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For DTE Energy, the Detroit-based gas and electric utility holding company, the key to transforming itself from a low-tech shop bogged down with time-consuming manual processing and limited data access was moving everything to a single instance of SAP 5.0, its enterprise resource planning software. For DTE’s treasury, the switch meant use of SAP’s treasury, bank accounting, cash management and in-house bank modules.

Once the $8.9 billion company threw the switch, one thing that popped up was that the more than 9,000 electronic payments DTE makes each month to vendors on behalf of its 130 legal entities were in the wrong format 96% of the time. Moreover, 10% of the transactions could not go through without costly and time-consuming repairs. But a problem recognized is a problem that can be fixed, notes Keith Bardouche, supervisor of cash operations.

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