The Evolving Role of Treasury at Logoplaste
An Interview with Sofia Meneses, Corporate Finance Director, Logoplaste
How has the role of treasury changed at Logoplaste, and what has this meant in practice?
The role of treasury in Logoplaste has not stopped expanding, really through necessity, in view of demanding clients (providing plastic packaging to the largest FMCG multinationals), the strong geographical expansion of the group and constant regulatory and market movements.
We feel the treasury function is increasingly playing a more central and visible role in the corporation, namely in the decision making process.
Treasury had to evolve from a ‘back-office’ traditionally focused function (e.g., AR and AP) to a significantly strategic role, assisting the board in deciding on what to invest (what projects/plants), on how to raise the funds to do so and on how to control all the financial risks in the organisation.
What are the technology implications of treasury becoming a strategic advisor to the business?
Treasury needs to ensure that it fulfils this new wide ranging and strategic function, and, for that, it is crucial to react immediately to the challenges of a new ever-changing world. Naturally, technology plays a fundamental role in this expanded function.
We needed to ensure swift reaction within treasury but at the same time control and reduce costs whenever possible.
In 2014 Logoplaste developed a treasury system capabilities upgrade project, focused on two areas:
- evolve from treasury management based on ‘basic’ SAP treasury tools to a tailor-made, sophisticated TMS, developing some SAP add-ons that allowed us to have the same functionalities we could find in state-of-the-art TMS ERP with the advantage of being totally integrated
- evolve from partly manual to global SwiftNet bank communication, to assure connectivity automation (for account statement reception as well as sending payments files): it permitted standardisation, enhanced payment process security and approvals simplification (along with BCM SAP module implementation)
These improvements allowed increased visibility of cash, greater control, access to quality information, centralisation, plus improved proactivity and important cost savings.
How do you see this role continuing to evolve in the future?
The Corporate Treasurer’s function will become increasingly important in the organisation, in this highly volatile world.
Treasury will have to keep abreast of all the rapid changes and adapt swiftly, always making sure to be flexible.
It will have to interact constantly with the rest of the organisation, be ready to expand the scope of treasury but at the same time, customise, keep the focus and the risk control.
Treasury and funding strategies will have to adjust to any evolution in business and the environment.
The enhanced technological tools installed in Logoplaste will be crucial in this ever more demanding function, but having the right, dedicated and motivated team remains decisive.