Review of the Swiss WCM Summit 2019

The Swiss WCM Summit 2019 held on 18 September in Zurich outlined trends and facts concerning working capital management (WCM) at Swiss companies and gave participants the exclusive opportunity to gain an insight into the WCM practices of other companies. A further highlight was the keynote speech by Jean-Claude Trichet, the former President of the ECB. These were the topics covered.

Emmi’s approach to WCM

Fabian Egger, Head of Finance at Emmi Switzerland, illustrated in his presentation how Switzerland’s biggest milk processing business succeeds in contributing to the growth of the company through WCM. A key tool for successful WCM at Emmi is the WCM cycle – made up of the elements of potential analysis, reporting, target-setting and embedding the process – which is continually reviewed. “WCM is not a project that starts and ends but instead is an ongoing process,” he explained. 

What’s in the pipeline on the WCM scene

Swiss companies have room for improvement with regard to SCF. Dr Daniel Maucher, Head of Solution Development and WCM Operations at PostFinance, underlined in his address: “The latest figures once again show that Swiss companies are still reluctant compared to other European countries when it comes to implementing cross-company WCM solutions with SCF.”

What’s going on in the world of WCM

In comparison to other European countries, Swiss companies have tremendous WCM optimization potential – this and other fascinating facts from the recently published WCM study 2019 were unveiled for the first time by Prof. Dr. Erik Hofmann, Director of the Institute for Supply Chain Management at the University of St. Gallen, at the industry event in Zurich. He also indicated that demand for working capital has increased at many companies over the past three years and that the experts surveyed believe the potential of supply chain finance is relatively high in general terms

What’s going on in the eurozone

A major highlight of the WCM afternoon was the keynote speech by Jean-Claude Trichet, who served as President of the European Central Bank between 2003 and 2011. The highly acclaimed financial expert has won many plaudits for his work on the cohesion of the monetary union, the stability of the Swiss franc and maintaining competitiveness in Europe. At the Swiss WCM Summit 2019, he addressed the topic “The euro area’s economic, fiscal and financial governance: success, present challenges, future steps” and answered questions from the audience. 

Why Kühne + Nagel won the Swiss WCM Award 2019

The summit ended on a celebratory note with the presentation of the Swiss WCM Award 2019. The top-class jury led by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Stölzle, Director of the Institute for Supply Chain and professor at the University of St. Gallen, focused on performance excellence and crowned Kühne + Nagel the winner. The logistics service provider’s integrated solution made a big impression. This combines the order process and electronic invoicing with a supply chain finance program, enabling rapid supplier payment. Besides Kühne + Nagel, the other top three finalists were the Bosch Group and 4PL Central Station Group.