Supported by Exalog, Chassis Brakes International adopts SWIFT Alliance Lite2: the tale of a successful implementation
Chassis Brakes International, a group with 5,300 employees, specialises in developing and manufacturing car brakes systems. The holding company and its 20 subsidiaries have been using Exalog’s Allmybanks cash management software since 2012. The Group recently adopted the new SWIFT Alliance Lite2 to meet its global banking communication requirements.
Lucile Audureau, Group Treasurer, looks back on the success of this operation and the fruitful cooperation between Chassis Brakes International and Exalog.
Ms Audureau, tell us about the background to your adoption of SWIFT Alliance Lite2?
At the start of our project back in 2012, we were looking for a treasury and banking communication management tool. This is why we chose the publisher Exalog and their Allmybanks software.
Our different subsidiaries use banks on all five continents. SWIFTNet’s international network helped us to manage our banking communication effectively, with the connection provided by Exalog’s Service Bureau. Our order remittances and bank account statements were conveyed through the FileAct messaging service.
In 2015, Exalog presented SWIFT Alliance Lite2 to us, a new technical solution that enables us to miss out the Service Bureau and communicate directly with SWIFT. This innovative solution caught our attention immediately. Initially, we have rolled it out in Europe, the United States, South Africa and Brazil. Our Asian entities will adopt it next.
What advantages does SWIFT Alliance Lite2 provide for Chassis Brakes International?
We have gained independence and flexibility. As SWIFT Alliance Lite2 gives us direct access to the SWIFTNet network, we can implement the settings we want ourselves, for example creating our file issuance and reception profiles. It is all much simpler than it seems: the parameters interface of the Allmybanks software is very intuitive. It is easy to use and doesn’t require any specific IT skills, so we rarely encounter any issues. If we do have any problems, Exalog has proved an efficient partner, and the customer service department is on hand to help.
In addition, managing our own connection enables us to monitor the progress of our operations in real time. We value this transparency highly.
Another advantage of SWIFT Alliance Lite2 is how easy it is to access the two SWIFT messaging services, FIN and FileAct. When we worked with the Service Bureau, our contract only included the FileAct service. However, some of our banks, in particular those in Asia, do not use this kind of messaging service. The FIN service enables us to implement our centralisation project in Allmybanks. In addition, we are very pleased that SWIFT Alliance Lite2 has significantly reduced our monthly costs for connecting to the SWIFT network.
Finally, we took advantage of the SWIFT project to streamline our banking (reducing the number of accounts and banking partners), which has enabled us to reduce our banking costs. Although these savings are not directly linked to our choice of SWIFT Alliance Lite2, they do form part of the overall benefits of this project.
How do you work today?
Operating with the SWIFT protocol in FIN or FileAct, in line with the technical requirements of our different banks, we will generate one single file format via our new Group ERP (SAP): XML ISO 20022. Having one such format is a considerable advantage when rolling out on an international scale, as tests become simpler. Upon reception, our local banks convert our files using their own tools when necessary.
Chassis Brakes International has two Shared Service Centres, which group together all the transaction processing activities of most of our subsidiaries around the world. Regarding validating payment remittances, local subsidiaries are involved through the Allmybanks software authority management functions. Our workflow comes with access limits on IP addresses to improve security.
The Group treasury uses the cash management function of the Allmybanks software: consolidated reporting, forecast management, arbitrage, intercompany transactions and monitoring charges and fees.
It all seems very positive. What are your plans going forward?
The implementation of SWIFT Alliance Lite2 has been a success, and I would like to thank Patrick Bert of the UTSIT consultancy firm who provided support throughout this project.
The Allmybanks application has proved entirely satisfactory. When we contact Exalog regarding a new development, for example dealing with new payment formats, they always react quickly. We have been the first to request certain changes, which is surprising, but I have never been disappointed by the response from the Exalog teams. We feel we receive great support.
The next stages in our project consist firstly of rolling out SWIFT Alliance Lite2 in Asia, and secondly of implementing the Allmybanks accounting interface module, which will enable us to exchange data directly between Allmybanks and SAP, our management software.
Thierry Cohen, Commercial Director
The flexibility and ease of use of Allmybanks and the support offered by Exalog combine to provide our customers with simplicity and independence. In addition, being in direct contact with SWIFT now gives them total transparency regarding costs and means they can better manage their budget.
As ever, our priority is to provide each of our customers with the most appropriate solution for them. We are happy that the CBI group has followed our advice and is reaping the rewards of SWIFT Alliance Lite2.