Guarantee management is a constant challenge for Areva. With more than a thousand guarantees issued and as many guarantees received on behalf and in favour of over a hundred subsidiaries, bringing together reliable information can be really complicated. Therefore, opting for a dedicated solution proves to be crucial.
“By its very nature, guarantee management is a very complex matter for us”, explains Laurent Bonhomme, Financing Manager and Front Office Treasurer at Areva. “Very often, we need bank guarantees of all kinds and, as a parent company, we also have to issue guarantees and counter-guarantees. As part of these activities, we are regularly led to (re)negotiate a dozen guarantee lines with our bank and insurance partners in France or internationally. Finally, we also have to manage a complex invoicing system, including internal markup”.
In this context, guarantee management can be a nightmare. “Our previous guarantee management software was not able to support such complexity. Therefore, we were obliged to carry out several time-consuming manual tasks, as well as a lot of extra work to get reliable information for off-balance-sheet reporting”, recalls Laurent Bonhomme.
On this basis, Areva decides to deploy a more reliable, efficient and modern guarantee management solution. “We wanted an ergonomic, easy-to-use tool. At the same time, our business and the stakeholders involved required a SaaS solution available at any time. This option also appealed to the Chief Information Officer, since it would have allowed us to stop paying for heavy software updates”, says Laurent Bonhomme. During a call for tender launched by the Group, Fairways Guarantees by Finance Active proved to be the solution to meet all these specific criteria.
Four Months to Revolutionize Guarantee Management
Once the decision is made, Areva’s teams are called upon to work together. What is the goal? Taking into account all departments’ needs and IT requirements. “We set up a project team that consists of a dozen employees from various departments: finances, treasury, bank guarantees and IT. Together, we identified the expectations of all departments relating to the new tool”, explains Laurent Bonhomme. Thanks to this work, Fairways Guarantees is now fully customized according to Areva’s needs. The next step is a two-month test phase during which Finance Active’s experts optimize the tool by putting in place actual practical cases. “In particular, we needed reports on financial fees. Finance Active’s experts quickly provided a solution. They have been really proactive. Today, several months after the project launch, I know I can count on my Finance Active’s interlocutor for new software developments”, states Areva’s treasurer with satisfaction.
After the test phase, it is time to transfer data from the old guarantee management software to Fairways Guarantees and to provide around 80 users with training. “The entire project lasted four months, which is relatively quick for a project of such scope in a group like Areva”, continues Laurent Bonhomme.
Reliable and Shared Information
Users did not take too long to provide feedback: “Fairways Guarantees offers great flexibility, with a wide range of guarantee purposes, as well as a system of labels and specific filters to quickly find the required information. Every user is also satisfied with the easy, user-friendly interface”, explains the treasurer.
However, for Laurent Bonhomme, the real advantage provided by Fairways Guarantees is yet something else: “Fairways Guarantees is a tool that perfectly suits the size of our company. For example, we can easily adapt the user rights for each of the 80 users according to their role. These settings can be really specific and are extremely useful to us”, tells the treasurer. All these elements allow Areva to secure guarantee management with a shared database providing more accurate and relevant information. “The information available in the tool is now more reliable. We no longer need to edit complex, manual reports, which are often a source of error. We have improved efficiency and save a lot of time”, concludes Laurent Bonhomme.
- Guarantee management
- Fairways Guarantees
- More reliable information
- Shared database
- Ergonomic user interface