Featuring Bengt Elvinsson, Assistant Treasurer Global Operations, Corning Incorporated
Bengt Elvinsson, Corning Treasury explains, “We have achieved considerable efficiencies by working with regional banking solutions including Bank of America Merrill Lynch as our treasury outsourcing provider. In particular, we have been able to streamline and enhance efficiencies across our activities, increase visibility and control and fulfil our cash and other treasury strategies more effectively.”
Goals and challenges
In 2003 Corning had an established global in-house banking operation but remained dependent on an inefficient, outdated banking structure at the legal entity level globally. The company aspired to transform the treasury centre into an industry-leading, centralised and globally structured service solution that met specific requirements from internal corporate stakeholders, including integration with three regional shared service centres (SSCs), and was accountable to individual business units for its performance by achieving key metrics. However, the company recognised that without implementing a more efficient, integrated banking infrastructure, it would be difficult to eliminate the existing inefficiencies and achieve these goals. There were various challenges:
Firstly, there were myriad banking relationships within countries and across the geographic regions, with a multitude of legal agreements, processes and technology platforms.This presented fragmented and non-standard business processes causing significant inefficiencies, further challenging the objective of a centralised and integrated banking operation. These local banking relationships were also, in many cases, no longer part of the group’s credit panel.
Secondly, the fragmentation also limited treasury’s visibility and access to surplus funds in subsidiary accounts, which made it difficult to establish a more optimal and efficient cash and liquidity management strategy.