1.1 Background of the study

Rift valley Bottlers Company limited is situated at Eldoret town. The company is the sole producer of soft drinks in the North rift region. As a result it had been performing so well in the industry. Indeed its success has attracted entrepreneurs to venture in activities related to the industry for example; marketing the company’s products in supplying raw materials to the company.

The tremendous growth of the company has led the company to have a high working capital base. This poses a great challenge to the financial managers as to how the company’s current assets ought to be managed in order to ensure company profitability.

However the current liberation of the economy poses a competition and this could lead to a major problem if the company is not keen enough to fight competition. Other companies have come up with close substitutes to these soft drinks that the giant coca cola company used to be producing as a monopolist. there are emergence of close substitutes produced by new companies for instance Kabarnet mineral water, softa by Kuguru company and these have substituted to a great extend the consumption of the sodas. Also the fruit juice manufacturers with their variety of fruit flavours have also become substitutes to the coca cola product.

It is with this in mind that the measures the company is undertaking in order to maintain its profitability standards includes a review of its working capital management policies and also re-branding their products.

1.2 Statement of the problem

For executive development to work the most important thing in my belief is how one can manage cash in order for an organisation to be said to be viable in an economy, therefore I will concentrate on what I will call working capital management. This has achieved great importance over the past. This is because modern businesses are faced with different challenges, one of which is how should the working capital of an entity be managed in order to maximize shareholders equity.

The assets of a small firm mainly constitute its working capital. This large investment, which tends to be volatile current assets, ought to be managed with great caution. These problems have made businesses unable to perform to their full potentials, as they are incapable of controlling their working capital appropriately.

The problem continues to prevail due to such factors as complex bureaucratic organizational structure and high turnover in key accounting positions in the organization. Despite efforts by most companies to come up with working capital policies to streamline business operations, less has been achieved and therefore likely to continue performing poorly unless proper working capital management practices are in place.

To improve performance there is a need to put in place a proper and sound system of managing working capital by investing in areas of great profitability. The research therefore is aimed at establishing the impact of working capital management on the performance of rift valley Bottlers Company limited.

1.3 Research objectives

This research is intended to achieve the following objectives.

ü To establish the relationship between management of working capital and profitability of a company

ü To evaluate the adequacy of the existing working capital management system in the company

ü To identify the weaknesses of the existing working capital management system within the company and suggest some tools and methods of improving it

1.4 Research Questions

The research hypotheses are that;

ü How can the relationship between the management of working capital and the profitability of the company are established.

ü How is the companies’ working capital be effective.

ü Does the absence of an effective working capital management system leads to loss.

1.5 Significance of the study

The results of the study are intended for the following aspects;

§ The findings of the study will guide any organization in choosing the best policy in managing working capital

§ The study will enable employees understand working capital management ands its benefits

§ It enables the management to identify future needs of working capital management

1.6 Scope of the study

The study will focus on the general working capital management employed by rift valley Bottlers Company limited. However, we know there are other variables that may not be covered in this research that determines profitability of a company such as; motivation, training, working environment and also remuneration.

1.7 Limitation of the study

During the study the following problems was encountered;

The time allocated for the research was limited since the researcher had to concentrate for the studies as well as go out for study.

Finances was limited and therefore limited the study to one company

Partial co-operation from the staff of the company

1.8 Assumptions of the study

From the study conducted, the researcher was able to draw some basic assumptions regarding working capital management.

The major assumptions drawn from this study include;

The researcher assumed that the information obtained in the company studied was in one way or another applicable in any other company.

The researcher also assumed that all the information given by the respondent.

The researcher assumed that the information obtained in the company studied was in one way correct

1.9 Definition of terms

Working capital- according to Manasseh (2000) it refers to the company’s investment in current assets.

Economic order quantity- Pandey (2000) it is that inventory level which minimizes the total ordering and holding costs.

Working capital gap- it is current assets minus current liabilities excluding bank borrowings.

Motives for holding cash- refers to reasons why firms hold cash balances

Float- The difference between the total amount of cheques drawn on a bank account and the balance shown on the bank’s books.

Current assets- Used interchangeably with working capital to mean assets that you can readily turn into cash or will do so within 12 months in the course of business.



