by Kurt Briggs, Manager, Cash Management, WellPoint, Inc.
WellPoint operates a centralised group treasury, divided into different functional areas. As the company is the result of several mergers, however, our business organisation and processes are complex, with over 100 operating companies, some of which were state-regulated and some unregulated. At the time of the merger between WellPoint and Anthem, we had two separate cash management functions, we had disparate account structures and ways of managing cash, and we wanted to integrate these into a single cash desk. Although we had a single treasury management system (TMS) in place, this was an old system that no longer supported the evolving needs of the firm; furthermore, the system was no longer supported by the original vendor. We did not consider it feasible to build our own replacement TMS; however, we needed to find a way to manage our business objectives and produce the large number of automated reports on which we relied.
We were seeking a vendor who could flex the system according to our needs and a strong customer support team who would help us optimise our use of the system.
Consequently, we took the decision to implement a new TMS that would help us to achieve greater cohesion across our treasury and cash management activities. The system needed to be capable of handling our data volumes, both now and in the future, and have the necessary sophistication to manage our cash management requirements, whilst remaining within our budgetary objectives. In addition, we were seeking a vendor who could flex the system according to our needs as they change over time, and a strong customer support team who would help us optimise our use of the system.
We went through a structured selection process for a new system. The first task was to outline our requirements by mapping our current processes. This formed the basis of a Request for Information/ Request for Proposal (RFP) which we sent to the well-known vendors providing TMS solutions. We scored the RFP according to weightings we had determined internally and on the basis of these results, we invited three suppliers to demonstrate their products. We set additional criteria for these demonstrations, and pursued reference checks before making a final selection.