Suez and Fairways Guarantees: the story of a co-creation

As from the creation of Fairways Guarantees, Suez has been very impressed by the Finance Active offer. In two words: time savings and efficiency for the Suez teams and a co-construction process in collaboration with the editor of the tool.

«Outdated» That is the word Caroline Glass uses to describe the guarantees management tool Suez used until 2013. The Director of Trade Services and Export Guarantees at Suez, responsible for the Finance Services and Export Guarantees of Degrémont (now Suez International), was truly struggling with this historic tool, as well as the rest of her team: «In fact, very few people knew how to properly use the tool, which led to a great deal of misinformation. A situation that was no longer tenable», recalls Caroline Glass. And since Suez International currently manages a considerable amount of guarantees in practically every country in the world, through its 200 subsidiaries, they decided to provide their teams with a much more up to date management tool.

A Saas tool, a suitable solution?

Suez International passed a first call for tenders and preselected three guarantees management solutions. «The open minded mentality of the Finance Active team very quickly distinguished them from their competitors. They were the only provider that was willing to customize their solution according to our specific needs. And that is what tipped the balance», explains Caroline Glass.

Finally there was only one crucial point that made Caroline Glass hesitate after all: «At the beginning of the project, I wasn’t in favor of a solution in SaaS mode. In my view, the Suez International data needed to stay confidential», Caroline Glass explains. But her opinion gradually changed: «At one point, I realized that the Saas mode actually equals a large degree of flexibility and incomparable expansibility. In addition, the Finance Active experts took their time to listen to our needs in order for them to customize their solution, in consultation with our Group IT management. These elements combined reassured me».

A co-construction process for 5 000 guarantees

With this amount of guarantees pushing the tool towards progression, the Finance Active experts realized to implement the initial amount of roughly 5 000 Suez International guarantees. «Whether it was the different languages, the calculation of bank fees or the guarantor management, we worked alongside Finance Active to optimize the Fairways Guarantees tool. In some small way, then, we played a role in this solution evolution», remembers Caroline Glass.

During those first weeks of the implementation phase, however, the teams of Suez International and Finance Active faced a true challenge of size. «We had to clean up and harmonize all our portfolio data which meant a considerable amount of work », tells Caroline Glass. But despite the magnitude of the challenge, the task was successfully completed and the tool smoothly implemented throughout Suez International. First step succeeded.

Implement a solution step by step

Passing on from this first phase and seen the positive outcomes, the Group Suez continued the implementation of Fairways Guarantees, so that in May 2016, the Group, with all its subsidiaries, could benefit from this tool. And after multilingual formations, the solution was launched and ready to use for almost 170 users, 17.000 guarantees, in three languages. «Our objective: one single solution for everyone to work on that supports a unified and centralized database. This was a huge challenge: implement a tool for that many users, spread across the globe, in a major enterprise as ours is far from easy. Despite all that, the implementation is finalized and the feedback from the users has been nothing but positive », explains Caroline Glass.

More detailed data and time saved for everybody

Thanks to the guarantees management solution, Suez teams can nowadays fully concentrate on their real added value: « Fairways Guarantees discharged us from the quantitative allocation of guarantee management. Thanks to this form of automation, we can focus on the qualitative aspect of our guarantees portfolio. With more fine tuned reporting features and exceptionally detailed cross values, we are for example able to analyze the impact of the exchange rate fluctuations on our portfolio », clarifies the Director of Trade Services and Export Finance.

And the teams of Caroline Glass don’t intend to stop there: « Our business continuously evolves and it’s essential to anticipate those changes. This means that our management tool must constantly reinvent itself, a mission whereby the help of Finance Active is particularly appreciated », concludes Caroline Glass.

Business sector(s)
  • Energy industry
  • Guarantee management
  • Fairways Guarantees
  • More refined and trustworthy reporting
  • Time savings for every department
  • An ergonomic, easy to use tool