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A New Systems Framework at Tesco plc

by Karen Dobson, Sales Manager, Global Payments and Cash Management, Europe, HSBC Bank plc and Ian Hendrie, Senior Sales Manager, Global Payments and Cash Management, Europe, HSBC Bank plc

Until 2001, Tesco relied on a series of spreadsheets and in-house-developed applications to manage its treasury, risk and cash management. As a growing company, with expansion in Asia and Europe, as well as suppliers globally, Tesco’s treasury technology requirements were also becoming more complex and diverse, so the decision was taken to implement a third-party treasury management system (TMS). Following a rigorous selection project, Tesco selected and implemented SunGard’s AvantGard Quantum.

Although the system was implemented successfully to cover the company’s core requirements, Tesco’s treasury did not have the resources to optimise the way in which it was used, so ‘phase 2’ objectives such as integrating the TMS with its banking systems were never undertaken. Instead, a payments report was produced from AvantGard Quantum and the relevant payments typed into its banking systems. Therefore, many of the potential benefits of straight-through processing were lost.

Treasury was in a position to review the wider systems landscape to achieve more efficient transaction processing and a higher level of straight-through processing.

Over the next five years, the TMS was not upgraded and Tesco took the strategic decision to review the key processes in treasury, and the underlying systems framework. The aim was to ensure that the most appropriate systems were in place to support the company’s current and evolving requirements, and used in the most efficient and integrated way possible.