The new working conditions forced on the business world by COVID-19 has meant that the chat over a cup of coffee or a drink as to how to operate more effectively and efficiently has had to be replaced. Suppliers are coming up with all sorts of ways of giving clients advice on ‘How-to-do-it’ and avoid all the pitfalls of operating inefficiently. It is a multi-channel game with banks and suppliers using many different vehicles and approaches ranging from Checklist to articles to roundtables, etc. A good example is a Checklist which has become a vital and much-improved device, but also a much-misused device.
The Commodity management pain point Checklist
A classic example is ION’s “The Commodity management pain point Checklist.” They describe it as the “Key pulse-check questions all commodity businesses should ask.” Questions such as:
Source & Copyright©2020 – ION Group
The problem with these Checklists is that the suppliers also give huge details of their product functionality which often covers more space than the Checklist, which is the danger here. But overall, the ION Checklist is still worth a download here.
In webinars, suppliers are breaking all their previous rules about not giving details away to the competition, as they have realised that the real problem is that their current and potential customers don’t understand what they do, NOT a problem of giving their competitors more details about their products/services (which they know anyway).
The increasing detail given in webinars is shown by TIPCO’s web webinar on cash flow forecasting, see, which shows how their:
- cash flow forecasting can learn from your historical data, rely on existing data in your systems and combine both to deliver dependable cash flow forecasts
- user-friendliness and immediate responses on the quality of cash flow forecasts can also win over your subsidiaries. (This not only improves the quality of forecasting but also the communication with your subsidiaries.) See TIPCO.at.
Overall webinars now provide so much more detail.
Roundtables are now used much more regularly. A great example of this is GTreasury’s “Treasurers Share What's Working Now (and what isn't)” roundtable, see.
This a public get-together, but increasingly corporate treasurers and other treasury professionals are getting together privately and discussing “events and problems” under Chatham House Rules, i.e. no disclosure outside the meeting.
A variation here is, Rupert Keenlyside’s (one of the founders of gtnews) venture: CompleXCountries – the global treasury intelligence network, see, which brings a new level of support to this approach. They are driven by “Treasury Peer Calls” which:
- Validate: Confirm your understanding of an issue, or find out that no one else has solved a problem or roadblock.
- Solve: Ask how others have solved a challenge and apply their solution to your operations.
- Improve: Get ideas and inspiration from the success stories of other members.
- Identify: Have others encountered risks or hazards that you were unaware of?
- Learn: Develop your capabilities through learning how other treasuries approach challenges.
- Global perspectives: Get perspectives from a global network and hear from treasurers from multiple countries and cultures.
And then a Global Treasury Intelligence report is produced on each call which is available to members. This is a new and impressive approach.
Association of Corporate Treasurers
The UK Association of Corporate Treasurers is also using virtual roundtables successfully focused on different regions around the world.
Virtual conferences are now well established and improving month by month. New techniques are being tried, such as:
- Kyriba’s impressive recent multi-lingual virtual global conference, see
- multi-stage virtual conferences spread over several weeks/months
- virtual dinners (the UK’s ACT were the first), etc.
So much has been learnt about how to make virtual conferences that we suspect that there will be fewer conferences and events as many will remain virtual
CTMfile take: The ingenuity of the corporate treasury industry is amazing, and suppliers are breaking new boundaries on the web as they race to replace face-to-face contact. But advertorial items are causing much ‘wasted time’. Overall, there is no single way to deliver how-to-do-it advice; however, virtual roundtables with your peers seem to be one of the most effective approaches in learning ‘how-to-do-it’.
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