- Dive into the 5 critical steps while selecting a solution that meets your specific treasury requirements.
- Don’t miss out on the power of RFP in your treasury tech vendor selection process – Understand the purpose of each stage in RFP and make the right choice in treasury solution vendor selection.
- Learn the steps in the RFP process in the cash flow management and cash flow forecasting software vendor selection and discover how they can impact your business for the better.
Cash flow management and forecasting are critical aspects of running a successful business. Without proper cash flow management, businesses can struggle to maintain financial stability and may even face bankruptcy. That’s why many businesses turn to treasury technology vendors to help them manage their finances effectively by leveraging the right tool for them. Choosing the right cash flow and forecasting software vendor is essential for any business looking to optimize their cash flow. However, with so many vendors on the market, it can be overwhelming to determine which one is the best fit for your business. But before that let’s dive into the tips for choosing the best-fit treasury technology for your business.
Finding the right software is crucial for a successful implementation
A successful implementation comes down to choosing the right treasury software and solution provider. Here are four tips for choosing the best-fit treasury technology:
Plan a strategic vision
Build the vision by identifying:
Highly manual and error-prone processes.
The amount of time required to execute the tasks.
The technology currently used to perform the tasks.
The functions that can be automated.
Align the strategic vision with the company’s goals and requirements.
Identify all the stakeholders
Identify the stakeholders involved and ask them for their wish list.
Identify the requirements that can be met.
Determine the system requirements
Understand the requirements on a high level, such as:
Seamless integration with banks, ERPs and TMS
Automated data gathering
Automated cash forecasting
Increased forecast accuracy
Prioritize the requirements based on their importance.
Evaluate the technology options for the prioritized requirements.
Draft a general timeline for execution
Create a reasonable timeline.
Determine if procurement involvement is required to help with the selection or negotiation.
Determine if the IT team’s involvement is required to validate technologies.
Identify the people involved in budget approval.
5 crucial steps to identifying treasury solution vendors fmor your enterprise
The end goal for technology evaluation is to select a system that meets the treasury requirements. Here is a 5 step-framework that can help you streamline your vendor selection strategy:
Cast a wide net
Research on the latest technology options in the market and features provided by vendors by browsing through Google, LinkedIn, or by attending conferences (both online and offline). Reach out to the existing users to understand their experience with the product.
Screen the vendors
Screen via online technology guides such as AFP, Strategic Treasury, Bob’s Guide, or other treasury technology resources.
Browse vendor websites
Visit vendor websites to gather product collateral and read client stories for better understanding product capabilities.
Set up an initial call or a brief demo
Understand the genuineness of the solution and the solution provider.
Gather information from vendors on the most recent technology, market trends, and product changes.
A few items should be kept on hand before the demo call, such as:
- Current company landscape and processes
- Current problems and challenges
- Priorities, including the ‘must-haves’ and ‘extras’
- Planned budget
- General timelines
- Buying plan
Map the pain points
Analyze your enterprise’s key cash flow and cash forecasting pain points to understand how effectively the cash flow forecasting and cash management software vendor’s solutions enhance the business and generate ROI.
Shortlisting treasury solution vendors
The vendors can be shortlisted after evaluating the demo call, product features, and in-depth research. You should prioritize a vendor that:
- Offers a more superior product than the competition
- Is responsive to client needs and requirements
- Has professional and helpful sales representatives
- Has positive customer feedback
Coming to assessing the product, the client should not only focus on the look/feel of the product but prioritize the effectiveness of the product and the value it provides. This can be done by evaluating:
- How the product functions
- How intuitive is the product
- How user-friendly is the product
- How scalable is the product
Finally, based on the above criteria, the client must shortlist a few vendors (not more than five vendors) for a detailed demo, RFP, or a workshop for zeroing on the best-fit solution provider.
After narrowing down the vendor’s list to around 4-5, you have to select the most suitable vendor from that list who meets your requirements. The RFP process helps you choose the best-fit cash flow planning software for your enterprise.
What is an RFP?
A Request for Proposal (RFP) is a business document that:
- Announces a project
- Defines the project
- Invites eligible contractors to submit bids to finish it
They are preferred by most corporations globally and are best utilized to objectively compare answers and select the most suitable solution vendor while choosing a business software.
How is RFP used in vendor selection?
A Request for Proposal (RFP) document’s primary objective is to assist clients in selecting the best-fit vendor to source the required business cash flow software. When a project is anticipated to take months or years, an RFP is crucial in choosing a good technology partner for your cash flow planning software.
