First Class Relationship Management Winner: Merck KGaA

Published: Aug 2018


Photo of Steve Evans, FIS, Uwe Reinemer and Jörg Bermüller, Merck KGaA.


Working with its partners, Merck has implemented a world-class TMS system that has delivered tremendous value for the company. Many of the processes and functionality within Merck’s system has also been adopted by its TMS provider as standard, delivering benefit to the entire industry.

Jörg Bermüller

Head of Cash and Risk Management

Hesse, Germany

Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials.

in partnership with

Project EVOlution METRICS – Merck treasury, risk and cash management system rely on sound relationships

The challenge

In 2011, Siemens – Merck’s TMS provider – informed the company that it would no longer be providing its TMS solution, Finavigate, to third parties. This posed a big challenge for the Merck treasury team, which used Finavigate for its cash management processes and payment factory. The team was therefore required to find and implement a similarly sophisticated TMS in an 18-month time-frame.

This was to be no mean feat. The global nature of the company meant that they needed to connect the TMS to around 400 entities and 40 ERP systems, catering for 800 users in roughly 60 countries. What is more, the project was to take place during a period of change for Merck that saw it adopt SEPA, go through two large acquisitions and undertake a large-scale ERP rationalisation project.

The solution

To begin its mission of finding a new TMS, Merck treasury carefully carried out an in-depth analysis of its current system and functionalities. It mapped out all the processes to ensure it knew exactly what it needed from the new system.

Once this process was complete, Merck created a detailed request for information (RFI) document that was sent out to multiple treasury technology providers. With this information, Merck created a shortlist of four and requested that each provider come into Merck’s offices to demonstrate the solutions.

Merck selected FIS to provide its new technology and went about implementing the system. At the same time, Merck began working with several other vendors, including Finastra for SWIFT connectivity and TIPCO for data analysis to ensure the system met all of Merck’s expectations. The company also used World-Check for sanctions screening purposes.

The result of all this work is an industry-leading TMS that meets the needs of Merck today, whilst also being scalable to meets its future needs. The solution is hosted in the cloud and has enabled Merck to drive considerable efficiencies by automating processes around the world. With all data also hosted centrally, Merck has also been able to benefit from advanced analytics, putting it in a better place to support the business. The highly complex project also came in below budget and within the time frame and there was minimal disturbance to the business during the process.

Best practice and innovation

Whilst this is clearly a first-rate technology project, it also stands out as a lesson in the power of relationships. None of what Merck has achieved would have been possible without supreme internal and external communication and management. This was especially crucial given the unique needs of Merck’s treasury team and its desire to push the boundaries of what is possible.

The work that has been completed is a testament to this; not only does Merck have a best in class TMS, FIS has adopted many of the processes it built for Merck as standard within its TRAX TMS, thus benefiting the industry as a whole.

“Thanks to the commitment and excellence of the treasury team and all our partners, the whole project was delivered in time and below budget with a very smooth switch over to the new system environment,” says Jörg Bermüller, Head of Cash and Risk Management, Merck KGaA. “This has allowed Merck to continue to operate as a world-class treasury.”

Key benefits

  • Project delivered on time and below budget.
  • Increased efficiency and automation.
  • Has set the standard for the TMS industry.
  • Little to no business disturbance.
  • Enabled the use of big data and enhanced analytics.

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