2.1.1 Introduction

The main aim of this chapter is to bring out the general theory on working capital in relation to organizational performance and also examine past studies raised by various scholars as far as working capital is concerned. It aims at bringing out clearly why working capital is of importance to the organization, various methods used in managing working capital and the various problems encountered in the organization

General theory on the subject

2.1.1 The concept of executive development

Pandey (2000) identifies two concepts of working capital. Gross working capital refers to firm’s investment in current assets which includes cash in hand, short term securities, debtors, bills receivable and inventory. They are assets which can be converted intro cash within an accounting year. Gross working capital focuses on two aspects of current assets management these are; optimum investment in current assets and the financing of current assets.

Net working capital refers to the difference between the firm’s current assets and current liabilities.

Net working capital=current assets –current liabilities

Manas’seh (2001) states that financial manager should manage the firms current assets efficiently so as to ensure that the company has sufficient working capital to facilitate its executive development.. Thus the company should avoid situations of excess or inadequate working capital but rather hold an optimum level of working capital neither too little nor too much.

Manas’seh (2001) further notes that every firm should be in a position to determine its working capital needs so as to facilitate its executive development.. Therefore it is necessary to check the nature of current assets before a company can assume it is safe in its current assets management.

2.1.2 Approaches to working capital

According to the article of New Zealand treasury (chapter two) identifies the objective of working capital in relation to organizational performance. Working capital is to maintain the optimum balance of the level of performance. This includes making sure that funds are held as cash in bank deposits for as long as and in the largest amounts possible, thereby maximizing the interest however such cash may be invested more appropriately in other assets or in reducing liabilities.

Working capital may take place in two levels;

Ratio analysis which can be used to monitor overall trends in working capital and identify areas requiring closer management

The individual components of working capital can be managed by using various techniques and strategies.

a) Inventory management

According to www.planware.org , managing inventory is a juggling act. Expensive stocks can place a heavy burden on the cash recourses of a business. Insufficient stocks can result in loss of sales, delay for customers etc. the key is to know how quickly your overall stock is moving, or put another way how long each item of inventory is sitting on the shelves before it is sold. Obviously average stock holding periods will be influenced by the nature of business.

Nowadays many large manufacturing companies operate on a JIT basis in order to minimize manufacturing costs as JIT stocks take up little space, minimize stock holding costs and virtually eliminate the risks of obsolete stocks.

Objectives of inventory management

Van Horne (1997) indicates that the objective of inventory management is to identify the level of inventory which allows uninterrupted production but reduces the investment in raw materials and minimizes re-ordering costs and hence increases cash flow.

According to Pandey (2000) both excessive and inadequate inventory are not desirable, these are two danger points within which the firm should operate. The objective of inventory management is to maintain an optimum level of inventory investment. The optimum level of inventory investment will lie between the two danger points of excessive and inadequate inventories.

Manas’seh (2001) indicates that a firm should avoid situations of over or under investment in inventories. The excessive level of inventories consumes funds of the firm which cannot be used for any other purpose and thus it involves an opportunity cost. Maintaining also inadequate levels leads to production-hold ups and failure to meet delivery commitments.

Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) according to Saleemi (1993) is that inventory level which minimizes the total ordering and carrying costs. One of the major problems to be resolved is to know how much inventory should be added when inventory is replenished. If a firm is buying raw materials it has to decide lots in which it has to be purchased on each replenishment pandey (2000)

Van Horne (1997) identifies EOQ as a maximum operating profit, but it is not optimum inventory policy. The value of the firm should be maximized when marginal rate of return in inventory is equal to the marginal cost of funds.

a) Management of cash

Baumol’s model in Brealy and Myers (2001) helps in bringing out clear understanding as to why small and medium sized enterprises hold significant amounts of cash balances. But for large firms, the transaction costs of buying or selling securities become trivial compared with opportunity costs of holding idle cash balances.

