Creating a cash awareness culture - Eurocopter and Celemi
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Creating a cash awareness culture - Eurocopter and Celemi

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Creating a culture of cash and cost awareness ...

Creating a culture of cash and cost awareness

In 2008, Lutz Bertling, Eurocopter President & CEO, shifted the company’s attention from EBIT and profitability, to instead increasing the weight of cash as a key performance indicator.

He also decided to launch a change towards a real cash culture. But how did Eurocopter manage to get all employees to understand how they have a direct impact on the company’s cash position, how they proactively contribute to and drive cash flow, and how generating cash is well within their scope of activities?

The answer was Celemi Apples & Oranges™ - a hands on business simulation to demystify finance. “We have discovered that everybody understands what cash is, but when it comes to the real drivers - working capital, accounts receivable, inventories and the like - people don’t share the same understanding,” Mr. Prunet says.

“They don’t see where their individual actions have an impact on the cash they have.”

The solution was to train one third of the employees. In the first year of implementation, more than 2 000 employees had gone through Celemi Apples & Oranges in France, Germany, Spain and Australia, and the roll out continues.

“With sessions of 40 to 80 people, from all Directorates and from all levels, mixed by tables of four, each participant can see that he or she has hand in the company’s cash position.”
Bernard Prunet
Vice President ESPRIT Project
Eurocopter

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  • 1. Copyright © 2009-2011 by Celemiab Systems AB. All rights reserved.CLIENT CASEHow did Eurocopter manage toget all employees to understandhow they have a direct impacton the company’s cash position,how they proactively contributeto and drive cash flow, and how­generating cash is well withintheir scope of activities?Until 2007, the executive team at Eurocopter, adivision of EADS, was mainly focused on profitability.Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) was akey driver and outweighed even the company’s cashposition. By early 2008, Lutz Bertling, EurocopterPresident & CEO, had increased the weight of cashas a key performance indicator for Eurocopter Groupworldwide. He also decided to launch at Group level achange towards a real cash culture.“With the financial crisis that began in 2008, cashis now even more important than ever before,” saysDieter John, the company’s EVP of Finance.“Cashis king” and allows us to prepare and invest in ourproducts, innovation, acquisitions, and to ensure ourfuture success.Cash is the best form of insurance at a time whenmoney is becoming increasingly scarce andexpensive. Known as the “Cash and Cost Culture,”the strategy carried over to Eurocopter and representsa significant culture change.To support the initiative, Bernard Prunet, VP ESPRITProject, with a dedicated internal team, brought inCelemi Apples & Oranges™, a hands-on businesssimulation to demystify finance. “We have discoveredthat everybody understands what cash is, but when itcomes to the real drivers - working capital, accountsreceivable, inventories and the like - people don’tshare the same understanding,” Mr. Prunet says.“They don’t see where their individual actions havean impact on the cash they have.”Understandinghow dailyactions impactthe businessfinanciallyCreating a culture of cash and cost awareness“With sessions of 40 to 80 people, from all Directoratesand from all levels, mixed by tables of four, eachparticipant can see that he or she has hand in thecompany’s cash position.”— Bernard PrunetVice President ESPRIT Project, Eurocopter
  • 2. Copyright © 2009-2011 by Celemiab Systems AB. All rights reserved.Mr. John has set a clear target: one third of theEurocopter staff will be trained. “During 2008, we hadalready trained 2242 people from France, Germany,Spain, and Australia,” Mr. John notes, “with strongbuy-in from the management — 100 executives havealready participated! In 2009 we will train another2000 people, including a third in our world-widenetwork of subsidiaries.”Eurocopter cites several reasons for choosingCelemi Apples & Oranges:• Critical financial information specific to Eurocopteris easily incorporated• It is a fun and engaging way to promote the cashvalue message• The session is short; just one day• Celemi’s tools were already endorsed by otherinternational corporations, including Daimler,Siemens and Schneider Electric, and with large-scale diffusion in these companies• The sessions are cost effective because they are runlocally, in the native language, and use Eurocopter’sinternal facilitators, mostly from Finance“With sessions of 40 to 80 people, from allDirectorates and from all levels, mixed by tablesof four, each participant can see that he or she hashand in the company’s cash position – it’s not just inthe responsibility of Finance or top management,”describes Mr. Prunet.“We have shown our people all the levers they havewithin the scope of their activities to proactivelycontribute and drive the cash generation of thecompany. And, they’ve thoroughly enjoyed theexperience,” Mr. Prunet concludes. “Feedback formsindicate that 99 percent of the participants recommendthe session, 85 percent have judged the training‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Good,’ which is importantsince they attend on a voluntary basis.”CELEMI CLIENT CASE - EUROCOPTERAbout EurocopterEstablished in 1992, the Franco-German-SpanishEurocopter Group is a Division of EADS, a worldleader in aerospace, defense and related services.The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 15,600people. In 2008, Eurocopter confirmed its position asthe world’s number one helicopter manufacturer inthe civil and parapublic market. Overall, the Group’sproducts account for 30 percent of the total worldhelicopter fleet.www.eurocopter.com