by Volkmar Lorenz, Finance Controlling & Operations, Daimler AG
The scale and breadth of Daimler’s operations necessitate a large number of legal entities, high transaction volumes and complex, diverse treasury and cash management requirements globally. Although treasury activities take place in various locations, we have achieved considerable effectiveness and efficiency by adopting a centralised approach to treasury processes while ensuring that these are conducted with the greatest degree of automation possible.
We have consistently aimed to optimise our treasury processes by implementing industry-recognised, best-in-class technology solutions.
To achieve this, we have focused on putting in place integrated technology that provides a cohesive way of managing transactions, reporting and business processes in each of our locations globally. One element of this solution was to replace our previous front and back office systems with a new, integrated treasury management system (TMS), Wallstreet-Suite (formerly Trema) which we implemented in 2005, and which has subsequently also replaced the ERP we used for treasury accounting.
Unlike most companies and long before we implemented our new TMS, we had already enhanced the way in which we communicate with our banks. There are, of course, a variety of different types of information which a corporate treasury exchanges with its banks, including confirmations, bank statements and payments. We first started looking at ways of standardising the exchange of information with our banking partners in the late 1990’s. At that stage, while there were some regional initiatives to create common channels for connecting with the banks for payments, bank statements etc., none of these were globally applicable. Consequently, we retained our proprietary banking applications for these areas, but decided to seek alternatives to the manual production and exchange of confirmations, which was an activity which took time and resource without creating value to the business.