T&G Global (originally Turners and Growers) started in New Zealand over 120 years ago as a single Auckland fruit and flower shop owned by Edward Turner. Today, the T&G Group has offices in 12 countries and a global distribution network. Operating under the tagline: “Delivering fresh thinking year-round”, the Group focuses on the global supply of sustainable, fresh, delicious fruit and vegetables.
Some of that fresh thinking was employed by the two-person treasury team in 2008 when T&G Global needed extended leave cover for their operations assistant. Treasurer Doug Bygrave trialed using ETOS outsourced treasury services to bridge the gap and found that there was significant added-value to be gained from the arrangement.
“The extended leave cover was really useful but moving to an outsourced arrangement also helped to optimize and streamline our processes. Staff on both sides were really motivated to make it work – after the initial engagement, the team at ETOS was ready to step in at very short notice. It was seamless.”
Resourcing rapid expansion
During the early stage of ETOS’ relationship with T&G Global, the business was going through a period of rapid expansion through acquisition. “We needed extra treasury resource, but it didn’t warrant growing the treasury team by employing more full-time staff,” commented Doug.
At the same time, a change to increased Foreign Exchange hedging started to push T&G’s resourcing. Additionally, T&G wanted to reduce the reliance on key people internally. “As a result, we decided to take our relationship with ETOS a step further and outsource all of our treasury back office operations. This helped T&G create a stable Treasury platform supportive for growth. It was a cost-efficient solution that delivered a better, more robust outcome.”
T&G is a diverse organisation made up of a variety of different business units, each demanding detailed reporting and with their own hedging strategies. Outsourcing with ETOS presented an opportunity to further refine and standardise processes across the business, to ensure all communication was precise and clear, thereby reducing risk.
Doug Bygrave explained: “This was particularly apparent in the communication and ordering of deals. ETOS staff have been proactive in developing strong relationships with employees at each of our business units. As an external agency, they have been very strong in ensuring compliance to our internal processes around deals and authorisations.”
Standardised processes and increased transparency have helped to reduce risk in the dynamic business. “ETOS is a good watchdog for us internally, adding an additional layer of review,” said Doug. “They flag any potential issues immediately. The improved segregation of duties delivered by outsourcing has been a major gain on its own. Our audit process is also a lot easier, given ETOS is itself externally audited.”
When it comes to keeping pace with the latest in efficiencies, processes and compliance, gains have also been made. “ETOS act as an independent touchstone, bringing in the latest best practice” said Doug. Their specialist knowledge has really helped us in optimizing our internal processes — and it’s taken a massive chunk of our day-to-day work away, giving T&G more time to focus on strategic matters.”
TMS implementation the easy way
ETOS has been with T&G through two TMS system implementations, throughout the whole process from assisting with scoping and vendor meetings to implementation and user acceptance testing and training.
“ETOS threw tremendous resource into our implementations, which reduced the pain internally. Their system knowledge has great depth. Working across such a wide range of corporates, ETOS is at the sharp end of what’s going on and they bring that expertise and knowledge into our business,” said Doug.
“I have total confidence that everything is being addressed on time, accurately and with appropriate controls. Any queries get dealt with immediately, allowing me to get on with the rest of my job.”