Adam Smith Awards Asia 2018

Overall Winner – Treasury Today Asia’s Top Treasury Team Delivering a global integrated treasury operations framework across one of the world’s largest tech corporations in record time When, in 2016, Dell completed the flagship acquisition of full-suite technology business EMC, it signalled the firm’s transition into a global end-to-end technology leader. This brought new opportunities and challenges for its treasury operations organisation. Today, Dell’s treasury organisation serves over 500 legal entities across 69 countries. Its global treasury operation is organised through regional concepts spread across three core hubs in the Americas, APJC and EMEA and a Treasury Shared Services Centre (TSS) in Bratislava, with its leadership based out of Singapore. The three regional teams are responsible for cash and liquidity management, bank account management, governance and control, working capital, trade finance and bank relationship management. TSS manages global treasury technology infrastructure and integration, global liquidity management, treasury operations controls and business intelligence. Relishing challenge The rapid integration of EMC’s treasury activities whilst equipping the business to deliver on its dynamic change and innovation strategy, created particular challenges for Dell’s treasury team. Over the past 18 months, Dell’s treasury team has been working with key banking partners in transforming its activities, delivering a robust, secure and scalable treasury operation. Not only has the treasury team been ambitious in its objectives, but it has also delivered in a remarkably short time. One key to success was its culture for embracing change and collaborating with internal and external stakeholders. The integration included creating efficiencies and harmonisation as a combined company, enhancing treasury decision-making by leveraging banking technology and big data analytics. It also accelerated transformation by using a build-learn-grow strategy more akin to start-ups than a mature multinational. Innovative approach Treasury transformation was structured around three pillars: • Operational efficiency. • Liquidity management. • Operational controls. Operational efficiency In terms of operational efficiency, an objective view of banking infrastructure across both Dell and EMC was carried out using analytics on a country-by-country basis to determine the most appropriate banking model. This included account structures, payments, collections, FX and risk management and liquidity management. Dell then consolidated its activities with its primary banking partners, leading to significant cost savings and new liquidity management opportunities. With Dell and EMC using different business models and ERPs making it difficult to standardise and create economies of scale in a shared services environment, the treasury team played an instrumental role in the group-wide initiative to align global deployment for payments, collections, bank account management and technology. Liquidity management For the liquidity management pillar, a global liquidity solution was established. With an increased debt burden, the treasury team found innovative ways to service the debt. This included optimising cash mobility and centralisation, and unlocking trapped cash wherever possible. A comprehensive, fully automated liquidity solution was implemented for convertible currencies, including country level pooling for all entities, a global physical pool for 20 currencies and a notional layer across 189 legal entities/accounts. In restricted markets, such as India, China and Brazil, Dell has implemented highly bespoke compliant solutions. Dell also used its global cash management banks to create a pool-volatility analysis tool to track and predict cash flow. Dell implemented innovative solutions to achieve working capital metrics whilst increasing the resilience of its complex supply chain. It standardised trade terms with common global suppliers and its partnerships with strategic suppliers were strengthened, scaling up its supply chain financing programme more than five-fold over a period of nine months to more than US$1bn. Operational controls When tackling operational controls, Dell evaluated and market- benchmarked treasury policy, based on extensive analysis of current requirements and the flexibility needed to support future business, market and regulatory change. This resulted in a unified platform for processes and controls, and the simplification of treasury activities, including the removal of legacy structures and processes and redundant bank accounts. Both Dell and EMC had modern treasury management systems and had embraced XML ISO 20022 standards and BAI for bank reporting. An evaluation of existing technology and current and future needs saw Dell adopt one global standardised TMS – FIS’s Quantum system, together with its Trax payment processing solution for integration between its Oracle and SAP ERPs. Leading with bold ambition Mature treasury organisations often deal with change in a regimented way, resisting new ideas. Dell’s outlook was to embrace a start-up culture by encouraging teams to think differently, to leverage technology, to accept failure and be aggressive with the execution roadmap. “ This is a testament to the outstanding work the team has consistently been doing over the years. We are humbled by the recognition ; a significant part of our achievements can be attributed to the excellent advisory and innovative support provided by our global banking partners who taught us what we know. ” – Ng Cheng Chang, VP, Global Treasury Operations treasurytodayasia Adam Smith Awards Asia © February 2019 | 5