June 16, 2024


Passion For Business

Metric of the Month: Cash-to-Cash Cycle Time

Dollars-to-dollars cycle time, also acknowledged as the dollars conversion cycle (CCC), steps the sum of time it requires for a organization to convert means like inventory or investments in output into dollars from income. CCC is a crucial measure of a business’s well being and dollars effectiveness. If dollars is not coming in promptly plenty of or is tied up in surplus inventory, a organization may struggle to pay its personal debt, make payroll, or commit in its long run.

There are three variables that account for a company’s CCC: days inventory excellent (DIO), days income excellent (DSO), and days payable excellent (DPO). You can compute CCC by subtracting DPO from the sum of DIO and DSO:



So how do corporations measure up? APQC discovered that the best performers on this measure have a CCC of 33.2 days or fewer on typical, while base performers consider 74 days or for a longer period to convert dollars. (See graphic underneath.) Base performers on this measure will be much more likely to see dollars-circulation troubles, which is not an suitable condition in a climate exactly where credit score may well be tougher (and much more costly) to appear by.

In two previous columns, I laid out a diverse array of instruments and tactics for bettering the two DSO and DPO. Equally can push a CCC decrease. I urged CFOs to harmony speed, effectiveness, and dollars management tactics with the have to have to manage wholesome shopper and supplier interactions. 1 of the important takeaways from the two columns is that you have to have to consider diligently about the broader ecosystem of the small business as you perform to make improvements to these steps. This month, we’ll emphasis on the provide chain side of the equation to chat about how finance can associate with provide chain operations to push a superior CCC. As with DPO and DSO, any tactics you consider to improve a provide chain really should be well balanced with the chance of accomplishing so.

Without having Gutting Your Stock

1 obvious approach for bettering CCC is to push down your DIO by creating inventory leaner. But a important lesson of COVID-19 for provide chains is that when you make your inventory far too lean, your provide chain will crack, relatively than bend, when disruption hits. As a end result of the pandemic, some corporations are essentially including fats back again into their provide chains to counter some of the shortages we saw past spring. Keeping far too a great deal inventory can unquestionably drag down your CCC, but keeping far too tiny also carries chance in the type of stockouts and lost income prospects.

In its provide chain arranging research, APQC discovered that some of the most substantial motorists of a superior CCC offer prospects for finance to do what it does greatest: associate with the small business to offer superior and much more strategic final decision-creating. Under are three means in which finance can act as a associate to the provide chain functionality for a superior.

Continue to keep finance data clean

1 of the most impactful methods for a superior CCC is doing work to ensure that master data is correct. Finance has a important function to perform right here. As the functionality that pays suppliers, finance is the most likely to know when supplier data like addresses or financial institution accounts have altered. APQC discovered that corporations that ensure data precision to a quite good extent have a noticeably decrease CCC (56 days) than companies that only do so to some extent (71 days). If you uncover your organization among the the base performers on this measure, start off by having a look at your processes and methods about master supplier and shopper data.

Offer investigation

When finance delivers analytically experienced data and investigation to the desk in a collaborative income and operations arranging approach, provide chain leaders are empowered to make superior selections. APQC discovered that corporations utilizing highly developed analytics and predictive algorithms for provide chain arranging have an typical CCC of 56 days, in comparison with 65 days for corporations that make selections based mostly on instinct or anecdote.

Support program for the long run

Finance is uniquely positioned to leverage its know-how in scenario modeling and investigation to help provide chain leaders foresee and program for the long run. Companies that product situations and perform sensitivity investigation to a substantial extent have an typical CCC of forty nine days those people who do so only to some extent, sixty days.

Performing to push down CCC is very important in an environment exactly where dollars is king, but this perform cannot and really should not materialize in a vacuum. Every single of the three methods previously mentioned reveals what is attainable when finance acts as a small business associate by giving provide chain leaders with the means and assist they have to have. The end result is not only a decrease CCC but a stronger provide chain that can superior endure whichever disruptions tomorrow may provide.

 Perry D. Wiggins, CPA, is CFO, secretary, and treasurer for APQC, a nonprofit benchmarking and greatest methods research corporation based mostly in Houston.

APQC, dollars conversion cycle, contributor, DIO, DPO, DSO, metric of the month, doing work funds