Reducing Float for the Cash Constrained Company

Now let’s consider a case where there is a cash constraint.  When cash is your constraint, going out of business is usually not far behind. Most small businesses go out of business because they have run into cash trouble. A cash constraint situation can occur to profitable businesses simply because they must pay vendors before they receive their payments – their cash-to-cash cycle times are too long.

Let’s continue with the company who has a cash-to-cash cycle time of 55 days. Because their cycle time is a positive number it means that they must pay their vendors for raw materials before they get paid by their customers. But now, our company has a cash constraint and they can not buy any raw materials. What can be done?

We need to collect enough cash to buy raw materials so we can work our way out of this jam. Consider the impact if we offer a 20% discount on any order paid in full on receipt of goods (a temporary Mafia Offer) . The product sells for $400 but our truly variable costs for this product are only $140. That includes the 10% sales commission. For customers that take the discount, the cash cycle time would be 13 days with throughput of $180 ($400 less $140), almost a velocity of 14! Any customers that pay full price and take the 42 days to pay, their cash to cash cycle time remains at 55 days with throughput of $260 (4.73 velocity). Therefore, we have almost a 4:1 cash cycle if customers take the discount. What a difference!

… to be continued ….

Here’s to maximizing YOUR profits!
“Dr Lisa” Lang

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