- While over one-third of all respondents (34%) say that maintaining financial discipline will become easier in the coming year, more respondents (41%) say they expect it will become more difficult as financial and personnel resources are allocated to meet new growth prospects.
- Sixty-nine percent of respondents say that financial discipline will contribute to their competitive advantage over the next year – in contrast with 18% that cited this would limit their company’s competitive advantage.
However, challenges to improving working capital performance remain, partly as a result of mid-market firms deriving a large volume of business (57%) from companies that are bigger than they are. This imbalance affects their ability to negotiate better deals and payment terms.
- Lack of bargaining power with customers and/or suppliers was the biggest obstacle respondents said their company faced when trying to improve cash and working-capital management; 40% of respondents said it was their top obstacle, beating 11 other obstacles, including internal pressure to accept less favorable terms to close sales (34%) and lack of a shared organizational mandate to improve cash & working capital management (32%).
- In addition, 47% of finance executives agree that larger companies have used their bargaining power to force them to accept slower payments.
- Forty-four percent of respondents acknowledge that even when they hold a negotiating advantage, they have trouble requiring suppliers and vendors to accept changes in payment terms.
About American Express Global Corporate PaymentsThrough its Global Corporate Payments group, American Express provides the Corporate Card, Corporate Purchasing Solutions, and other expense management services to mid-sized companies and large corporations worldwide. American Express helps mid-size companies improve their cash flow and achieve their expense management goals in a number of ways, including:
- More Working Capital – The American Express billing cycle allows companies to pay suppliers more quickly while keeping their cash longer, optimizing working capital and improving supplier relationships.
- Greater Savings – The American Express suite of corporate payment solutions help companies consolidate and track spending across businesses and geographies to arm companies with additional negotiating leverage with suppliers, which ultimately drives savings to the bottom line.
- Expert Advice – American Express provides world-class relationship support through one of the largest dedicated client teams in the industry. The company offers customized analysis of client spending patterns and behaviors and expert advice on how to be more strategic about spending.