Treasury Practice

Problem Solved: Martin Schlageter & Dennis Reneau, Roche

Published: Oct 2011

Supplier finance solutions offered to Roche in the past were somewhat country-specific offerings from banks, based on local contract documentation, local data exchange/IT-connectivity with banks and local supplier financing portals for suppliers. “Local subsidiaries were assessing local solutions that caused substantial efforts for IT to implement on regional or global ERP-systems,” says Martin Schlageter, Head of Treasury Operations.

Martin Schlageter

Head of Treasury Operations

Dennis Reneau

SAP Treasury IT Specialist and IT Project Manager

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a global leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company and is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics. The company’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients.


Roche was seeking a standardised, global supplier financing solution that offered a worldwide contract framework. “Suppliers serving Roche subsidiaries in various countries couldn’t be served equally by local solutions,” Schlageter explains. “Bank contracts were local contracts and needed to be reviewed locally and by treasury and accounting at our headquarters, and were different for each country.”

Additionally, Roche wanted a harmonised IT-interface that would allow the company to fully utilise its global SWIFT-based payment factory connectivity and payment process for invoice-related data exchange with its banks.

Roche sought a bank that could offer the company a global solution that would allow it to standardise its documentation, contracts and technology. In turn, this would allow Roche to fully exploit the functionality of its payment factory, using SWIFT connectivity globally and its payment process for invoice-related data exchange with its supplier financing banks.


Deutsche Bank was chosen, because it could resolve Roche’s problems and was able to meet all its requirements. “Deutsche Bank offered a global solution that provided a harmonised IT-solution that further enhanced the already standardised accounts payable (A/P) payment process – the solution now offers increased operational efficiency plus supplier financing,” says Denis Reneau, SAP Treasury IT Specialist and IT Project Manager at Roche.

The pilot implementation in Europe with Deutsche Bank was assessed during the second half of 2010 and went live in February 2011 in Spain, in accordance with the agreed project implementation plan. The solution has already been implemented in Portugal in March 2011. Deutsche will be helping to roll out the solution in other parts of Europe – with France, Italy and Switzerland as the next countries to be included in the rollout.

Deutsche Bank’s solution is now much more quickly extendable to other countries than previously available solutions. It also allows suppliers to benefit from supplier financing across borders. Roche’s subsidiaries can join the supplier financing set-up by changing the master data of participating suppliers and by continuing with their established accounts payables processes. “The supplier finance contract was harmonised across countries – so review by treasury and accounting at headquarters only needed to take place once,” says Schlageter.

Additionally, the implemented solution is also beneficial for Roche’s supplier base – which has become more and more regional or global – as it gives them access to regional, if not global, web-based supplier finance platforms, thereby increasing the attractiveness of Roche’s supplier financing programme. As a result, return on investment (ROI) has experienced substantial improvement.

Deutsche Bank’s solution also significantly improved Roche’s access to SWIFT. “File-delivery via SWIFT was a prerequisite for our supplier finance solution as we send all our payment files via SWIFT FileAct – and with supplier finance we make use of our payment files to inform Deutsche Bank about invoices eligible for supplier finance,” explains Reneau. “It makes even more use out of our existing SWIFT landscape – no new IT interface was necessary.”

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