Faced with volatile markets and economic uncertainty, middle-market companies are moving from OK practices to best practices. For example, the $81 million Columbus Regional Airport Authority in Ohio is liquid enough and stable enough that it could have continued to run its sleepy paper-based, manually intensive treasury operation indefinitely. Instead, CFO John Byrum brought Randy Bush over from the parking division as director of finance and administration, and together they launched a transformational project to replace outdated practices with best practices across the board. Their search for guidance led them to Treasury Strategies, an industry leader in defining forward-looking best practices as Treasury 3.0.

Treasury Strategies (TSI) first signed on in 2010 as a consultant to help CRAA design a slick but compact treasury gem and then re-upped in 2011 as project managers to direct the implementation of their design.

"We've implemented about 20% to 25% of our plan already, starting with collections," Byrum says. "Now we're pushing ahead with vendor payments and hope to complete the transformation in 2012." An airport authority is more like a small city than a small corporation, he observes. "We have our own police department, our own fire department and our own emergency medical personnel."

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