According to Pandey (2000) cash management assumes more importance than other current assets because cash is most significant and is least productive asset that a firm holds. It is significant because it is used to pay firms obligations. Therefore, the aim of cash management is to use excess cash in some profitable way

Motives for holding cash

Pandey (2000) brings out clearly three motives for holding cash balances

(i) Transaction motive

The firm needs primarily to make payments for purchases, wages, salaries, other operating expenses taxes dividends etc. For these periods when cash payments exceed cash receipts the firm should maintain some cash balances to be able to make required payments.

(ii) Precautionary motive

This refers to the need to meet contingencies in future. It provides a cushion or a buffer to withstand unexpected emergencies in future. The precautionary amount of cash depends upon the predictability of cash flow. If the cash flow can be predicted with accuracy, less cash can be maintained for emergency. The amount of precautionary cash is also influenced by the firms ability to borrow money at short notice when need arises.

(iii) Speculative motive

This refers to holding of cash for investing in profit making opportunities as and when they arise. The opportunity to make profits arises when security prices change. If it is expected that prices will fall, the firm can postpone materials purchase and make purchases in future when prices actually falls.

Managing the cash flows

According to Pandey (2000) once the cash budget has been prepared and appropriate net cash flow established, the financial manager should ensure that there does not exist a significant deviation between projected cash flow and actual cash flow.

Methods of controlling cash flows

Accelerating cash collections

Pandey (2000) indicates that cash collections can be accelerated by reducing the time lag or gap between the time a customer pays a bill and the time a cheque is colleted and funds become available for firms use. An efficient firm’s manager will attempt to reduce the firms deposit float by speeding up mailing processing and collection times

Decentralized collections

A large firm operating over a wide geographical area can speed up collections by following decentralized collection systems of operating through a number of collection centers instead of a single collection center centralized at the head office. It is a useful way to reduce float.

Lock-box system

In a lock-box system the firm establishes a number of collection centers, considering customer locations and volume of remittances. At each center the firm hires a post office box and instructs its customers to mail their remittances to the box

c) Handling debtors (receivables)

According to www.planware.org cash flow can significantly be enhanced if the amounts owing to the business are collected faster. Every business needs to know who owes them money, how much is owed and how long it owes, and for what it is owed.

Late payments can erode profits and can lead to bad debts. Slowly payments has a crippling effect on business, in particular on small businesses who can least afford it.

d) Managing creditors (payables)

www.planware.org states that management of creditors and suppliers is just as important as management of debtors. It is important to look after your creditors-slow payment by you may create ill-feeling and can signal your company is inefficient (or is in trouble)

Saleemi (1993) indicates that creditors are vital part of effective cash management and should be managed carefully to enhance cash position.

According to Manas’seh (2000) trade credit constitutes the most significant source of financing current assets. It refers to the credit a buyer obtains fro suppliers of goods and services. The payment is required to be made within a specified period. Suppliers sometimes offer cash discount to buyers for making prompt payments. Buyer should calculate the cost of fore going cash discount to decide whether or not to take cash discounts.

2.1.3 Importance of good working capital management in relation to organizational performance

According to the article of New Zealand treasury (chapter one) working capital constitutes part of a companies investment. Associated with this is an opportunity cost to the company. Money invested in one area may cost opportunities for investments in other areas. If a company operating with more working capital than is necessary, this overinvestment represents an unnecessary cost to the company. From the treasury’s point of view, excess working capital means operating inefficiencies therefore the managers should be a bit keen in their decisions. Since unnecessary working capital increases the capital charge that a company is required to meet from time to time.

Pandey (2000) indicates the management of current assets is similar to that of fixed assets in the sense that in both cases the firm analyses their effects on its return and risk.

According to Van Horne (2002) increases and decreases in working capital investment are not confined to beginning and end of a project., they may occur at any time, it is therefore important that incremental working capital needs are treated as cash flows when they occur and that any subsequent reduction in these needs are treated as cash inflows.

2.1.4 Adequacy of Executive Performance

According to Pandey (2000) a firm should maintain a sound working capital position. It should have adequate working capital to run its business operations in order to achieve executive objective. Both excessive and inadequate working capital positions are dangerous from the firm’s point of view. Excessive working capital means idle funds which earns no profits for the firm paucity of working capital not only impairs the firm’s profitability but also result in production failure and inefficiencies.

