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SSP Group Case Study:

Implementing a centralized hybrid forecast for a complex multinational

About SSP Group

Every day, at airports and railway stations throughout the world, some 1.5 million travellers enjoy refreshments served at outlets operated by the SSP Group.

The multinational concessionaire, whose locations span 35 countries, works with more than 500 brands, including Burger King, Starbucks, YO! Sushi, and Upper Crust.

Headquartered in London, and publicly listed since 2014, the SSP Group has 37,000 employees worldwide. Their head office oversees a vast operational infrastructure, which, throughout 2019, generated approximately £2.8 billion in revenue.

Consequently, it would be impossible to underestimate the importance of efficient and comprehensive cash management to an organization as complex and diffuse as the SSP Group.

Problem Overview

Before plugging into the CashAnalytics cloud-based platform, the group’s head office treasury team were manually managing their cash flow forecasts.

The decentralized process was arduous, error-prone, and often inaccurate. Moreover, the near impossibility of a consolidated view of cash balances made analyzing and measuring forecast inaccuracies an incredibly trying task.

And, without recourse to automation, tracking and recording intercompany cash movements proved equally difficult. Of course, being publicly-held also meant an ongoing and intense focus on SSP’s cash management.

This focus was exerting great pressure on their spreadsheet-driven processes, and so, they enlisted CashAnalytics to automate and centralize the entirety of their cash flow forecasting and reporting.

The Solution

Hybrid Forecast

CashAnalytics routinely implements automated, centralized forecasts for companies of similar size to the SSP Group, however, theirs required a hybridization of processes. The new process, which is refreshed weekly, functions on a 14-week rolling time-horizon and includes additional cycles to run reports on forecasted and actual month-end balances.

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Categorizing Forecasting and Reporting

The SSP Group’s head office treasury team also use the CashAnalytics intuitive suite of analytics and data visualization tools and perform a variety of analyzes at the touch of button. What’s more, the ability to collapse cash balances into total figures, then roll them into any category, has greatly enhanced their cash forecasting and reporting

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Increased User Engagement

Due to the user-friendly nature of the software, the SSP C-suite has seen a marked increase, across all business units, in user engagement with the forecasting process.

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When I first saw the dashboard I got really excited. The key piece of information it shows, for us, is the total bank cash position. Then the ability to separate by entity is really useful for senior management because it allows us to see who is holding too much cash in the business and where we need to look at centralizing cash.

Nigel Dawson Treasury Manager

It’s simple and easy for our users to operate, so we’ve been able to roll it out fairly quickly across the group. With CashAnalytics, they just have to copy and paste those cash flows and away they go, so we’re not asking for anything too onerous. If you think of our operational businesses, they are engrossed in day-to-day tasks and see cash forecasting as a burden that head office wants, so it’s vital that the system keeps it as quick and simple as possible

Nigel Dawson Treasury Manager