The shift towards hybrid working practices has encouraged companies to automate more of their payments processes. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems have a key role to play here, with effective implementation best achieved by working with a treasury management partner.
An effective enterprise resource planning (ERP) system can be vital to streamlining companies’ cashflow. Recently, we have seen greater interest in introducing or upgrading ERP functionality. The switch to hybrid working practices – with employees working partly remotely and partly on site – is likely a key reason behind the drive for greater automation. According to Kyriba, a supplier of treasury software, the main benefits sought are enhanced security, faster transformation delivery and bank integrations.
While the potential benefits are clear, implementing or upgrading an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system demands time and resources. Clients undergoing this process often tell us that it is not a good time to engage in discussions with their treasury management partner, as the project requires the treasury team’s complete focus. However, introducing a new or upgraded ERP is an opportunity to evaluate your banking relationships and to integrate with your treasury management partner for greater automation, straight-through processing, increased visibility to cash and mitigation of fraud.
When considering and planning a new ERP system, partnering with your treasury management partner will be critical to the success of the project. Collaborating on a roadmap at the onset is a best practice to identify opportunities for efficiency, as well as any potential roadblocks. This should include communicating your ERP goals to your treasury management partner to determine if they are attainable. This discussion will help shape the path ahead and the level of resources required.
For example, your banking partner may have existing templates with your ERP vendor, which could help streamline the connectivity process. The roadmap might also include an account rationalization exercise to eliminate under-utilized or unnecessary accounts and an evaluation of current processes to identify areas for automation. It is also a good time to consider options for storing client account information, whether in the ERP, on your banking partner’s online portal, or with a third-party. Any security requirements that come with storing account information should also be considered.
Integrating your ERP with your banking provider will be disruptive to some degree and will require time, attention, and resource allocation. To seek to maximize the return on your project, you should be confident that you have valuable partner relationships. The start of a new ERP implementation may therefore be an ideal time to ensure your current banking partner offers innovative treasury management solutions that will enable you to take full advantage of the benefits of your new ERP.
It is important to keep in mind that the objective of an ERP is to improve business processes through efficiency and automation. Staying engaged with your treasury management partner throughout the implementation process will help ensure this goal is achieved.
Here are 13 best practices for engaging with your treasury management partner when you are undergoing an ERP implementation.
Developing an ERP roadmap
- Identify and engage project and IT teams, in consultation with your treasury management partner
- Create an implementation change management project plan timeline and meeting frequency: 3-6 months or 1 year; bi-weekly, weekly, monthly
- Identify and communicate any new and/or existing integration challenges
- Document current and future state process flow changes
- Assess legacy accounts and plan future accounts and new, more efficient payment methods
- Evaluate the need for file conversion (direct file transmission methods or file automation), and upload capability
- Ensure execution of testing and connectivity with bank partners and project, IT team
- Ensure safety and security of accounts through dual-authentication, encryption, and protection with fraud prevention services
- Safeguard all electronically stored client bank account information as unreadable due to requirements set forth by National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) in 2021
- Establish training of new system features, introduction of new process flows and training with new bank products
- Translate clear requirements and objectives to staff and consider the need of measuring system automation and efficiencies pre-to-post system implementation through key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs may include internal process quality, employee and customer satisfaction and financial performance
- Evaluate success, best practices, and learnings post implementation
- Explore innovative and future pilot product programs with your banking partner