How Şişecam Took Control of its Cash and Payments
Turkey-based Şişecam is one of the world’s leading glass and chemical manufacturing companies. It has operations in 14 countries and exports its products to 150 markets worldwide.
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Şişecam’s international growth over the past few decades meant the company had a fragmented approach to cash management. While treasury handled strategic decisions such as borrowing, individual subsidiaries within the group handled their own payment operations and managed their cash using their enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.
Treasury provided guidance to subsidiaries on how they should manage their cash. However, Şişecam lacked a centralized reporting system that could provide real-time visibility over cash balances globally and indicate whether guidance was being followed.
Reporting tended to take place on a monthly basis, with individual subsidiaries reporting at the end of the month. As a result, treasury had to follow complex, labor-intensive and time-consuming processes to gain group-wide visibility over cash.
“The biggest benefit with Kyriba is that you have one platform from which you can manage your bank operations for all your companies across the world.”
— Baris Gokalp, Treasury and Finance Director, Şişecam
In addition, Şişecam’s payment processes were inefficient. While it was sending payment files to its banks via file transfer protocol (FTP), it followed these up with written instructions sent by fax and email. If a key signatory was unavailable, a payment could be held up by several hours until the signature was collected. Typically, it took between 30 and 60 minutes to execute a payment. Furthermore, not all payment orders were created via ERPs, which made it difficult to monitor and track payables.
1000 bank account statements delivered daily
15 minutes the maximum end-to-end time it takes to make a payment
Three-year history of transactional banking data
One-week onboarding period for new companies and banking partners
10 country operations using Kyriba
Search for a Solution
In its search for a treasury management system (TMS), Şişecam specifically looked for a vendor that met the following criteria:
- A good reputation in the market – and the ability to provide global customer references
- Supplier of a cloud-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that could integrate with different ERP and banking systems, while supporting the payment formats of different countries
- Provision of a fraud detection system
- A focus on security and security certifications
- Extensive experience with large-scale TMS implementations for other global businesses
- A strong relationship with SAP – Şişecam’s main ERP system – and the ability to integrate with other ERP systems outside of SAP
Kyriba met all of these criteria. Its TMS would also enable Şişecam to quickly onboard new ERP systems and banking partners as the group made acquisitions.
The implementation of Kyriba has given Şişecam complete visibility over its cash and totally transformed how it manages its payments. It now receives SWIFT MT940 end-of-day bank account statements through its Kyriba TMS, which means it has an up-to-date view of its cash positions. It can also access transactional data with its banks stretching back three years.
Furthermore, all payment orders have to be raised via Şişecam’s ERP systems, heightening the group’s control over the payment process. If there is no record of a payment order in an ERP system, that payment will not be made. Once an order has been raised on an ERP system, a payment file is created directly within Kyriba. Signatories can log in to the system to approve payments quickly and easily, using multi-factor authentication security. Şişecam’s banks are also able to rapidly highlight formatting errors and raise queries about specific payments. The time it takes to execute a payment has fallen to between eight and 15 minutes.
Kyriba’s digital approval processes proved a real benefit when Şişecam’s staff were asked to work from home due to COVID-19. Signatories were able to approve payments remotely, which eradicated the health risks associated with handling hard-copy documents.
In addition to the Kyriba Payments Network’s general payments module, Şişecam implemented the fraud detection module to raise alerts around suspicious payments – for example, alerting the first payment to a new supplier or a payment to a regular supplier that is significantly larger than usual. Besides picking up on changes to IBANs of the suppliers, the system checks if the company or country is sanction listed or not. When the system identifies a suspicious payment, it requires additional checks to be made. As a result, Şişecam can prevent fraud in real time, rather than just respond to fraudulent activities that have already taken place.
Going forward, Şişecam plans to use Kyriba to offer a supply chain finance service. At present, the company follows manual processes when agreeing on the discounting terms and making payments to suppliers in certain markets. With a digital process, all the suppliers of Şişecam will have the ability to monitor and discount their receivables from Şişecam Group Companies Worldwide. It also plans to integrate Kyriba’s cash forecasting module and foreign exchange management product into its program.
A Positive Experience
Şişecam found the process of implementing Kyriba easy, with go-live happening relatively quickly. Employees are very impressed with the system, which they find easy-to-use.
Significantly, Şişecam has benefited from Kyriba’s accumulated knowledge and experience of working with numerous customers around the world. For example, Kyriba has already established extensive connections with banks in different countries. It is also aware of processes that different companies use to facilitate safer payments or reduce the risk of fraud.
The recent COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the value of Kyriba being a SaaS solution and its ability to support and foster business continuity. Kyriba manages the disaster recovery process for its TMS, and as payment files are created and stored on the system, they can be easily recovered.