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Improving working capital

Our specialist, market leading working capital team helps clients to identify and realise cash and cost benefits at pace, and across the end-to-end value chain by leveraging data analytics and technology.

We work closely across our regional and international network of sector and subject matter experts to mobilise with speed and depth to deliver value seamlessly.

We deploy our diverse teams to focus on improving operational processes that underpin the working capital cycle, often by leveraging technology and by utilising digital working capital solutions and data analytics. Our digital tools provide data-led insights that drive better outcomes efficiently.

We understand how important it is to have an advisor you can rely on to drive change hands-on. Our solutions are pragmatic and results-oriented, ensuring quick realisation and benefits delivery.

Where and how we could help you to release cash from working capital

Accounts receivable

  • Tailored, proactive collections
  • Credit risk policies
  • Aligned and optimised customer terms
  • Billing timeliness & quality
  • Contract & milestone management
  • Systematic dispute resolution
  • Dispute root cause elimination
  • “Surge” operational bandwidth
  • Negotiation strategy and support

Inventory

  • Lean & agile supply chain strategies
  • Global coordination
  • Forecasting techniques
  • Production planning
  • Inventory tracking
  • Balancing cost, cash and service level considerations
  • Inventory parameters & controls defining target stock

Accounts payable

  • Consolidated spending
  • Increasing control with centre led procurement
  • Helping avoid leakage with purchasing channels
  • Payment terms
  • Supply chain finance benefits assessment & implementation
  • Helping eradicate early payments
  • Payment methods
  • Negotiation strategy and support

How can we help? Our working capital services

Working capital diagnostic & benchmarking

Our working capital diagnostic service can help you identify, quantify and overcome your working capital challenges by:

  • completing a working capital benchmarking exercise to compare performance against peers and identify potential improvement opportunities
  • performing a diagnostic review to identify ‘quick wins’ and longer-term working capital improvement opportunities
  • developing detailed action plans for implementation to generate cash and make sustainable improvements
  • assisting with the implementation of sustainable working capital reduction using robust, efficient and collaborative processes. Focusing on the key levers of end-to-end process optimisation, compliance and monitoring, identification and improvement of commercial terms as well as creating and embedding a ‘cash culture’

Performance transparency

Our Working Capital Analytics gives you specialist operational insights from management to operational level using flexible tools which do not depend on costly system development. This allows a clear view on operational performance, targeted interventions and enables improved decision making.

  • Specialist operational working capital insights
  • Rapid deployment without large IT investment
  • Intuitive visualisation & predictive indicators
  • Tailored dashboards per role & function
  • Repeatable, automated, report production
  • Flexible ERP integration and cloud based hosting
  • Data protection & end to end encryption

Digitised working capital management

Our unique digital toolkit brings together our specialist operational insight and advanced digital methodologies to help our clients make sustainable cash improvements.

Optimised Supply Chain & risk management

Ongoing disruption in the global supply chain makes managing inventory a key focus area - the risk of both excess as well as insufficient stock is higher than ever. We bring expertise to improve control and agility of the supply chain at pace focusing on:

  • Reconfigure demand forecasting model
  • Update replenishment triggers & lead times
  • Realigned safety stocks
  • Fit for purpose sales & operations Planning processes
  • Implementing supply chain & planning technologies
  • Mapping supply chain risks

Surge Capacity & Managed Services

Execution Managed Services (EMS) is our unique approach to operational delivery. When you need to deliver programmes and projects, or run complex functions, we bring together the skills you need from across PwC to advise, design and execute.

Our ability to ‘operate and run’, combined with our business understanding, technical expertise, data and technology capabilities, means we can simplify complex challenges, improve existing operations and processes, and execute quickly and effectively.

Some areas where we can help you to deliver and more:

  • Non-core elements of business
  • Requirement for surge capacity to fix operational challenges
  • Situations with infrequent volumes and/or require deep technical expertise
  • Support on to manage existing & emerging risks
  • Respond to changing regulations
  • Political events (e.g. Brexit)
  • Global health crises (such as Covid-19)
  • Large complex transformations
  • Deals activity (e.g. M&A activity)
  • Recontracting current BPO/ Op model evolution

Would you like to know more about EMS?

Find out more about or Execution Managed Services

Case studies

Close collaboration to ensure sustainable cash improvements for Global FMCG player

Significant supply chain pressures led this client to focus on working capital optimisation. Our working capital experts from across PwC worked together as one team alongside key stakeholders to identify a $200m improvement opportunity and to secure buy-in across the business. We worked with operational stakeholders to deliver quick wins (15% of opportunity) and drive longer-term, sustainable improvements. This was only successful because we considered aspects such as process improvement, target and incentives, training and technology to drive sustainable change for the business. The project results alleviated short-term pressures and built the foundation for longer-term transformation.

Cash value created for global technology manufacturer

A key part of the value creation strategy of a private equity owned global technology manufacturing business was to generate cash from working capital in accelerated timescales. We deployed expert operational teams across 3 continents to identify opportunities, develop action plans and kick-start cash generation, resulting in $20m of quick wins, and an additional $25m of improvement initiatives initiated for realisation over consequent 6 months. Key to the rapid value identification and realisation were the unique insights gained from the data analytics tools deployed as well as the dedicated hands-on operational support of local teams.

Developing a cash culture for a global Oil & Gas player

Global Oil and Gas player under pressure from shareholders to continually increase value and drive efficiencies sustainable undertook journey to instill a cash culture across the organization. Our experts from across PwC worked with key stakeholders to develop cash awareness training programs across the organisation to develop the skills and knowledge of those who manage operational cash levers. Globally over 2,000 people across the business worked on training programmes, cash improvement plans and were equipped with expert tools to evaluate decisions shifting the business culture. This initiative was the starting point for a continuous ‘cash journey’ enabling this company to become the leading performer in the sector.

Our Working Capital Study 2021/22, From recovery to growth in the face of supply chain instability, is now available

The corporate focus is shifting from stabilise and survive to recovery and growth. But unstable supply chains are disrupting operations and heightening the pressure on working capital, the cash needed to run day-to-day operations.

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Whatever your business challenges or industry sector, we’re available to help you find your best way forward. We can explore your options with speed, imagination and care to find sustainable solutions for you and your stakeholders.

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Contact us

Daniel Windaus

Daniel Windaus

Partner, Working Capital, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7725 633420

Stephen Tebbett

Stephen Tebbett

Partner, Working Capital Management and Restructing Execution Managed Services, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7717 782240

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