In light of the ongoing economic downturn, the need for treasurers to streamline their cash management processes and unlock trapped liquidity is growing. Simeone Sperotto, Group CFO, Tecnica, explains how his company, an international Italian sports equipment provider, was already upgrading its treasury systems when the pandemic hit – enabling the company to absorb the economic shock and maximise internal liquidity.
In 2017, strategic investor Italmobiliare acquired a 40% equity stake in Tecnica – a leading retailer of outdoor footwear and ski equipment. This was a pivotal moment for Tecnica’s treasury department, with the new shareholders triggering a digital transformation process designed to upscale and streamline the Group’s treasury processes.
The transformation involved partnering with a selection of fintechs – including Piteco, to fully-digitise treasury management; SAP, to establish efficient accounting and finance practices; and AnaPlan, to implement structured reporting capabilities. At the same time, UniCredit was brought onboard to advise on Tecnica’s transformation and sought to rationalise the company’s numerous subsidiary accounts – establishing a complete, digital payment factory solution, spanning the length and breadth of Tecnica’s large sales and production network.
Originally conceived as a progressive exercise to generate internal efficiencies, the importance of these treasury upgrades has since been underlined by the Covid-19 pandemic, which left the business facing reduced collections on winter sales and severely dampened consumer appetite across spring and summer. Countries heavily impacted by the pandemic, including Italy, Spain, and France, saw sales and collections fall considerably – contributing towards a drop in top-line revenue and a squeeze on liquidity.