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.

About the same time that DTE identified the problem, it was approached by contacts at J.P. Morgan Treasury Services, who had also noticed the glitches. Regulators in Europe, having helped to develop standards for cross-border electronic payments, were starting to put pressure on banks to enforce compliance with the standards, so J.P. Morgan ran an analysis of its clients' payment files and found a lot of noncompliant payments. DTE was conspicuous, with more than 95% of its payments noncompliant, reports Ernie J. Fiore, the bank's senior product manager for U.S. dollar clearing.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to Treasury & Risk, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical Treasury & Risk information including in-depth analysis of treasury and finance best practices, case studies with corporate innovators, informative newsletters, educational webcasts and videos, and resources from industry leaders.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and Treasury & Risk events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.