A successful payment factory project

Pioneering integrated bank connectivity solution in merger was a challenge worth taking

Successful payment factory project at SapaWhen the joint venture, formed from the extrusion businesses of Orkla ASA and Norsk Hydro ASA, was completed, creating a new global business named Sapa, it meant a hectic working period in the treasury department. A totally new financial infrastructure, processes and tools were to be created to implement the merger. And, as always in mergers and acquisitions, cash management was on the top of the treasury’s to-do-list.

The task would not be easy, as the financial landscape between the two companies’ legacy concepts had more differences than similarities, such as different banks and cash pool solutions, major differences in transaction processing, different – and numerous – ERP systems and different solutions in interfacing and conversion tools Another challenge was the extremely tight timescale: the new solution had to be live in one year after the start – and without any breaks in the services for the units around the world.

Sapa decided to define a new treasury and payments factory concept that would meet their operational and strategic requirements and that could be implemented quickly and efficiently. They chose OpusCapita to deliver the solution. OpusCapita is one of the first vendors to integrate SWIFT alliance Lite 2 into its cloud-based payment factory solution. Sapa was an early adopter of this integrated liquidity and bank communication solution.

“OpusCapita had a high score for functional solutions in Sapa’s scoring process, and we had a good impression of OpusCapita’s competence level. Software as a Service concept gave the solution a competitive price, and SaaS also suits the company strategy. We also appreciated the good dialog we had with OpusCapita from the very beginning,” says Lars Grimsgård, Vice President & Corporate Treasurer at Sapa.

The implementation started in December 2013, and the last company was integrated into the new payment factory solution by September 1, 2014.

“The project, which we consider a great success, was well structured and all parties were completely committed to what we were doing. We were lucky enough to have extremely experienced implementation teams on both Sapa’s and OpusCapita’s side,” Lars Grimsgård states.

According to him, the new solution gives many possibilities to develop the financial processes further. One of the benefits is the standardization of cash and liquidity operations.

“With standardized reporting you can significantly decrease the time spent by each company on reporting while also getting a higher quality of reported figures.  Our next phase is to implement the in-house banking functionality in the OpusCapita solution.”

About Sapa:

Formed in 2013 as a joint venture between the extrusion businesses of Orkla ASA and Hydro ASA, Sapa is the world leader in aluminum solutions. The new business combines global reach and local presence with 23,000 employees in more than 40 countries, promoting excellence in extrusion, building systems, and precision tubing. Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Sapa has annual revenues of NOK 42 billion (EUR 5.1bn).

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A successful payment factory project