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Working Capital Management: Applications and Case Studies



“Any new book by James Sagner is a welcome addition to one’s library: always informative, illuminating, and entertainingly written with lots of practical examples and case studies. Working Capital Management provides a comprehensive review of all of the elements that contribute to managing a company’s liquidity most effectively. Many will wish this book had been available in 2008! An excellent, worthwhile read.”
—MICHÈLE ALLMAN-WARD, Managing Partner, AWA Consulting, Inc.

“I have known Jim Sagner for four years, and he is a superb author. This is a must-read for bankers.”
—HERBERT JACOBS, Coauthor of Handbook of Corporate Lending

“The discussion in this book applies real-world concepts to the full array of working capital issues. Dr. Sagner has extensive banking, consulting to Fortune 500 companies, and university teaching experience, which he demonstrates in the text and the accompanying cases.”
—EDWARD BANAS, Former Treasurer of PayPal Inc., President of PayPal Asset Management Company, CFO of PayPal Funds

JAMES S. SAGNER, PHD, has been a Professor at the University of Bridgeport and has taught executive education in the finance program at the University of North Carolina. He is a Principal of Sagner/Marks, a treasury management consulting firm with offices in White Plains, New York, and of Bank Credit Training Partners. He is the author of Cashflow Reengineering, Financial and Process Metrics for the New Economy, and Essentials of Working Capital Management, and coauthor of Essentials of Managing Corporate Cash.

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xv

Chapter 1: Concepts in Working Capital Management 1

Working Capital Concepts 2

Improving Working Capital Management 5

The Significance of Working Capital 8

Cost as the Working Capital Issue 9

Applying These Ideas to a Real Business: Best Buy 12

Summary 15

Notes 16

Chapter 2: Working Capital Ratios and Other Metrics 17

Ratio Analysis 18

Other Ratios and Their Application 22

Other Metrics 23

Benchmarking 27

General Problems in the Use of Ratios and Metrics 29

Summary 32

Notes 32

Chapter 3: Cash--Management and Fraud Prevention 35

Forms of Cash 36

Paper Transactions: Lockboxing 38

Paper Transactions: Depository Accounts 40

Paper Transactions: Controlled Disbursement 41

Electronic Transactions 43

Float and Cost Issues 46

Summary 49

Notes 49

Chapter 4: Cash--Credit and Short]Term Financial Instruments 51

Developing a Short-Term Forecast 52

Cash Budgeting 53

Credit Financing 55

Short-Term Investments 58

Summary 63

Notes 63

Chapter 5: Managing Bank Relationships 65

The Changing Financial Landscape 66

Bank Relationship Management 66

Cash Mobilization in a Multibank Network 68

General Terms of Credit Facilities 71

Specific Terms in Credit Facilities 72

Ongoing Bank Relationship Concerns 75

Summary 77

Notes 78

Appendix to Chapter 5: Selecting Noncredit Banking Services 81

The Request for Proposal 82

RFP Evaluation 85

Chapter 6: Accounts Receivable and Working Capital Issues 89

Elements of Receivables Management 90

Float Opportunities in Managing Receivables 91

Receivables Cycle Monitoring: Ratios 93

Receivables Cycle Monitoring: The Aging Schedule 94

Sales Financing 96

Credit Reporting 97

Terms of Sale 99

Invoice Generation 100

Asset-Based Financing 102

Debt Collection Agencies 103

Summary 104

Notes 104

Chapter 7: Inventory and Working Capital Issues 107

Elements of Inventory Management 108

Inventory Cycle Monitoring: Ratios 109

Inventory Cycle Monitoring: Metrics 110

The Purchasing Function 112

Analyzing Purchasing Activities 114

EOQ and JIT 116

Work-in-Process 118

ABF: Inventory Financing 120

Summary 123

Notes 123

Chapter 8: Payables and Working Capital Issues 125

Elements of Payables Management 126

Payables Cycle Monitoring: Ratios 127

The Accounts Payable Function 128

Payables Using Internal Processes 131

Payables Outsourcing 133

Check Payments in a Comprehensive Payables Environment 135

Payroll Disbursements 136

Summary 138

Notes 139

Chapter 9: International Working Capital 141

Capitalism Goes Global 142

The Financing of International Transactions 144

The Foreign Exchange Markets 145

Country Risk Analysis 151

Other Significant Issues in International Working Capital 152

Cultural and Corporate Practices Affecting Working Capital 154

Summary 156

Notes 156

Chapter 10: Information and Working Capital 159

Information Technology 160

Bank Information Technology 161

Internet Bank Technology 165

ERP: An Alternative Approach 169

Choosing Working Capital

Information Systems 171

Summary 175

Notes 176

Chapter 11: Managing the Working Capital Cycle 177

Risk and Working Capital 178

Traditional Risk Management 179

Enterprise Risk Management 179

The ERM Process 180

Efficiency and Working Capital 181

Working Capital and Liquidity 183

Suggested Actions 185

Developments in Working Capital Management 189

The Gizmo Deal: How Delays Turn Profits into Losses 190

Summary 192

Notes 192

Chapter 12: Introduction to Working Capital Cases 195

Sequence of the Cases 195

The Concept of the Working Capital Case 196

Case: Widget Manufacturing 198

Suggested Solutions 207

Note 214


Case 1: Dinner Bell Hotel 217

Cash Flow Issues 217

Alternative Actions 219

The “Raw” Data 220

Questions 220

Case 2: Koala Fun 223

The Partners’ First Success 223

Financial Concerns 224

Borrowing Issues 225

Working Capital 225

Final Thoughts 226

Questions 226

Case 3: Miller Building Supplies 229

Joseph Miller Starts MBS 230

Variations in Working Capital Requirements 230

A Banker’s Assistance 231

Questions 231

Case 4: Office Smart 235

The Business of Office Smart 236

Financial Issues 237

Questions 238

Case 5: Quacker Cracker 241

The Attitude toward Debt 242

Financial Planning 242

Questions 244

Case 6: Young Brands 245

Changes in YB’s Global Marketing Strategy 246

Forecasting Considerations 247

Working Capital Issues 247

Financial Issues 248

Questions 248

Appendix I: Basic Financial Concepts 251

Appendix II: Websites of Working Capital Organizations 257

Glossary 261

About the Author 279

Index 281