How American Tire Distributors Gains Cash Flow Visibility with Consolidated Cash Reporting & Debt Management
Efficient financial management and cash flow visibility are critical for an organization’s success. Recently American Tire Distributors (ATD), one of the leading tire distributors in North America, discovered the importance of streamlining treasury operations was necessary to meet leadership’s expectations. At KyribaLive 2023, Ryan Hutchinson, former ATD treasury analyst and Mike Kapala, the finance automation manager at RSM, discussed how ATD improved cash flow visibility, streamlined workflows and saved time by using Kyriba’s cash and liquidity management solutions.
Spreadsheets Could Not Keep up with the Growth Initiatives
Before implementing Kyriba, the four-person treasury team at ATD relied heavily on manual processes and independent spreadsheets for their daily treasury workflows.While this approach worked for a time, the limitations of the status-quo became apparent.
“[The process with spreadsheets] worked until we received ambitious initiatives from leadership,” Hutchinson said. Treasury’s increased involvement proved that the organization’s existing process was inefficient and that the spreadsheets did not meet the increasing demand for speed, accuracy and transparency. The team began seeking an automated, more efficient solution to meet their needs:
- Consolidated visibility and cash reporting across all banking partners and accounts
- Up-to-date visibility to asset-based lending (ABL) facility and daily balance and transaction details
- Eliminated manual payments processing, clearing and month-end reporting
The Decision for Kyriba TMS Implementation
Upon realizing that a treasury management system (TMS) was the right solution to replace spreadsheets, the team embarked on their search. After carefully and meticulously evaluating their options, ATD selected Kyriba as their treasury solution due to its comprehensive features, robust functionality and scalability.
But the ATD team put Kyriba through the test, providing detailed exports from one of their banks to ensure that the platform would meet their specific requirements. “What really made this a memorable engagement was the detail that the team at ATD did at the beginning,” Greg Person, SVP of Kyriba NORAM Sales, recalled. “They did a good job in the discovery and the initial analysis to say, ‘here is our expected reporting and our expected processing that we go through our daily workflow with that particular bank,’” he said, commenting on the thoughtful vendor evaluation process at ATD.
Additionally, ATD needed not only a treasury solution but a TMS platform that would work cross functionally so that both treasury data and other financial data sets could be consolidated.
“As we went through the project,” recalled Kapala, “we interfaced with other teams like account or AP and AR. We talked about the data that we had in the application and what we can do with this data.” He indicated that the other ATD teams also used very manual and time-consuming processes to complete day-to-day tasks. “I would say one of the primary achievements that we did get from it was actually being able to put some automation in there and use technology to our advantage.”
Integrating Banking Portals for Data Import
Every project is not without its challenges. During the TMS implementation at ATD, the team encountered a challenge with one of its bank’s finance portals, creating difficulties in integrating transaction details in Kyriba. Through innovation and collaboration, RSM leveraged intelligent automation to develop a resolution.
“We were able to lean on several of our colleagues that worked pretty diligently,” recalled Kapala. Together ATD and RSM teams laid out a roadmap to create a “bot” to go to the bank’s website at a predefined time each day to extract the transaction details. The information was then reformatted into a Kyriba-supported format, which allowed for the information to be imported seamlessly – without the need for spreadsheets. This breakthrough also provided ATD with historical data analysis capabilities, which enabled them to track liquidity trends and make more accurate cash forecasts.
Cash Flow Visibility: Focus Areas and Outcomes
As the project progressed, there were various key focus areas:
- Leveraging Kyriba and ATD’s Oracle infrastructure to establish a fully integrated treasury solution
- Streamline a complex cash reporting environment with automated reporting distributed to stakeholders across North America daily
- Automation, efficiency and effectiveness through automation of forecasting, positioning and payment processing
Once Kyriba was implemented and running,Kyriba’s Deal Capture module gave the ATD team real-time visibility into their borrowing base, as well as streamlined the tracking of debt and interest payments. In addition, the enhanced cash flow visibility gave ATD the ability to make more informed decisions and improve their overall liquidity management.
ATD also experienced improved efficiency of the treasury operations, saving the team three to four hours a day. According to Hutchinson, the increased efficiency has been imperative, especially during business critical times. “We were able to save and really devote to more value-add operations,” he commented.
Robust controls and reporting were another benefit ATD experienced. “We were able to really make our control infrastructure a lot cleaner thanks to Kyriba,” Hutchinson said. “We were able to explore a lot of other cost savings opportunities due to the analysis that were able to do with some of the Kyriba reporting,” he explained.
As with all projects, there were several takeaways and lessons learned with the project at ATD. Throughout the journey, the team at ATD gained valuable insights. Looking back, Hutchinson said that setting expectations with leadership prior to beginning the implementation would have been beneficial.
Hutchinson also indicated that there should have been a meeting to bring everyone to speed with regard to integration expectations. The challenge that the team encountered when trying to integrate with one of their banking partners could have been disastrous. “Thankfully, we were able to talk to our partners and really think outside of the box to come up with a solution,” Hutchinson said.
Kapala added that thinking about how other teams outside of treasury could leverage and use the data was another takeaway. “We had an integration with Anaplan that ATD was using from a planning and forecasting perspective,” he said. “We were able to very easily identify particular data that was needed, extract that in certain file formats and pass that downstream to a tool like Anaplan.”
Finally, monitoring the platform is imperative. “Kyriba is a beautiful platform,” Hutchinson said. “But it’s certainly not something you can just implement once and leave it there.” For the most part, Hutchinson said, the platform shows when errors occur and provides great client support to resolve any issues as quickly as possible.
Watch our on-demand webinar to learn more about ATD’s session on cash flow visibility at KL23.