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The Cash to Cash Cycle
Part Four of Series

Part One: http://www.bizmanualz.com/articles/01-05-05_inventory_procedures.html/?ART78

Part Two: http://www.bizmanualz.com/articles/01-11-05_accounts_receivable.html/?ART79

Part Three: http://www.bizmanualz.com/articles/01-18-05_Sales_Marketing.html/?ART80

Next Week: Complete Cash to Cash Cycle

The white flag is just a nose away…toward the Million dollar prize in cash savings for your business…

So far, in Inventory and Accounts Receivable, we've found $250,000 each in cash savings. Then we found another 250K in Sales and Marketing. And so, now, Accounts Payable is the final process within the Cash to Cash Cycle - and also the final $250,000.

The cash cycle is undoubtedly the single most important process to optimize for any business – from when you spend money to when you get money.

Circling the Cash to Cash Cycle

So let’s tie this back to accounts payable - the event that pays for the liability incurred by purchasing, which is for inventory required by manufacturing to meet demand. Sales generate this demand that creates the accounts receivables, which is turned into cash. And now we have come full circle and completed the discussion on the cash to cash cycle.

Increasing the Velocity of Accounts Payable Processes

Your accounts payable is a bit different than the other processes we have examined so far. The first three processes we looked at represented processes where the focus was on reducing the size of assets (inventory or accounts receivable) or expenses (marketing) and increasing the velocity or cycle time. But in accounts payable our focus is on increasing the size of the asset, while maintaining a solid credit rating - and increasing the velocity of the process.

Now let’s look at how to find $250,000 in accounts payable savings. If your organization has $500,000 in accounts payable each month, then STOP! We can find $250,000 in savings right here. Where, you ask? Increasing payables by 25% will produce $125,000 in cash plus $125,000 from automating tasks, taking more discounts, and managing the process better.

Service Business Procedures Case Study

An organization with $600,000 in monthly payables needed assistance. We examined their payables process to understand and quantify workflow, paper processing and credit issues. Then we designed and implemented a process to increase their use of payables and discounts, improve their payables cycle efficiency, and tie it to their purchasing and receivable cycles. We then reinvested $50,000 back into an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) program to automate some of the processes that weren’t automated already.

The metrics we developed reduced their purchasing

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