Data management drives efficiency at Unilever
Gerard Tuinenburg, director systems, processes and transactional banking at Unilever treasury, explains how the company is improving its cash forecasting efficiency through enhanced use of treasury data.
For Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies, efficient data management is key to treasury operations. Its products are used by around two and a half billion people every day, across more than 190 countries. Last year it had turnover of €51 billion, of which 58% came from emerging markets.
The treasury team is based in Switzerland with front office, corporate finance, international funding and banking relations teams.
It uses a separate treasury management system (TMS) in addition to its Systems Applications and Products (SAP) system, and has around 2,500 bank accounts across its 600 entities globally.
The company has been working with Cashforce over the last year or so to improve data quality and connectivity, standardise disparate processes, and enable rapid analysis of behaviours and trends within its cash operations.
The challenges it faces from a cash forecasting perspective include manually intensive processes with limited insight. It wants to improve process optimization/automation and get better visibility of future and intra-day cash balances. It is also looking to reduce costs.
One of the initial ideas was to place cash at different tenors because lack of visibility meant the company was losing out on opportunities to improve its interest line, explains Gerard Tuinenburg, director systems, processes and transactional banking at Unilever treasury.