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Client team

  • European Division of materials distributor with €3 billion in sales.
  • The selected businesses were in Switzerland, Germany, France and Holland.
  • A team of experienced total working capital consultants supported by off site technical expertise.

Project aims

  • The business had undergone a period of acquisition and expansion and lacked consistent processes to manage working capital with local variations at most sites.
  • They wanted to identify key areas of performance improvement, at selected companies, build a leading practice “Tool Box”, develop and implement action plans and then roll out internally.

What we did - our role and activities


    • Review TWC at 5 businesses, confirm improvement, identify and develop a leading practice “Tool Box”, implement and develop action plans with the selected businesses within 4.5 months.

    Activities and Deliverables

    • 2 week reviews at each business confirmed local scope and requirements, including quick wins.
    • Presented results locally, gained buy-in and agreed actions.
    • Developed “Tool Box” of working capital leading practice for key elements of SCM, OTC and PTP including price/discount negotiation tool, cash targeting tool, GMROI tool and TWC metrics.
    • Documented processes to support “Tool Box”.
    • Completed local implementation at 5 businesses and developed action plans.
    • Transferred methodology to Working Capital Champions for internal roll out.


  • Follow up reviews and discussions.


  • Working capital for the Division €170 million lower than prior year.
  • Quick wins paid for programme at 5 selected businesses
  • Processes operating well and delivering consistent performance .
  • Repeatable process in the “Tool Box” enabled replication for other businesses.
  • The initiative recognised as the kick start to get working capital process improvement underway.

Future Actions

  • Further acquisitions will use this model to establish common leading practice.