Pandey (2000) states the dangers of excessive and inadequate executive management in working capital as follows;

Dangers of excessive working capital;

* it results in unnecessary accumulation of inventories thus chances of inventory mishandling, waste, theft, and losses increases

* It is an indication of defective credit policy and slack collection period. Consequently higher increase of bad debts results which adversely affects profits .

* Tendencies of accumulating inventories to make speculative profits grow. This may tend to make the dividend policy liberal and difficult to cope with in future when the firm is unable to make profits and slack collection period. Consequently higher increase of bad debts results which adversely affects profits

* Excessive working capital makes management complacent, which degenerates into managerial inefficiency.

* Tendencies of accumulating inventories to make speculative profits grow. This may tend to make the dividend policy liberal and difficult to cope with in future when the firm is unable to make profits.

Dangers of inadequate working capital;

* It stagnates growth in that it becomes difficult for the firm to undertake profitable projects for non availability of working capital funds.

* It becomes difficult to implement operating plans and achieve the firms profit targets.

* Operating inefficiencies creep in when it becomes difficult to meet day to day commitments.

* Fixed assets are not efficiently utilized for lack of working capital funds. Thus compromises the firm’s profitability.

* Paucity of working capital funds renders the firm unable to avail attractive credit opportunities.

* The firm loses its reputation when it is not in a position to honour its short term obligations as a result the firm faces tight credit terms

Thus Pandey (2000) emphasizes that an enlightened management should maintain a right working capital position on a continuous basis, only then, a proper functioning of the business of the business will be ensured.

2.1.5 Working capital cycle

www.planware.org illustrates that cash flow in a cycle into and around the business. It is the business’s lifeblood and every manager’s primary task is to help keep it flowing and to use the cash flow to generate profits. If a business is operating profitably, then it should, in theory generate surpluses. If it doesn’t generate surpluses, the business will eventually run out of cash and eventually “expire”.

The faster a business expands the more cash it will be needed for working capital and investments. The cheapest and best source of cash exists as working capital within business. Good executive management of working capital will generate cash which will help improve profits and reduce risks. Bear in mind that the cost of providing credit to customers and holding stocks can represent a substantial proportion of a firms total profits.

There are two elements in a business cycle that absorb cash –inventory (stock and work in progress) and receivables (debtors owing you money). The main sources of cash are payables (your creditors) and equity loans.

Working capital cycle

The executive

Equity and loans


Overheads etc





Source; www.planware.org

Each component of working capital namely inventory receivables and payables has two - dimensions ---time---and----money. When it comes to managing working capital time is money. If you get money to move faster around the cycle e.g. collect money from debtors more quickly or reduce the amount of mo0ney tied up e.g. reduce inventory levels relative to sales, the business will generate more cash or will need to borrow less money to fund working capital. As a consequence you could reduce the amount of bank interest or you will have additional money available to support additional; sales growth or investment. Similarly, if you can negotiate improved with suppliers e.g. get longer credit or an increased credit limit you effectively create free finance to help fund future sales.

Harvey (1997) states that it can be tempting to pay cash if available for fixed assets e.g. computers plant vehicles etc. if you do pay cash remember that this is no longer available for working capital. Therefore if cash is tight consider other ways of financing capital investments-loans, equity, leasing etc similarly, if you pay dividends or increase drawings these are out flows and like water flowing down a plug hole they remove liquidity from the business.

2.1.6 Determinants of working capital in executive performance

Manas’seh (2000) states that, there are no set rules or formulae to determine working capital requirements of firms. The factors may vary according to firms.

Pandey (2000) indicates that a large number of factors influence working capital needs of firms. All these factors are of different importance, also the importance of fantod s changes for a firm over time. Therefore, an analysis of relevant factors should be made in order to determine total investment in working capital.

a) Nature and size of business

Trading and financial firms have very small investment in fixed assets, but require a large sum of money to spend in working capita. Retail stores, for example must carry large stocks of a variety of goods to satisfy varied and continuous demand of their customers. Some managers in manufacturing businesses such as tobacco manufacturing and construction firms also have to invest substantially in working capital and a nominal amount in fixed assets.

