Treasury Management System Implementation Best Practices
Out-of-the-box system vs comprehensive process overhaul: TMS implementation approach
Congratulations, you have done your hard work to gather resources, line up your teams, plan your budget, convince your steering committee and finally complete your RfP process and selected the TMS system for your company. Now is the vital time to consider treasury management system implementation best practices.
Which path are you going to take? Are you all set to work with an out-of-the-box system or are you looking for a comprehensive process overhaul? In truth, consideration for this question should be addressed very early on, once your company decides to obtain a TMS solution.
Let us walk back a little. Why are you looking for a TMS solution? By the time your company makes a concrete decision to invest in a system, you know there are challenges in your treasury operations that you have identified could be resolved with throwing technology at it. While you can absolutely implement an out-of-the-box system and resolve some immediate pain points, more complex issues may be more difficult to solve.
Our colleague, Katja Franz – who has assisted in dozens of platform implementations and consulting – published a piece in The Global Treasurer, where she highlights some key benefits and workflows when implementing a new treasury management system. In her article, she stated:
However, an out-of-the-box solution will only ever get you so far. What do I mean? Any system you acquire is simply a tool, how you use it determines how much value you can extract from it. Your processes need to be aligned with the technology, and in most cases, this means reviewing existing workflows and processes and dissecting potential weaknesses and opportunities. If current processes are not properly examined prior to or during implementation, trying to shoehorn a solution to fit to these processes is bound to fail. You will not achieve the full potential of the system like improved visibility, security, efficiency and connectivity that your company needs.
A better way forward
Is there a better way? Absolutely. Since bringing a TMS solution tends to require the coordination of multiple departments and business units, we are aware that some element of disruption is necessary. Let’s see if we can leverage the disruption and take that opportunity to re-align the company’s processes to allow your TMS solution to yield full productivity.
Let’s look at an example. One of the key day-to-day cash management challenges is getting your forecasting information to allow you to make informed decisions around your cash. How is your organization getting that information? Different users emailing you tidbits of information, on the fly changes even on the same day, inputting in some excel templates scattered across different business units and regions? How much time to sort and consolidate such information?
What if we can create a process with a disciplined timeline for users to access and input the information directly in your new treasury system, each user group owns and is accountable for the accuracy of the forecast information. Even further, automated account statement importing is the next step in ensuring all users can retrieve up-to-date information when needed. Every morning can begin with cash movement readiness, giving you more time to perform strategic analysis rather than crunch data and retrieve statements, and execute cash transfers free of stressful cut-off time strains.
Internal organization requirements
So, what are some treasury management system implementation best practices? Daunting, as it may sound, a true process overhaul is a great option. But the benefit is huge, your return on investment will be substantial. Not only will you be able to leverage your system technology to work much better for you. It will truly transform your organization’s performance to deliver greater efficiency, clarity and security. It will bring modernization not only to your financial systems but to your workplace and set a new bar for the performance of your teams. Your future state will look very different from your current state, and it will allow your organization to focus on being agile and responsive to future challenges.
Let’s look at how to bridge that gap. How do we go from current state to your future state? It starts with a detailed current process mapping of all the activities and functions that touch your treasury operations. For most large organizations, your internal audit or your controller group can help with that. They, likely, have most of that information at hand. For your future process, you will already have a list of business requirements from your TMS solutions. This will serve as guidance for how you want your future state to look like. You will need to find experts in-house, outside consulting or even better, dedicated consulting from your system provider if that is available. Having dedicated consulting come straight from your system provider is ideal because of the familiarity with the platform in tandem with the strategic expertise, meaning no disconnect with technology and process.
Whomever you decide to seek help from, they should be able to assist in planning your future state processes, examine opportunities for streamlining, eliminate loose redundancies, and promote greater connectivity and sharing.
Change management to ensure ongoing success
Now, you will need to set up a robust change management team or enlist change management experts to help draw up a plan to bridge your current and future state. This plan will form part of your strategy that will need to be executed in parallel at the time of implementation. Change management is hard. Organizations, users, and systems don’t like changes, resist changes, and create hurdles that can derail a project. You can overcome a lot of this by having a strategic communication structure. Early communication, early buy-in from senior stakeholders, advanced notification and transparent dialogue with end users. You will not succeed by spooking those who will be most impacted by change. There will be intense courting to ensure strong adoption that needs to be supported with focused training. Bonus points if you can get everyone excited for change. Yes, that is possible.
If you take note of these treasury management system implementation tips and they are executed well, you will have delivered not only a great TMS solution for your company but a truly transformed organization with enhanced processes throughout departments and groups. Which do you think will yield more spectacular results, out-of-the-box TMS implementation? Or a TMS solution that also transforms and modernizes the way your company manages its treasury operations?
Here at BELLIN, our treasury management system can be paired with dedicated consulting services. With intuitive solutions to help you execute your payments, cash management, vendor verification and much more, the system provides all the tools needed to succeed. The consulting is the key to help you use that tool. As previously mentioned, that synergy can be a game changer for your treasury department.