Markus Roeth, KDK’s Group Treasurer*, talks about his experience with Treamo Finance Monitor with Treamo’s Managing Director, Martin Sadleder.
Treamo: Mr. Roeth, how long have you been using TFM at your group?
ROETH: TFM was launched early in 2012 at a time when we were still trading under the name ICT GmbH.
Treamo: Why did your company opt for TFM and what were the key decision-making criteria?
ROETH: TFM is a Cloud-based application and was therefore available immediately, without us having any investment costs. The servers, application and database were provided within a short period of time.
The user friendliness was also a key decision-making factor.
Treamo: What role did the fee structure (monthly service fee instead of a major one-off initial investment) play in your decision?
ROETH: This played a major role in our decision-making. As a result, it was possible to avoid high initial costs and the contract-based model allows us significant flexibility.
Treamo: Which TFM modules do you use?
ROETH: We use both modules, Cash Position, for the financial status of the group, and Cash Flow for our forecasting, which we do on a daily, a weekly and a monthly basis.
Treamo: Which main areas do you deal with using TFM and at which intervals?
ROETH: One of the main focus areas from day 1 was having a current cash position for the various subsidiaries which is also available to the entire group at any time. In the meantime, we only query the cash position monthly, but can do this at shorter intervals if necessary.
The structure and the horizon of the cash flow forecasting have changed over the years; one of TFM’s major strengths: it is possible to make changes like this very swiftly for all subsidiaries and to do it ourselves. At the moment we monitor our cash flow forecasting on a daily basis for the coming eight weeks, in addition to which there is also a rolling 12-month forecast on a monthly basis.
The fact that the cash flows are only forecast in the currency in which they are actually generated gives us the means to identify potential FX exposures at an early stage and to take appropriate countermeasures.
TFM also provides us with a basis for reporting the following to our management team: weekly/monthly cash position and a monthly cash flow forecast, including a plan/actual comparison.
Treamo: How long did it take to roll out TFM at your group?
ROETH: TFM was implemented within just two months, although this obviously didn’t mean that we had to work non-stop on the implementation for two whole months. We also received support from Treamo during the implementation phase, both in terms of training as well as in preparing reports, for instance.
Treamo: Was an existing cash flow forecasting tool replaced by TFM?
ROETH: Yes, until the implementation of TFM, we did cash flow forecasting in Excel.
Treamo: How well was the solution accepted by your group subsidiaries?
ROETH: Not surprisingly, there was initially still some resistance to a new or revised reporting requirement, but our colleagues at the subsidiaries ultimately came to understand that TFM allowed numerous problems attributable to the use of Excel for data capturing to become a thing of the past. However, it was also important to develop an understanding that the new structure for cash flow forecasting, and the resulting level of transparency this provided, was an indispensable tool for financial corporate management and the basis for well-founded commercial decisions.
Treamo: How much time did you need to invest in training at your subsidiaries?
ROETH: There were one-day, on-site training sessions at each location. Because TFM is so easy-to-use, this day was invested less in application-related aspects and far more in addressing questions related to data capturing within the relevant subsidiary, for validations and for coordination purposes, all of which had a positive impact on data quality. We switched to a live system after around a two-week test phase.
Treamo: How does your management team use TFM?
ROETH: Although this would of course be possible, our management team doesn’t use TFM itself. Instead, they rely primarily on reports and analyses prepared by Treasury.
Treamo: Which tool do you use to prepare more in-depth reports?
ROETH We prepare our reports in Excel. Lists and reports are already configured in TFM, so we don’t need to compile data from various source systems. The lists already provide very good analysis options by means of filters and groupings. Another aspect is that we already have a good command of Excel, meaning that we can also act independently of the system provider.
Treamo: TFM is a Cloud-based application. How good has the system availability been so far?
ROETH: In all the years that we have been using TFM, there have never been any complaints about availability. Other than during occasional updates of the application, TFM has always been available. Another big advantage is the fact that TFM can be accessed from anywhere in the world and from any computer.
Treamo: How good is the support provided by Treamo and how often have you needed support services?
ROETH: We were very satisfied on the few occasions when we actually have needed support. We usually received a response within just a few minutes, which gave us a sense of security that someone was dealing with our issue. The solutions were then delivered a short time later; something which was very helpful for us in times when liquidity management was a top priority.
* Markus Roeth, Group Treasurer at KDK Automotive GmbH, an automotive supplier specializing in the manufacture of consoles, with subsidiaries in Germany, Spain and the Czech Republic.
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