Challenge: You’re a pharmaceutical company that needs to generate $2B in free cash flow to fund an acquisition. You’re behind your peers in cash conversion cycle, particularly DPO. What’s the best way to unlock that capital, while taking DSO, DIO, DPO and your existing capital structure into consideration?
That was this year’s Rutgers’ Ten Plus Supply Chain Dual Case Challenge, which took place March 31-April 1, 2016 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The top supply chain students from University of Arkansas, Indiana University, University of Iowa, Ohio State University, University of Maryland, Northeastern University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Pittsburgh, Purdue University, Rider University, Rutgers University, Stevens Institute of Technology, Syracuse University and University of Wisconsin received a case study and a week to prepare a presentation recommending supply chain finance solutions to their fictional company’s board.
The “board” was made up of a panel of judges from corporations such as Dell, Johnson & Johnson, Citigroup, Estée Lauder, Verizon and Siemens – and also included our very own C2FO Managing Director Jordan Novak. The students faced a steady onslaught of questions from these supply chain experts on the judging panel throughout their presentations, which made for an intense process.
Novak noted, “I found it fascinating to see how many of the teams grasped the end-to-end working capital problems facing global organizations and the ways to address these issues by utilizing the world’s largest financial institutions for supply chain finance and C2FO to reinforce and complement these efforts throughout the entire supply chain. Even though they are early in their careers, the students recognize the value realized through the collaboration of corporations, banks, and fintech to drive optimal working capital solutions. The graduate students were professional and prepared, and I was particularly impressed with the undergraduates who recommended and presented the C2FO solution phenomenally. I made it a point to encourage them on their accomplishments, given the degree of difficulty and only a single week to prepare.”
C2FO was featured in many of the students’ presentations, demonstrating that the next generation of supply chain executives is embracing financial technology solutions. According to Novak, “It was gratifying to hear from these future executives who were explaining our differentiated model to this large group of industry experts. One of the teams even developed a matrix explaining why they recommended C2FO dynamic discounting versus competing solutions. The staff at these institutions are building world-class supply chain leaders and are breeding diversity of thought that will serve supply chains well into the future.”
After two days of spirited competition, the Rutgers Business School team took first place in the graduate competition. C2FO congratulates team members Rebecca King, Jagadish Mahendran, Anupriti Warade and Matthew Watters on their excellent presentation.
As C2FO works to liberate working capital around the globe, it’s good to know that the new generation of supply chain managers represented by this group of students sees the value of using technology to help buyers, suppliers and the economy at large.