Since 2007, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the fields of energy and communications SPIE has made more than a hundred acquisitions. In this context, managing more than 800 million euros in guarantees becomes a challenge that only a professional solution can meet.
“Our job as fitters obliges us to manage guarantees throughout the life cycle of our contracts,” said Theophile Halley, Director of Treasury and Financing of SPIE. Start-up advance, down payment, good end of contract, payment of subcontractors … each time, the SPIE group and its subsidiaries issue guarantees throughout Europe. In addition, with the completion of this important acquisition program, the group must every time integrate new lines of guarantees into the fold of the parent company.
To manage this growing volume of guarantees, SPIE has been equipped with a custom-made solution more than a decade ago. “This tool has quickly become obsolete. Our IT Department advocating solutions in the SaaS market – simpler to maintain and more secure – our solution no longer met these criteria. In addition, after our IPO in 2015, we faced a new constraint of regular reporting. Our solution did not allow us to keep pace with these requirements because the reports were made with a month lag, the time to collect the data from the decentralized databases and consolidate them, “explains the Director of Treasury and Financing.
The choice of ergonomics and safety
Faced with these challenges, the SPIE teams decided to equip themselves with a new guarantee management software. To achieve this, they decided to tender and include, from the beginning of the project, a dozen users representing the main subsidiaries of the group. And among the software companies auditioned, the working group very quickly identified the solution from Finance Active: “Fairways Guarantees has very quickly reached consensus. Users were seduced by the ergonomics of the solution and by the possibility of adding ancillary documents such as contracts. The IT Department has appreciated the SaaS mode and the very precise responses from Finance Active to our security criteria. In addition – and this was an essential point for us – Fairways Guarantees could import our approximately 12,000 guarantees managed without losing any information,” explains Théophile Halley.
Overcoming challenges with Finance Active
Once their choice has been made, the SPIE and Finance Active teams worked on deploying the solution. But there were some major challenges in their path. “Our first challenge was to clean up our previous database. Subsequently, as the group’s acquisitions continued as the project progressed, we had to add the guarantees of the acquired subsidiaries. For example, our last major acquisition represented a volume of 250 million euros of guarantees to be taken into account. In this context, the experts at Finance Active have been of great help in finding technical solutions,” recalls Théophile Halley. These were the challenges faced by the SPIE and Finance Active teams which, by the end of 2017, ended the deployment of the Fairways Guarantees s tool on a large part of the French subsidiaries, before tackling the other European subsidiaries of the group in 2018.
First tangible benefits to better manage collateral
And already, the first gains are felt. “We saved precious time to carry out pre-parameterized reports in real time. In addition, we are now able to perform complex operations such as centralized credit control, bank fees and the management of hands raised that could, in the past, made us lose money,” says the Director of Treasury and Finance.
- Energy and telecommunications
- Guarantee management
- Fairways Guarantees
- Time savings in issuing reports
- Increased user satisfaction
- Broader possibilities for checks on outstanding amounts