Lindström – a family company that is over 170 years old
Lindström is one of the leading textile service companies in Europe and Asia with more than 170 years of experience in the textile industry. The company offers a wide variety of textile industry services ranging from workwear, mats, restaurants and hotel textiles to industrial wipers, cleanrooms and washrooms. At the moment Lindström operates in 24 countries and is targeting international long-term growth in market share. The success of this family-owned company is based on concept-guided operation that ensures the quality of the operation, uniform service and responsibility in all operating countries. Rented textiles as a service is a cost-efficient and environmentally positive way to take care of the everyday textile needs.
”Automation of treasury processes brought efficiency, structure and peace of mind”
The treasury department at Lindström was founded at the end of 2016. Initially the transactions related to treasury were recorded in Excel and the G/L entries were made manually in the ERP system. The internal funding currency was euro, which is why the valuation of internal loans and the G/L entries related to them were divided for several different group companies. Eventually the funding currency was changed from euro to the home currency of group companies. Since the FX-trading was also centralized to treasury, it resulted parent company and treasury having a lot more to be processed also from accounting perspective.
”At the same time of embarking on TMS implementation, we were renewing our Finance organization and centralizing certain finance functions to Finland. Simultaneously a lot of emphasis was put into enhancing digitalisation, automation, efficiency and process harmonisation. TMS represents all of these things from a treasury point of view, so TMS implementation resonated well with our other development projects, says Juha Nuutinen from Lindström, who was founding the treasury at the end of 2016 and works as the Head of Treasury in the company.
Benefits from day one
The first contact with ZenTreasury took place via email. When the implementation of the TMS was finally topical, more detailed conversation about the possible co-operation was started. After considering all the options, the choice was ZenTreasury. The software included all basic functions that were essential for Lindström’s treasury operations.
”The accounting interface was a very important piece for us, as it enabled more efficient and automated process for us. Combined with the deal import functionality from FXall which was implemented at later stage, it further contributed to end-to-end process efficiency starting from trade execution all the way to the payment and G/L entries. The flexibility and easiness of the implementation also played a major role. We had several significant projects going on at the same time: Cash Management tendering for 11 countries, global implementation of a bank connection software, the implementation of a dealing platform and policy changes, just to mention a few. Furthermore the Finance organisation was being centralized into Finland, which affected also treasury. It was very important for us that we were able to do the implementation gradually and in flexible manner so that we were able to adjust the implementation schecule considering other on-going projects. This allowed us to optimize the use of our own resources as we were able to allocate time for the implementation work when it was most suitable for us. Also knowing that Lars and Ville from ZenTreasury had plenty of hands-on experience from the treasury world contributed to the choice.”
According to Nuutinen, the first benefits offered by the software were deployed in a few days. Entering foreign exchange transactions into the system was intuitive and building the accounting interface to the ERP was straightforward and our treasury team was able to finalize it rather quickly. On the whole the implementation took some time, as it was done gradually considering other on-going projects. Nuutinen says that ZenTreasury’s system has offered the desired automation into the processes, enabled process development and given them a peace of mind to know that the treasury transactions are valued and posted correctly, registered appropriately and stored in one place.
”We have also been able to help the rest of the Finance organisation especially regarding accounting: foreign exchange differences from majority of internal loans are now automatically calculated and posted to ERP instead of manual excel calculations and manual postings, posting treasury transactions on the bank statement has become more simple and we are able to produce reporting to support the accounting entries done by group companies and to make sure that both parties are utilizing same numbers for internal transactions. We are also better prepared for the growth that the company is aiming for. We can produce treasury services with less effort and better quality. Our processes are much more scalable in case our transaction numbers would increase or we would have new legal entities in our group”, Nuutinen sums up.
Interaction supports development work
After the initial meeting there was active email exchange during the learning phase, but the need to keep in contact decreased as the software became familiar.
”We always received a quick response from ZenTreasury. This created an image that they were working on things. The support was available even at midnight - and with a five-minute response time. Of course this wasn’t something that we had required, but it was nice to get answers quickly. If there was something that needed improvements, the fixes were quickly entered into the system. They also showed interest in investing into the quality of co-operation so that it benefitted both parties”, Nuutinen describes.
He also thinks that joint development work is important. “Development should not come to a halt, new features and functions are expected in the future and we are eager to develop and automate processes even further.”
Photo by Laura Karppanen