Photo of Harveen Nandra, daughter of Nirpal Bharaj, Jaswinder Bharaj, wife of Nirpal Bharaj, Nicholas Stoffell, Inchcape Shipping Services, Ivo Vesselinov and Thomas Leitch, TreasuryXpress.
ISS’s new systems infrastructure is provided by TreasuryXpress. They needed a solution that would support a new centralised treasury organisation, supplemented by a payment factory and central hub for connectivity with their banks, supported by an in-house bank. Once all stages of the project are complete, they will have completely eliminated the manual elements of their treasury processes.
Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) is one of the largest maritime services providers globally, with some 300 offices in 68 countries and a team of 3,900 professional and committed staff.
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ISS operated a highly-decentralised treasury function defined by a lack of consistency in processes and controls. It conducted many activities on spreadsheets, which were both manual and labour-intensive. It also had a fragmented banking landscape, with around 130 business units managing their own banking relationships.
The result was that it was very difficult to create a timely, accurate picture of cash and exposures at a group level, and therefore the company could not manage its liquidity or risk effectively. ISS had experienced significant growth, both through organic growth and M&A, and it recognised that it needed a new treasury organisation and infrastructure on which to meet the changing needs ofthe organisation.
Based on the input of its local finance teams and vision of a new, world-class treasury function, ISS developed a request for proposal for potential vendors and conducted a rigorous evaluation process. Treasury then approached referenced clients of each of its shortlisted vendors. This was a very valuable exercise, not only to understand the pros and cons of each system but also to derive the benefit of their experiences.
Based on this process, particularly from the excellent feedback from the Group Treasurer of one of ISS’s biggest customers, treasury made the decision to select TreasuryXpress.
After that, the implementation process was very rapid, and ISS quickly achieved visibility over 80% of its bank accounts in less than ten weeks. In addition to implementing its TMS, C2Treasury from TreasuryXpress, ISS also needed to expand the use of its ERP to support a payment factory and in-house bank.
Given that ISS was not able to achieve this using its existing version, the team developed a business case for an ERP upgrade. As part of this, it wanted to introduce some specific workflow controls to make sure that payment data and approvals were maintained at a business unit level, so that all payment transactions came through the payment factory ready-validated.
As part of this process, ISS treasury recognised that it needed to conduct a clean-up of its master data, as inevitably, however efficient the workflow, this can only be effective if the data on which it is based is complete and accurate.
The treasury at ISS has evolved substantially in recent years, becoming a strategic and connected business enabler. However, to achieve this, treasury required the right tools to facilitate automation to ensure there is control over treasury processes. It would also help with visibility over cash and risk, and analytical tools to navigate the uncertain environment in which it operates.
As a result of this project, ISS has significantly increased the professionalism and productivity of its treasury function. This has seen it achieve a high degree of centralisation and automation. Together, the various elements of this project are allowing treasury to progress liquidity and risk management objectives.
“By centralising our treasury activities, we have a single point of visibility to our cash and risk positions and will have an effective payment factory and in-house bank when these are up and running, streamlined, secure bank connectivity and an automated process for bank reconciliation,” said Nirpal Bharaj, Treasurer on winning the award. “Once all stages of the project are complete, we will have completely eliminated the manual elements of our treasury processes.”
Treasury Today was saddened to hear of Nirpal Bharaj’s sudden death in May. We send our condolences to Nirpal’s family, friends and colleagues. He will be deeply missed by the treasury community and this year’s Best Cash Management award is presented in memory of Nirpal.
Improved liquidity and risk management.
Single point of cash visibility.
Reduced number of bank accounts.
Cash pools established.
Manual processes eliminated.