APQC, the leading benchmarking and best practices research organization, and Protiviti collaborated to publish this best practices report to showcase how three premier organizations have developed effective strategies and processes for reducing working capital requirements and optimizing cash used to fund operations. The report illustrates how three companies – General Mills, Owens-Illinois and Zappos.com – drive continuous improvement in receivables and payables processes and deploy innovations in areas such as supply chain finance and cash flow analytics.
Working capital management has become a hot topic for organizations of all sizes. As the impact of the recent economic downturn has hit, senior executives have looked for ways to do more with less. Many have come to realize that they make a significant investment in their working capital, and some of this investment may not be necessary if working capital management can be improved.
All three organizations examined in this study clearly consider effective working capital management as a necessary component of their growth and profitability. By turning to their working capital as a source of funds, each organization actively reaps the benefits from efficient, streamlined working capital management. Each organization actively manages its working capital, but with differences in approach due to the nature of the companies’ business lines as well as the relative importance of one area of working capital.