Lendert Baljeu Manager Global Projects at Randstad Global Treasury
Randstad processes about 1 million invoices per day and has certain unique requirements. Initially we had our eyes set on internal Randstad IT departments and external vendors of databases. A generic database can be very flexible and has the ability to process lots of data. The drawback is however, that then you start from scratch and work with people with limited content knowledge. That is why we have looked at companies specialised in processing accounts receivable data. To our surprise, some distributors were willing to redevelop their own product to suit our needs.
Cloud 9 Group did well with a limited dataset as part of the proof-of-concept phase, but their system was not originally designed to process our exceptionally large quantities of data. At Cloud 9 Group they were open about this, and the fact that they were not sure what issues they would face during implementation. Together, we discussed various potential issues and identified potential solutions. These conversations gave my Randstad colleagues confidence to proceed with Cloud 9. Currently, we receive several hundreds of thousands of records each day and we are still very satisfied with the performance and the processing speed of the system. What I find striking about our business relationship is that there is a great deal of openness and trust.
We have seen that almost everything that we came up with was possible during this journey and could be implemented quickly. This is because they know their product well and are therefore not afraid to change things or add new features. Maurice and his team have been very open on the fact that our cooperation has inspired them. Additional functionality that we jointly developed for the Randstad solution has now been included in the generic environment for the benefit of other clients. We celebrate this together and it proves that our cooperation is exactly the type of win-win business relationship that Randstad seeks to develop.
We also see that Cloud 9 Group proactively shares insights with us and offers unsolicited solutions. Working together like this with a vendor gives lots of energy!
Colman O'Neill former CFO Clondalkin Group
I strongly recommend Cloud 9 Group. Here is the little story behind the recommendation. When we appointed Cloud 9 Group to solve our Receivables transaction processing challenge, we depended on them to do what they said they could do for us. They vindicated the appointment in great style and efficiency.
Our challenge for Cloud 9 was we needed our 45 receivable systems operating over several MIS platforms in 10 countries, six time zones, several languages, and five currencies to consolidate in one master receivables book to producing daily, weekly and monthly transaction reports for the bank. If Maurice could deliver this, we could unlock a €100m low cost securitized receivables financing facility. This was a vital component to getting best-in-class value in the remaining financing requirements.
Other layers of challenge included delivering the master book against tight timelines, getting all 45 sites through bank audits and finally Cloud 9 was also a key member in the facility documentation negotiation. They needed to get into the detail, including the sometimes tricky fact that securitization formalities vary a lot from country to country.
To Cloud 9’s great credit, they kept all the players and elements on board.
The 45 sites got past their “big brother watching” worries and came to love the real-time data base enquiry access that Cloud 9 provided. At Group, that same real-time one Master book brought a truck load of new receivables management possibilities. The provider bank gained the assurance that Cloud 9 was managing all the technical aspects of the project very well and would deliver the desired outcome; so we had an on-our-side partner big time. This was very helpful in all our discussions and negotiations. The other finance parties who would have gladly gobbled up this project with alternative and more expensive financing readily accepted this lunch ticket was taken.
Clondalkin refinanced €650m of facilities in May 2013. Market commentators reported it favorably as a rabbit out of the hat. It was no rabbit. We thought of it more as one of better projects ever! Maurice did what he said he would do. We got amazing benefits and a powerful management tool alongside.