A number of subsidiaries with guarantees issued by different entities in several countries; in this context, how to optimize and secure guarantee management within the group? Here’s the story of the ambitious Fairways Guarantees project led by EDF.
“At the beginning, we had a dual issue relating to guarantee management” tells Jérémy Roublique, manager of the Bank Relations and Intragroup Financing Department, which is part of the Treasury Department of the EDF Group. “On the one hand, we had to handle significant guarantee outstandings for the entire EDF group with an increasing number of required guarantees. On the other hand, we had to manage a lot of bank fees which we charge back to our subsidiaries and operating units” continues the EDF manager. A real nightmare when it comes to centralizing management in Excel files.
Far from being satisfied with this situation, the teams led by Jérémy Roublique decided to focus on looking for a tool to optimize the process among subsidiaries and to consolidate the global vision of the Group.
Finding a guarantee management tool tailored to EDF’s needs
EDF launched a call for tender and selected seven software publishers. But only two solutions were eventually taken into consideration: “We were looking for a multilingual, ergonomic SaaS solution, in order to easily deploy the tool within the Group and to make maintenance safer”, explains Jérémy Roublique. Fairways Guarantees quickly sets itself apart: “As for ergonomics and ease of use, the software solution offered by Finance Active proved to be outstanding at first glance. Moreover, we were in touch with some managers from Areva, who had already successfully tested Fairways Guarantees” clarifies the manager from EDF. The project was therefore launched.
Two months to deploy the guarantee management solution
After several internal procedures aimed at checking Fairways Guarantees’ security and reliability, the contract was signed in late August 2016. The first step was to launch the practical phase of the project, which involved the teams led by Jérémy Roublique and the Finance Active’s consultants. Workshops, tool customization, on-site- and distance training sessions… In less than two months, Fairways Guarantees was customized, integrated, deployed and ready to be used by the first 15 users in seven subsidiaries. “During the entire project, Finance Active’s experts have helped us to customize the solution according to our needs. It was crucial for us not to radically change the users’ habits, but we really needed to significantly improve the process. This is why we added the accounting entity codes we use for EDF SA, in order to distinguish and invoice our subsidiaries and units for markups” says Jérémy Roublique with satisfaction.
Significant time savings for EDF’s treasurers
The results are immediate: “Very quickly, we have observed how much time we could save when processing guarantees with the tool. We can now manage bank fees smoothly and clearly together with our subsidiaries. We are even able to edit some bank letters automatically. As for me, I can create in just a few clicks accurate and custom reports, which previously required long configuration on spreadsheets” explains the manager from EDF.
However, for Jérémy Roublique, this guarantee management solution offers yet another benefit: “We have significantly increased control over the Group’s outstandings and lines. We can analyze guarantees for each project at a glance and we can monitor bank fees more effectively, in particular when it comes to guarantees issued with local banks, which are mandatory in some countries” adds Jérémy Roublique.
Towards a centralized solution for EDF
These good results encourage EDF to gradually extend the rollout of the solution. “Given the positive feedback we got from the first users, we will launch the second deployment step of Fairways Guarantees early 2017. We are going to extend the rollout of the guarantee management solution to several other subsidiaries” predicts Jérémy Roublique. By doing so, the entire Group will be able to benefit from shared, monitored information.
- Guarantee management
- Fairways Guarantees
- Increased control over guarantee management
- Significant time savings
- Custom reports in just one click