When it comes to selecting a vendor for sourcing a cash flow management and cash flow forecasting software for your business, an RFP (Request for Proposal) document is an essential tool. The primary objective of this RFP is to assist you in identifying and selecting the best-fit vendor as per your specific needs.
An RFP is particularly useful for projects that are expected to take a significant amount of time, such as months or years. In these cases, by using an RFP, you can ensure that all potential vendors are evaluated based on the same criteria, providing a level playing field for all candidates. The RFP process also allows for transparency and fairness in the selection process, which is crucial to build trust between you and your technology partner, especially for a project like implementing cash flow management software as well as cash flow forecasting software.
What are the steps involved in RFP?
The request for proposal process consists of four sections: documentation, analytics, on-sight demo, and final selection process. Let’s take a look at these in detail.
Documentation is the first step in initiating the RFP process while choosing treasury software solutions, be it cash forecasting software or cash flow management software. Here’s a list of action items for you to consider while sending out the documentation to corporate treasury software solutions vendors:
- Draft a well-structured document that is dependent on the needs of your company.
- Add questions unique to your business type and business goals to ensure that their responses are tailored to your requirements.
- Sort your questions into categories and align them to the scorecard.
- Include the expected pricing scheme for the solution in the documentation.
- Compile all the data that could be useful for the vendors and send it out along with the RFP to avoid frequent back and forth.
- Mention the deadline in the email and the front page of RFPs.
Analysis of cash management and cash flow forecasting software vendors can be done with the help of a vendor evaluation scorecard. The following are a few things to consider while creating a scorecard for a business cash flow software:
- Create the scorecard in a spreadsheet to save time
- Align the scorecard to the questionnaire that is sent out
- Assign weights to the features to help with the decision making
- Include pricing as a weighted category
The followings things should be considered after getting back responses from the treasury software solutions vendors:
- Score the documents on a scale of 1 to 5 for each question:
- The requirement cannot be met.
- The requirement can be met by partnering with 3rd party solution.
- The requirement can be met with a future release of the software.
- The requirement can be met via customization.
- The requirement is readily met.
- Read questions across instead of down
- Take notes while evaluating the vendors
- Keep a list of follow-up questions for the vendors based on their responses
- Filter vendors based on the preferences and functionality fit
An on-site or extended demo is helpful to give detailed insight into the treasury department. For a cash flow planning software on-site demo, the following steps need to be ensured:
- Tailor the demonstration to the specific requirements of the user
- Record the sessions
- Invite all the stakeholders involved in the process, including the IT and procurement team
Final selection process
The final stage for corporate treasury software solutions vendor selection is the contracting and negotiating phase. This stage is where the vendors and the users agree upon the terms to ensure a successful treasury software solutions buy-in.
Implementing a new treasury solution
Over the past decade, the rapid pace of digitalization has introduced a range of sophisticated tools that facilitate treasury operations by exercising more robust governance into cash flows, providing better analysis, and enabling informed decision-making. AI-enabled treasury solutions are now being implemented into treasury processes for the following reasons:
- Process automation and standardization
- Optimized working capital and cash management automation
- Straight-through processing environment
- Enhanced reporting and strategic planning
However, implementing a new treasury solution can be challenging and time-consuming. Treasury management system implementation projects can take months or years to complete, and in that timeframe, the resources often get implementation fatigue as timelines get pushed, and costs increase. As a result, the cost-benefit ratio gets lowered when the software doesn’t live up to the expectations. Hence, the team needs to create an implementation plan by:
- Documenting current-state processes
- Preparing a future-state vision
- Identifying objectives and creating a prioritized roadmap entailing how to reach the desired end state.
The Software You Choose Defines the Future of Your Enterprise
To stay competitive and achieve growth, you need to make the most of their enterprise’s cash resources while minimizing risk exposure. This is where automation and AI-powered tools can make a significant impact. Leveraging the right next-gen finance platform that continuously learns from your ever-changing finance and accounting transaction data is your first step to Autonomous Finance. It predicts business outcomes through proactive decision-making for improved working capital impact, enhanced customer experience, and accurate cash forecasting.
HighRadius’ best-in-class AI-Powered Autonomous Treasury optimizes your financial decision-making with a unified and streamlined treasury management platform. Autonomous Treasury Software offers pre-built connectors with the major ERPs and banks to reduce the IT effort while setting up the integration. Additionally, as a technology partner, HighRadius provides a dedicated implementation team to do most of the heavy lifting. In general, the solution is designed to be user-friendly and requires minimal IT involvement once it is set up and running. With Autonomous Treasury, you not only reduce risk, improve accuracy, and get a clear picture of your cash flow with unified comprehensive reporting, but also transform the way you manage treasury, especially amid market volatilities.