aggressive timeline for this initiative. The implementation project kicked off in October 2015 and went live by the end of January 2016. The collaboration, extraordinary level of communication across borders and between partners, along with an unprecedented level of commitment from the project team represents a truly outstanding example of best practice.

Gannon concludes: “Our bank rationalisation and global ERP initiative and the unbelievable speed with which both were achieved demonstrates the multi-functional collaboration, which is a key driver of Horizon’s culture and makes it a truly unique organisation.”

Key benefits

  • Banks rationalised from 15 to a single provider.
  • Multiple platforms reduced to a single platform.
  • $1.5m savings over five years.
  • Very fast implementation.

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