Speeding Ahead: How EY Fueled a Six-Month TMS Takeoff

By January 24, 2024No Comments

Working with EY, one corporate went from the RFP stage to actively making FX hedge trades in half a year.

When one employee responsible for a corporate global order-to-cash process was tasked with upgrading to a new TMS—during a company-wide S/4HANA implementation—she knew she was in for a long and bumpy ride. But with the help of EY, the company was using the TMS for hedging in less than a year, with more functionality still to come.

  • In a recent NeuGroup virtual session, the global process owner who led the TMS implementation presented alongside EY’s Kenny Echendu and Angelina Ilchenko. They shared insights on the journey from RFP to go-live—including why the company started with Kyriba’s FX risk management functionality.
  • “One of the big value props we had was on FX risk management, because we didn’t have good insight into FX exposure data,” the presenter from the corporate said in the session. “And the reason we did the FX component first was really its speed-to-value,” she added.

Mismatched data. Before the TMS implementation process, the company’s exposure data was spread across a number of ERPs, with details provided via monthly spreadsheets submitted by business units.

  • “The details were in systems that treasury didn’t have access to,” she said. “And we were losing money on hedging because we didn’t get the right visibility into the FX exposure data.”
  • The company’s treasurer wanted a single TMS that would integrate well with S/4HANA and allow the treasury team to have a single source of truth and phase out other legacy systems.
  • “EY helped us in modeling, doing due diligence to help ensure we selected the right solution based on our requirements,” the presenter said. “The FX component that we saw with Kyriba, particularly FiREapps, really won the day, especially with how user-friendly Kyriba is.”

Pre-implementation: cleaning up. Because data was split across several tools and many steps taken were undefined, undocumented processes, the treasury team still had plenty to do before Kyriba was ready to launch.

  • “You should not cut corners in the design phase,” said Mr. Echendu. “Well-documented processes will serve you well.”
  • During the process review, the treasury team discovered a problem: Some business units used different definitions of a monetary asset (e.g., cash and cash investments). This could lead to a major problem given treasury relies on these units to provide exposure data.
    • “We knew that data was going to be a problem, but I must admit we didn’t realize it was going to be quite as big of a problem,” the presenter said. “And that was a big area we spent a lot of time on.”
  • In the planning phase, EY also aided with ensuring each user had the right amount of access. “Understanding how roles, as defined in Kyriba, grant access—that was an area that required a lot of work,” the presenter said. “EY helped us to repurpose the profiles and roles to work for us.”

Going live: improved processes. Within six months of bringing on EY to aid in the implementation, the treasury team began using Kyriba to execute cash flow and balance sheet hedging programs.

  • The presenter highlighted a shift to a unified approach to hedging, using a single rate table across all ERPs. In prior processes, various teams used different tools to pull different currency rate tables based on region and send them to treasury.
    • EY helped discover that the treasury team was converting mark-to-market values to functional currencies of the entities before posting them to a shared database. Subsequently, they were converting these values to USD, which EY recognized as an unnecessary step in the workflow.
  • The company has also automated several accounting processes related to hedging within Kyriba, including generating journal entries for most hedging instruments.

Post-implementation: Change management never ends. EY is now aiding the treasury team as it configures Kyriba’s cash and investment management modules. But as companies enter new phases of TMS implementation, Mr. Echendu stressed that one of the greatest ongoing risks is missed opportunities that arise from resources not being used to their full potential—including employees that operate without proper knowledge of the system.

  • One common issue that causes teams to fail to leverage new systems’ full capabilities is employee turnover—when one, well-trained team member leaves, and the replacement isn’t properly caught up to speed on the project.
  • “After the go-live, change management is often left to the user, especially during the period right after a system launch,” Mr. Echendu said. “So, it can be frustrating, and maybe even lead to abandonment.”

At the end of the session, Ms. Ilchenko summarized the two key takeaways from the process that corporates undertaking a similar initiative should keep in mind:

  1. Don’t underestimate the preparation and planning stages. “We always say that if you plan and design, implementation will go smoother,” she said, emphasizing the importance of training and documentation ahead of the implementation.
  2. Keep working on change management. “Continue checking on how your teams are using the TMS and if they run into any problems after deployment,” she said. “This can help utilize the TMS system in the best way, and not revert back to Excel or manual processes.” Consultants like EY are often retained to facilitate post-implementation reviews which help to sustain and protect the new investment.
Justin Jones

Author Justin Jones

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