Adam Smith Awards Asia 2018

Overall Winner – Treasury Today Asia’s Top Treasury Team treasury has been able to unlock more than US$2bn of surplus cash. In restricted markets, such as India, China and Brazil, where bespoke liquidity solutions have been put in place, Dell has also freed up more than US$1bn in liquidity. Working capital optimisation was always a key part of the plan and Dell has vastly expanded its supply chain financing programme, which has increased fivefold to over US$1bn in only nine months. This is now providing considerable working capital benefits for the group’s strategic suppliers. Treasury technology integration has played a major part in this transformation. Indeed, as a result of consolidating onto a single treasury management system and adopting industry standards to improve integration, Dell has streamlined resources for redeployment preparing for the treasury of the future. The company has significantly reduced operational complexities in managing approximately 45 different payment file formats, and is embracing ISO20022 XML going forward. In addition, enhanced data analytics will be instrumental in improving the quality of decision- making, achievable by the adoption of emerging treasury technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). Of course, Dell recognises that building for the future is not a one-off activity but a constant process of review and refinement. It must keep identifying new technologies and solutions to shape the digital treasury of the future. Some of the future initiatives in which the treasury team are engaged include: • Virtual banking. • Automated cash application using robotic process automation and artificial intelligence. • Cyber-security and controls using machine learning technology. • Predictive cash forecasting using AI and machine learning. The result is a highly sophisticated treasury organisation. Having established the groundwork, Dell’s treasury team is now delivering on its future-of-treasury vision, adding yet more value for the enterprise. Future vision Although Dell already had highly effective liquidity and risk management structures, robust policies and processes, and sophisticated technology in place, the acquisition of EMC created a new set of functional and integration requirements, including the need to service large debt volumes. Driven by major structural changes and armed with a fully mapped-out vision of how this will play out, Dell treasury formed a bold plan to deliver a fully frictionless operations model for the integrated company. The team is highly growth oriented and focused on creating a sustainable platform from which the entire business could benefit. Dell treasury also knew it had to take a leadership position, both in the technology industry and in the wider treasury profession, to equip the company for future growth, change and innovation. By employing a ‘build, learn and grow’ strategy, more usually associated with agile start-up operations than mature multinational corporations, the team has been able to realise its ambitions and dispense with legacy tools, processes and assumptions. Key takeaways • Always challenge the status quo to drive for operation excellence. • Change is a constant, be prepared to adapt and adopt. • Embrace a culture of technology innovation. • Invest in human capital: cultivate employees, engage them in the vision for the future – and the journey required to achieve that future-state. treasurytodayasia Adam Smith Awards Asia © February 2019 | 7