Designing flexible, tailor-made reports in just a few minutes without having to manually prepare data is a dream of many treasurers. STIHL found its solution using the TIP Cube from TIPCO and defined new benchmarks in treasury reporting in the process.
The age-old problem with treasury reporting is that setting up reports takes time and money. Large Excel files with flexible data capturing features need to be prepared and sent to subsidiaries in order for these to enter the necessary data. The next challenge is to collect the data, identify and correct any formatting and data capture errors and to compile the data. It is often necessary to add additional data from various source systems to the information provided by the subsidiaries. No end of time passes before you have finally gathered all the data for the analysis in question, time which should have been invested in the analysis rather than data preparation. There is also the issue of costs: Even if reports have been cost-intensively programmed for specific purposes, requirements tend to change over time, making it necessary to again appoint an external consultant. And the dream of being able to respond rapidly to ad-hoc requests remains exactly that, a dream.
Raise the speed, improve the data
These shortcomings bothered us for many years. That’s why we set up a basis for centralised data management in the STIHL treasury department several years ago. Based on the existing TMS (Reval), TIP was launched as an on-top solution. Since then, we have been automatically gathering the data of all group subsidiaries at head office and preparing pre-defined forecast and status reports at the press of a button.
The new opportunities offered by digitalisation allow us to continue increasing the already high level of automation. Every Monday, STIHL Treasury provides Management with a dashboard report which highlights the current level of liquidity within the group from various perspectives. In the past, we had to manually copy and paste all of the data from other existing reports into a separate spreadsheet with numerous pre-defined formulae, a task which took half a day.
Our long-standing system partner TIPCO came up with a solution to this challenge. TIPCO developed just the right tool, the TIP Cube, which allows us to design and automate ‘self-determined’ reports which flexibly reflect our requirements and which, most importantly, are based on Excel. We gave the green light in early 2018 and in under five weeks we had exactly what we needed.
No more Blue Mondays
Our Monday Morning Report, designed in-house, is now updated at the press of a button and can be modified without external support. The biggest advantage of the TIP Cube makes this possible: It provides access to all of the group’s data in Excel so that we can build our reports directly in a system we are all familiar with. Based on the current data, completely flexibly and with the formulae, diagrams and other functions we know inside out that Excel provides.
It is no overstatement to claim that reporting is now really fun. We filter the financial status to reflect our needs, by subsidiary, counterparty or currency. We can define which effective date we want to see data for, but can also work with ‘dynamic intervals’, meaning that the report includes the previous working day, month or quarter.
Dashboards with minimal effort
A key reason why we opted for the TIP Cube was the current status of the data. The Cube provides us with the current data at the defined intervals (e.g. hourly), just the way these are managed in TIP. Every time we access the data, the dashboards show us the latest group-level information without us having to make any manual entries.
And if we want to do an ad-hoc analysis of how the various positions are made up, we simply drill down in the report. The drill-down function allows us to access even the lowest data level and to compare the relevant positions here. Thanks to the Cube, we now have the time we need to do the in-depth analyses which are the key to real value added.
STIHL is an international chainsaw manufacturer and the world’s most widely sold chainsaw brand. In 2016, the STIHL group generated revenues of 3.46 billion euros and employed a workforce of nearly 15,000 located worldwide. This family-owned company boasts an equity ratio of over 70 percent and is therefore able to finance all of its investments by tapping its own capital resources.
Ingo Schorn, Head of Treasury (ANDREAS STIHL AG & Co. KG)
Katja Lehner, Treasury Front Office (ANDREAS STIHL AG & Co. KG)
Dominik Scheitz, Consultant (TIPCO Treasury & Technology GmbH)
*All screenshots in this case study are shown with sample data
We sincerely congratulate our corporate client, Merck for winning the 2018 Treasury Today Adam Smith Award for First Class Relationship Management. It was a pleasure to be part of the treasury transformation process at Merck!
What is awaiting you at Stand S023? TIP offers you amazingly flexible reporting at the press of a button. Regardless of whether you have already deployed a treasury management system or still prepare reports manually with Excel, TIP is the key to saving you valuable time and increasing the quality of your data. We also offer smart solutions in the areas of cash flow forecasting, automatic bank fee monitoring, risk management, guarantees, derivatives and workflows. And, to make sure that a visit definitely pays off, we will be raffling off a PlayStation®4 plus a compatible Virtual Reality headset among all participating visitors to our stand. We look forward to your visit!
Groups with international subsidiaries need to regularly request all financial data from their subsidiaries spread around the world. This requires a lot of time and robust review procedures. Our web-based treasury information platform, TIP, allows the decentralised input of these data, irrespective of the various source systems, and their automatic reporting to Group Treasury. On behalf of the well-known family-owned company Faber-Castell, we recently implemented a solution which allows this stationery manufacturer to access and plan its group-wide data, ranging from its financial status and cash flow forecasting to its derivative management. Find out more about the implementation and how Quick Guides helped Faber-Castell subsidiaries get started with the new system.
Being able to analyse and compare data at the press of a button is the key to getting an overview of your group-wide financial status within a few seconds. However, because these data are nearly always stored in different systems, analysing them in practice involves considerable time inputs and often entails errors. We integrated several systems at once for our client DKV as a means of relieving the central treasury department of plenty of work. From bank accounts, IC loans and FX transactions to guarantees and credit lines – all of the information from earlier Excel sources, SAP CM and SAP TR are now accessible via TIP. Read our case study for more information.
Anyone who manages numerous guarantees within a corporate group and also issues them to subsidiaries knows how much time has to be invested in order to maintain and keep the relevant data up-to-date. Two aspects were therefore decisive for the Bertelsmann Group: central administration of the contracts and easy, de-centralised capturing of guarantee utilisation by the subsidiaries. Our case study also highlights how Bertelsmann uses this information to generate invoices for group guarantees directly from TIP.
The more data can be automatically imported from source systems, the higher the data quality and the value of reports. This is why we not only integrated Heidelberger Druckmaschinen’s internal SAP system but also synchronised account balances with the TIS operated as a SaaS solution. The outcome: A group-wide financial status which is always up-to-date – at the press of a button. Learn more about this implementation project in our joint case study.
The global tourism operator Thomas Cook has opted to manage its future cash flow forecasting and FX exposure calculations for continental Europe with TIP. Group-wide financial status management with TIP has also been introduced to provide the required data. In future, the group’s subsidiaries will be able to perform their forecasting locally and directly so that it will no longer be necessary to source these individually via Excel. This procedure will not only save the group’s central treasury department valuable time but will also have an enormous positive impact on data quality. Besides this, the analysis of plan/actual deviations will also be much easier and more transparent with the TIP reports. The requirements of the parent company were strictly complied with when preparing the liquidity report; a report which, among other features, entails a very complex forecasting structure covering over 130 lines. The project kicked off back in October and will go live at the beginning of March. We would like to thank Thomas Cook for placing their trust in us and for the excellent cooperation.