Leverage world-class working capital practices

REL, a division of The Hackett Group, takes a holistic approach to managing the end-to-end processes that influence working capital performance. Our deep expertise in inventory reduction (forecast-to-fulfill), accounts payable (source-to-settle) and accounts receivable (customer-to-cash) processes is based on the proven practices of world-class performance.

Through the adoption of best practices, world-class companies are able to rise above common challenges to yield substantial returns in service delivery, risk reduction, cost reduction and cash flow improvement while creating the liquidity to fund acquisitions, product development, debt reduction, share buy-back programs and other strategic initiatives.

We work collaboratively and hands-on with you to leverage world-class practices, globally throughout your organization whenever possible, yet adapt solutions for your unique business needs. We carefully review all of the processes that drive effective working capital management as well as your strategy, policies, enabling technologies and training.

We leverage the insights gained from working with many of the world's leading businesses to identify and implement business best practices to achieve operational excellence. For more than 30 years, we've honed our global cultural experience of to expertly balance the trade-offs between working capital improvement and cost reduction, risk reduction and service delivery.

Working Capital Performance Metrics
+ Cash Conversion Cycle (CCC)
Measures the amount of time each net input dollar is tied up in the buying, production, and sales process before it's converted into cash through sales to customers (DSO + DIO - DPO). The lower the number the better, a low number compared to peers within an industry indicates strong cash flow creation from internal operations.
+ Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)
DSO is a relative measure of a business' debtor exposure. It measures the level of outstanding sales/revenue at the end of a month expressed in terms of the number of days sales/revenue represented by the balance of the accounts receivables (i.e., the number of days worth of sales/revenue still outstanding). This measure is typically represented as a monthly trend and is important as the increase in the gap between DSO and BPDSO can be an early sign of deficiencies in the credit and collections process. When determining if the DSO of a company represents good performance, it should be compared to the company's BPDSO. BPDSO is important as a reference point against which to compare a company's DSO performance. A DSO of 92 may initially appear to be very high, but if the company's BPDSO is 88, then a DSO of 92 represents a good performance.
+ Days Payables Outstanding (DPO)
DPO is a relative measure of a business' outstanding payment liability. DPO measures the level of outstanding payments at the end of a month expressed in terms of the number of days payments represented by the creditor balance, i.e. the number of day's worth of payments still outstanding. The metric is useful as it gives an indicator over time of what payment terms are being accepted and complied with within a company.
+ Days Inventory Outstanding (DIO)
DIO is a financial and operational measure, which expresses the value of inventory in days of cost of goods sold. It represents how much inventory an organisation has tied up across its supply chain or more simply – how long it takes to convert inventory into sales. This measure can be aggregated for all inventories or broken down into days of raw material, work in progress and finished goods. This measure is normally produced monthly.
+ Net Working Capital Value
The most commonly employed working capital metric, which assesses the overall operational liquidity of a business. Typically calculated as Current Assets (Accounts Receivable + Inventory) less Current Liabilities (Accounts Payable).
+ Net Working Capital as % of Sales
Net Working Capital as a % of Sales measures the relationship between working capital requirement and revenue, i.e., the percentage of working capital required to support further sales. For example, a measurement of 20% means that for every €100 of sales generated, €20 working capital will be required. Monitoring this metric can provide insight into working capital efficiency and requirements during periods of sales growth or decline.
+ Shareholder Value Add (SVA)
SVA is a value-based performance measure of a company's worth to shareholders. The basic calculation is net operating profit after tax (NOPAT) minus the cost of capital from the issuance of debt and equity, based on the company's weighted average cost of capital. All working capital improvements help improve SVA.
+ Return on Capital Employed (ROCE)
ROCE is a ratio that indicates the efficiency and profitability of a company's capital investments. The measure is important as the ROCE ratio should always be higher than the rate at which the company borrows, otherwise any increase in borrowing will reduce shareholders' earnings.

Research Downloads

The Working Capitalist - Autumn 2016

Our working capital surveys of nearly 2,000 companies in the US and Europe illustrate the difficulty of achieving sustained improvement in working capital performance.

How Decentralized Firms Can Improve Working Capital

Decentralized organizations often have a hard time achieving world-class working capital performance.

Four Steps to World-Class Working Capital

When it comes to improving working capital practices, companies often seek a quick fix, such as a clear number that tells them how much money they might unlock if they only had better working capital practices.

Working Capital Performance of Top US Companies

The 2016 US Working Capital Survey identified some possibly worrisome signs of deteriorating working capital performance.

Achieve Cost and Revenue Goals Through Sustainable Working Capital Improvements

Working capital management and the relationship of cash flow performance to cost and revenue performance remains a largely unexplored avenue for many corporation.

Secrets of Success: Achieving Working Capital Maturity

First-rate working capital management skills are not easy to achieve.

Learn More

Contact us today for a complimentary cash flow analysis and take the first step toward releasing more cash from your operations.

Call 1 866 442 2538 to speak with a representative.