Driving change in treasury forecasting

Founded in France in 1898, Renault Group is one of the world’s leading automakers. Today, the multinational group has a large worldwide commercial and industrial presence with vehicles and products manufactured and sold commercially around the world. A strategic alliance with auto giants Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors has also expanded Renault’s global footprint in recent years.

With 40 factories and 156,000 employees around the world, Renault’s cash flow and treasury needs are significant and incredibly complex. Renault also needs to significantly up their investment in new technology and transition to electric vehicles if they want to keep up with the market.

A bumpy ride

Faced with all these challenges, Renault needed a top-notch, high-performing treasury now more than ever. The problem was, its treasury team of four in charge of managing cash for Europe and Renault’s automobile division was still using tools and systems that were built in 2000.

“The tools we were using were out of date and ill-adapted to handle the incredible number of transactions our team had to manage every day. The Renault Group had grown significantly in size in the 20 years since we adopted our original tools, and we now needed a more modern solution to handle the complexity and transaction volume that today’s treasury needed to navigate,” said Cyril Schäfer, Head of Euro Cash Management.

Incomplete data imports, outdated tools, and an over-dependence on IT meant the EuroCash team needed to modernize its modus operandi. Continuing to manage a daily cash flow of up to one billion dollars per day on Excel spreadsheets was incredibly risky—the tools could become obsolete at any time, and only Sylvie Faure, their forecasting expert, knew the ins and outs of how everything really worked. Leaving the fate of European treasury operations in the hands of one person was a precarious situation to be in. If anything went wrong, nobody else would be able to step in and solve the problem.

“The Datalog team really listened, which allowed us to find the right solution for each of our challenges.”

Sylvie Faure, Forecasting Expert, Renault

Looking to new horizons

Renault researched various solutions and although they found that Datalog’s cash management system was not markedly different from others in the marketplace, the company stood out from its competition for two main reasons:

1/ Datalog was able to read bank statements and convert them directly into detailed, readable treasury figures, sorting them into predefined categories so that the information could be used to produce treasury forecasts.
2/ Datalog’s system was designed so that users could create and modify rules by themselves easily, instead of having to wait on the IT department or the software provider to do it for them.

These two differentiators were compelling arguments and Renault decided to begin with Datalog’s Cash Management and Cash Forecasting modules.

Seeing the bigger picture

“We need to be able to anticipate increases and decreases in cash flow as accurately as possible to make sure we can meet all our financial obligations on time,” explains Faure. “Datalog was the only system that gave us the analytic view of our cash that we were looking for, based on our own complex rules.”

While Renault could import data from bank statements into their system before Datalog, they could only read the numbers and process them mathematically. Now, they can also analyze the data as they import it, assigning budget categories to each line automatically so they can begin working with it right away. The time and energy saved from not having to do this extra step manually has been a game changer for the European treasury team.

Better, faster, and more autonomous

With Datalog, Renault is using more modern tools that are adapted to their needs, allowing them to leverage the latest technology without any backward compatibility issues.

Renault has gained much better control and visibility over their cash forecasts and the day-to-day goings-on in all the bank accounts and currencies they manage—a huge plus for keeping fluctuations in cash flow under control.

Members of the same team can work on a common platform, share responsibilities and take over from each other when needed.

Finally, the treasury team is less dependent on IT services, allowing them to move more quickly, and facilitating teamwork on a global scale.

A whole new era

“Thanks to Datalog’s daily reconciliation feature, we can get accurate, up-to-the-minute data on a daily basis. We now spend less time gathering and cleaning up data, which frees up more time to put our treasury skills and knowledge to use,” says Faure.

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