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Unlocking the Potential of Supply Chain Working Capital Finance

Too often, working capital pressures roll over supplier relationships without regard for what happens to supply chain risk. But now that new supply chain financing tools and techniques are proliferating, companies have a fresh chance to implement a coherent business strategy that balances the legitimate concerns of the buyer’s finance department with those of the company’s supply chain management experts.

By ·

It must have been a huge shock for suppliers. During the heart of the recession in January 2009, beverage giant Anheuser-Busch InBev extended its payment terms from 30 days to 120 days with less than a month’s notice, giving suppliers no time to prepare.

We don’t know exactly how the suppliers responded, but looking at Anheuser-Busch InBev’s financial statements, we know that its trade accounts and other deferred expenses payable went from $4.833 billion to $5.657 billion between 2008 and 2009. That freed up $824 million in working capital for the company. Assuming that it was InBev’s smaller, less powerful suppliers that collectively lost that working capital, they probably also incurred financing costs of around $123 million, all told.*

Around the same time, global beverage giant Diageo went from 30 days to 60 days payment, with no warning or offsetting compensation for its suppliers. Many other large companies, including Johnson & Johnson and Tesco, used the global financial crisis as a rationale for extending terms—even on previously negotiated contracts—and for aggressively monitoring collections from their debtors.

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By ·

It must have been a huge shock for suppliers. During the heart of the recession in January 2009, beverage giant Anheuser-Busch InBev extended its payment terms from 30 days to 120 days with less than a month’s notice, giving suppliers no time to prepare.

We don’t know exactly how the suppliers responded, but looking at Anheuser-Busch InBev’s financial statements, we know that its trade accounts and other deferred expenses payable went from $4.833 billion to $5.657 billion between 2008 and 2009. That freed up $824 million in working capital for the company. Assuming that it was InBev’s smaller, less powerful suppliers that collectively lost that working capital, they probably also incurred financing costs of around $123 million, all told.*

Around the same time, global beverage giant Diageo went from 30 days to 60 days payment, with no warning or offsetting compensation for its suppliers. Many other large companies, including Johnson & Johnson and Tesco, used the global financial crisis as a rationale for extending terms—even on previously negotiated contracts—and for aggressively monitoring collections from their debtors.


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Article Topics

APQC · Finance · All Topics
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Third Party Risk: Too Close for Comfort
You’ve got a handle on many of the potential supply chain "disrupters" that can paralyze your business. But the real risk is embedded in areas you may have overlooked.
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From the December 2017
This is a comprehensive guide to services, products and educational opportunities targeted specifically to supply chain professionals. As with years past, we’re also featuring several articles we trust will offer food for thought in your supply chain throughout the coming year.
Transportation Trends: The last mile, history repeating
Economic Outlook: A Complex and Uneven Scenario for Global Supply Chains
View More From this Issue
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