Current WCM studies

A systematic examination of WCM in Switzerland.

In order to investigate the current performance levels of Swiss companies in working capital management, the SCF Lab at the University of St. Gallen regularly carries out a benchmark study.

2021 WCM study

The WCM Study 2021 “In search of the new normal” focuses for the first time on the adaptability and transformability of working capital management (WCM) during and after the COVID-19 crisis. The status quo for working capital management at Swiss companies is outlined based on an analysis of the impact of the crisis so far. The study provides answers to questions such as: How did the management of payables and receivables change during the COVID-19 crisis in retrospect? What is the current liquidity situation at Swiss companies? And what future trends and developments are expected in WCM? The insights identified in the study provide inspiration for finance and supply chain managers who are interested in shaping their working capital management for the future.

  • The WCM Study 2020 “Supply Chain Finance In-N-Out” aims to highlight further ways of creating financial room for manoeuvre and focus on selected developments in supply chain finance from the perspective of individual companies (inside-out) and the market (outside-in). More specifically, the seventh WCM Study addresses questions such as “How much liquidity can be released with SCF financing solutions?” and “How has the range of services on the SCF market developed recently?” Special emphasis is placed on WCM in times of crisis, with the realization that working capital management (WCM) is top priority again for CFOs – despite the continued low-interest environment and government injections of liquidity amounting to billions of francs.

  • The WCM Study 2019 continues with the trending topic of supply chain finance. This alternative form of financing is an innovative dimension of WCM and opens up many opportunities for finance managers to achieve their goals in WCM together with suppliers and customers.

    But how has the willingness to introduce SCF changed over recent years? Which tools are companies using to optimize working capital? What is the situation regarding the self-financing capacity of Swiss companies? What impact is the continued low interest-rate environment having on demand for working capital? What percentage of invoices are processed digitally at Swiss companies?

    This year's study is dedicated to these and other exciting questions. CFOs also get an overview of the most important SCF solutions and learn how suitable solutions can be found. And best practice examples show concrete ways of creating more financial flexibility in working capital management.

  • Supply chain finance – an introduction

    The 2018 edition focuses on the topic of supply chain finance (SCF) and broadens perspectives for the entire supply chain. Which SCF solutions are particularly relevant to WCM at Swiss companies? What are the central questions when developing an SCF business case? What potential do individual SCF solutions have and to what extent do they contribute to managing changing WCM requirements? Thanks to a unique survey method, it was possible to see for the first time how cross-company WCM measures by Swiss SPI companies have a measurable effect on their customers and suppliers.

  • Digitization

    The 2017 edition focuses on digitization in WCM. It explores questions like where does the potential for digitization lie in specific terms? What do companies expect from digitization? Where is the responsibility for digitization centered in the company? What approach to implementation has been chosen? And, how much have they already invested? The study shows the current position of Swiss companies. The study also presents several short case studies (e.g. SBB, ABB and Roche) which show specific applications of digitization in WCM.

  • Current changes and trends are the focus of the 2016 edition. Trends like big data and FinTech are being discussed in depth, but are they catching on with Swiss companies? And are these companies adapting their WCM to them? The 2016 WCM study looks at these questions and many others, drawing on the editions from the previous two years that examined the WCM performance levels of Swiss companies.

  • The follow-up to the very first study conducted in 2014 looks at current WCM developments and confirms that WCM is indeed relevant, and not just for big companies or when the franc is strong.

    The study supplements quantitative key figures like the cash-to-cash cycle and overall WCM costs with qualitative factors, and it also investigates the strategic and organisational establishment of WCM as well as the four areas of action, specifically order-to-cash, forecast-to-fulfil, purchase-to-pay and credit-to-invest.

  • Detailed WCM study for Swiss hospitals

    The management summary outlines the key results of a comparative study in Swiss hospitals. The study is aimed at hospitals as well as hospital associations and service providers, cantons and potential lenders. It asks questions about the relevance, readiness, potential and opportunities for improvement. The management summary is currently only available in German.

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