A well-chosen Treasury Management System (TMS) can streamline your operations and boost your organisation’s performance – but with so many options out there, it’s crucial to choose one that fits your individual requirements. These five pointers can help to keep your selection process focussed and on track.
1. Review your existing treasury operations
Laying the groundwork for a new TMS creates the perfect opportunity to really examine how you currently do things. What procedures and processes are you using? Are they working for you as well as they could be? Is your processes and procedures document still relevant, or have your actual day-to-day tasks changed since it was written? Analysis of this kind gives you the chance to optimise your operations before you install a new TMS, making sure you’re getting the best out of it. You may even discover that, by tweaking the way you do things, you don’t need a new system at all.
2. Build a requirements definition
Make sure you’re considered the wider requirements of your treasury. Talk to all colleagues who will use or be affected by the new TMS to find out their current pain points and what they most need to be able to do better. Once you have a clear idea of what you need, research extensively to find out what kind of treasury technology best addresses the problems you’re looking to solve – it’s possible that you will need additional software alongside your TMS to meet all of you requirements. It’s important to make sure that all stakeholders are included in the process throughout, so make sure you don’t press on with a decision until it’s been signed off by key personnel.
3. Get management and budgeters on board
As well as on-the-ground colleagues, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve engaged senior management in the project. That means keeping all holders of purse strings firmly in the process, especially when it comes to gathering quotes and estimating total costs of implementation. Failure to do this could mean spending weeks or months sourcing the perfect solution, only to have it shot down by budget-makers who weren’t prepared for the costs.
4. Maintain focus
As you delve deeper into the options available, you will almost certainly uncover features that you didn’t know existed and ideas you hadn’t previously considered. Whilst it’s good to stay open to ideas that will make you more efficient and to ensure you’re getting the best deal for your budget, there’s a very real danger of getting carried away with things that you don’t really need, at the expense of the things you really do. Separate out the “essentials” from the “nice to haves” and keep referring back to your original list of requirements. Any TMS you choose must cover the basics as a bare minimum. A fancy, expensive system with a thousand unique features will be useless to your team if they can’t use it for the most everyday applications.
5. Thoroughly plan your implementation
In addition to budgeting support, successfully implementing your TMS means getting the full backing of senior management to see the process through. Build a rock-solid project team that includes representatives from key finance and business areas of your organisation, as well as sponsors, stakeholders and suppliers. You will need to appoint an experienced project manager to lead the team and manage the implementation process. Most importantly, work together to create a detailed plan that breaks the project down into smaller components and which clearly designates roles, responsibilities and deadlines to every member of the team.