Rising supply chain risks in the last two years have prompted many businesses to examine how they can better manage working capital, both for themselves and their suppliers. Along with liquidity constraints and changes in consumer habits, companies have had to deal with the difficulties brought on by considerable supply chain disruption, ranging from factory shutdowns to a shortage of components. Businesses’ challenges and issues and other difficulties as a result of the pandemic and unconventional economic patterns must still use liquidity strategically and effectively. In this post, we are answering the question ‘what is working capital management?’ and how can its effective management benefit a business.
Understanding Working Capital Management
During this rough and uncertain economic environment, companies that can efficiently extend their payment timelines and judiciously pay early and take advantage of surplus liquidity will win.
While the challenges facing businesses today are significant, companies need to manage their financial position well and plan more efficiently for
- Capacity investments
- M&A activities
- Stock repurchases
- Debt repayment
Furthermore, by giving suppliers access to low-cost financing, businesses can improve supply chain stability and supplier relationships.
Working capital management is an approach that ensures a company operates effectively by monitoring and maximizing the use of its current assets and liabilities.
Working capital finance in India is when a company borrows money to finance daily operations and payroll rather than investing or purchasing equipment. Working capital finance is a typical strategy for companies with erratic cash flow.
Working capital management entails tracking various ratios, such as the collection ratio, the inventory ratio, and the working capital ratio, to maintain sufficient cash flow to meet a company’s short-term operating costs and short-term debt obligations.
Working capital management can help a business’s cash flow management and earnings quality by improving the utilization of its resources.
Now that we understand what working capital management is, here are some ways for corporations to manage working capital more constructively in today’s environment:
Improve visibility and forecasting
Companies can better plan their working capital projections when they have a clear picture of their future cash flows, whether that requires meeting short-term funding needs, paying down debt, growing the business, or funding upcoming capital expenditures. In practice, however, many organizations find it tough to identify their cash flow positions, necessitating the retention of a sizable cash buffer for unexpected expenses. Businesses should seek ways to improve visibility, e.g., by implementing working capital software that seamlessly integrates with their treasury management systems and cash flow forecasting solutions.
Improve the supply chain
In the current market, suppliers have a clear need for liquidity – and corporations must act if they are to maintain their chief suppliers in the business. Solutions such as supply chain finance and dynamic discounting can assist organizations in doing so by improving suppliers’ access to working capital. Also, as many businesses seek to move from globalization and boost their reliance on local suppliers, supply chain finance can be a powerful tool for assisting local suppliers by allowing them to access cash earlier in the cycle.
Examine your payables and receivables
Companies frequently focus on increasing working capital by improving their payables or receivables. A more effective and rounded approach is to concentrate on both areas. Financing receivables used to be a cumbersome process that required working with different programs run by different banks – but nowadays, there are even more possibilities to improve both payables and receivables through a single, integrated solution.
Incorporate sustainable development into supply chain finance
Companies can use Supply Chain Finance initiatives to achieve their ESG and sustainability goals now that sustainability is high on the corporate agenda. Companies, for example, can incentivise suppliers to meet key sustainability parameters by giving rewards to the best performers with lower funding costs for early payments.
Working Capital Finance in India
Businesses must effectively manage all aspects of their operations. Managing finances can be challenging at times. As a result, funding is essential. These issues are more common in small and medium-sized businesses. Working Capital Finance comes in handy in this situation. The difference between a company’s current liabilities and current assets is its working capital. This type of financing is beneficial for short-term operations such as purchasing raw materials, making operational payments, and likewise. As a result, Working Capital Finance in India enables businesses in the country to run smoothly and efficiently.
To summarise, in today’s environment, understanding Working Capital Management is vital for businesses trying to combat volatile markets. Businesses can focus more than ever on improving working capital for themselves and their suppliers. With the right plan, there are numerous steps that organisations can take to improve their performance in this area, ranging from technological advancements to multiple avenues to integrate systems effectively.