Digital Banking

Challenges

Imagine an organisation that is comprised of 60 internal companies: each operating internationally with their own banks, accounts, finances, funding, and responsibilities to boot. For ASYAD Group, this is their reality. ASYAD Group is an international company conducting business on 3 major fronts: ownership of the shipping vessels, ship management, and ship chartering.

With 60 ships in their fleet, the company operates with the mindset of one ship, one vessel, one company, each with separate financing needs. As you can imagine, the treasury needs of a company with this level of complexity is enormous. Interacting with around 35 banks with close to 150 open accounts across currencies, visibility and centralisation of data can make or break the efficiency of their treasury team. Muhsin Alrustom, Group CFO of ASYAD Group, had the vision to transform the department, and enrich the work of treasury employees with the help of TreasuryXpress.

Results with TreasuryXpress

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Achieved 100% bank connectivity in 9 weeks

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Reduced cash positioning and reporting efforts from 4 days to less than 2 hours

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Implemented “Fleet renewal strategy” resulting in 25 million dollars in savings across the business with effects that will continue through the next 6-7 years

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Improved banking relationship management - with “share of wallet” visibility they were able to reduce their number of bank accounts and negotiate fees for new account openings and services

Take a closer look


From Business Case to Selection

Asyad's biggest hurdle was the visibility of information, not being able to pool cash and to invest it with the right bank at the right time, or draw down on facilities and match the maturities of investments with cash needs.

 

  • Given Alrustom's long-term background in international treasury, he was well-acquainted with the TMS market, having first-hand experience of some systems
  • The goal has always been to move treasury from it's traditional status as a cost centre, with a longer-term aim of establishing the function as a profit centre
  • With TreasuryXpress making the cut following a successful proof-of-concept demonstration and detailed Q&A session, it was awarded the contract in mid-2019

Project Kick-Off

With the new TMS being integrated with the existing ERP for cash management and payments functionality, alignment with all 35 banks and the 200 accounts was required to ensure SWIFT messaging could be fully incorporated. 

 

  • Alrustom was able to plan and manage proceedings in partnership with a dedicated team from TreasuryXpress
  • With phase-one connectivity between the banks and TreasuryXpress, the second connective tier between the ERP and the TMS was progressing
  • It was necessary for TreasuryXpress to reconvert the system language to Asyad's preferred English from the Arabic that was provided. With the group operating as a USD-denominated entity, the switch was delivered

Beyond the Basics

As a part of Asyad's robust business planning, its shipping portfolio in particular demands careful control. With more than 60 vessels under management, each bearing considerable value, at some point individual assets will need replacing.

 

  • TreasuryXpress enabled Asyad to go further with providing full cash visibility and aggregation of positions
  • In-house banking, and in particular its "game-changing" cash pooling functionality, has also facilitated appreciable savings in terms of lending capabilities within the operating units
  • With visibility though TreasuryXpress, Asyad was able to refinance five of their facilities with a combined saving of over $21 million

Advanced Thinking

Before the arrival of TreasuryXpress, about 80% of the team's work was operational, and 20% analytical. Asyad still needs the treasury expertise of the individual, but AI will help the company in making sound judgments.

 

  • With TreasuryXpress now part of the Bottomline family, access to payments expertise and advanced technologies is something Asyad is seeking to leverage
  • There is an understanding that the adoption of AI can enable value-added work to become the norm
  • Alrustom is looking to TreasuryXpress to assist Asyad's further expansion into the realms of integrated logistics provision

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