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Technology as an Enabler of Treasury Strategy

by Christine Schöllhorn, Head of Cash Management, ZF Friedrichshafen AG

ZF Friedrichshafen AG (‘ZF’) is a leading, worldwide automotive supplier for driveline and chassis technology with 117 production companies in 26 countries. The ZF Group employs a workforce of about 70,000 employees, around 30,000 of which are located outside Germany. In 2010, ZF generated revenues of €12.9 billion and is one of the top ten automotive suppliers worldwide.

Project background

ZF Friedrichshafen AG (‘ZF’) has a centralized treasury responsible for cash management, including in-house banking, interest rate and FX risk management.

Three years ago, we decided to extend the scope of treasury. As we were experiencing some difficulties with our interfaces to the SAP In-House Cash software, the electronic banking tool, the SAP ERP system and the market data system. Therefore we wanted to supplement our existing technical infrastructure with a new treasury solution with embedded electronic banking capabilities with automatic interfaces to all of our systems. This integration was previously conducted manually, which resulted in significant administration and the risk of error or missed data files.

We already had a legacy system in place, but following four changes of owner over a period of two years, we wanted better continuity, more consistent support and greater confidence in the future direction of the product. Furthermore, it had not been possible to automate interfaces with our other in-house systems, and we relied on a manual import and export process each day. Consequently, we recognized the need to evaluate and select a new solution to address these issues.