The size of a business also has an impact on working capital needs. A firm should with larger scale operations will needs more working capital than a small scale firm.

b) Manufacturing cycle

This comprises the purchase and use of raw materials and the production of finished goods. A firm with longer manufacturing cycle will need larger working capital requirements, unlike a firm with shorter manufacturing cycle. An extended manufacturing time span means a larger tie-up of firm’s funds in inventories. Thus, if there are alternative ways of manufacturing a product, the process with the shorter manufacturing cycle should be chosen. Any delay in manufacturing process will result in accumulation o0f work in progress and a waste of time.

c) Sales growth

The working capital needs of a firm grow as its sales grow. It is difficult to precisely determine the relationship between volume of sales and working capital needs. In practice, current assets will have to be employed before growth takes place. It is therefore necessary to make advance planning of working capital needs of a growing firm on a continuous basis. A growing firm may need to invest funds in fixed assets in order to sustain its growing production and sales. This will in turn increase investment in current assets to support enlarged scale of operations.

d) Demand conditions

Most firms experience seasonal and cyclical fluctuations in the demand of their products and services. These business variations affect the working capital requirements, especially temporary working capital requirement of a firm. When there is an upward swing in the economy, sales will increase; correspondingly the firm’s investments in inventories and book debts will also increase, additional investment in fixed assets may be made by some firms to increase their productive capacity, and this act of firms will require further additions of working capital. On the other hand, when there is a decline in the economy, levels of inventories and book debts will also fall.

A firm may thus follow a policy steady production irrespective of seasonal changes in order to utilize resources to the fullest extend. Such a policy will mean accumulation of inventories during off season and their quick disposal during the peak season.

e) Production policy

A strategy of constant production may be maintained in order to resolve the working capital problems arising due to seasonal changes in demand for a firm’s product. A steady production policy will cause inventories to accumulate during the off-seasons periods and the firm will be exposed to greater inventory costs and risks. Thus if the costs and risks of maintaining a constant production schedule are high, the firm may adopt a policy of varying its production schedules in accordance with changing demand. Those firms, whose productive capacities can be utilized for manufacturing varied products, can have advantage of diversified activities and solve their working capital problems.

f) Firms credit policy in relation to executive performance

The credit policy of a firm affects the working capital by influencing the level of book debts. The credit terms to be extended to customers depend upon the norms of the industry to which the firm belongs. But a firm has the flexibility of shaping its credit policy within the constrain of industry norms and practices. The firm should be discretionary in granting credit terms to its customers. Depending on individual case, different terms may be given to different customers. A liberal credit policy without rating the credit worthiness of customers will be detrimental to the firm and will create a problem of collecting funds latter on.

Manasseh 2000 states that a firm should be prompt in making collections. A high collection period will mean tie-up of funds in book debts. Slack collection procedures can increase the chance of bad debts. In order to ensure that unnecessary funds are not tied up in book debts, the firm should follow a rationalized credit policy based on the credit standing of customers and other relevant factors. The firm should periodically evaluate the credit standing of new customers and credit worthiness of existing customers. Cases of delayed payments should be thoroughly investigated.

g) Availability of credit

Pandey 2000 indicates that the working capital requirements of a firm are also affected by the credit terms granted by its creditors. A firm will need less working capital if liberal credit terms are available to it.

2.3 Empirical theory

2.3.1 The Tandom committee recommendations 1974 in pandey 2000

The Tandom committee has made a number of important recommendations regarding the bank lending practices. But it is the recommendations regarding the inventory and receivable practices which have been debated and criticized mostly. The reason could be the immediate and far reaching consequences of the norms. The committee has rightly pointed out that the borrower should be only allowed to hold a reasonable level of current assets particularly inventory and receivables. Only the normal inventory based on the production plan, lead time of suppliers economic ordering and reasonable factor of safety should be maintained by a business.

Tandom committee in its final suggests that flabby, profit-making or excessive inventory should not be permitted under any circumstance. This aims at fulfilling the need of ensuring that there is a rational allocation of resources and to avoid undesirable and holding of current assets.

The committee further points out that the banker was required to finance only a part of the working capital gap; the other part was to be financed by the borrower from long term sources.

Maximum Permissible Bank Finance (MPBF) in view of the above approach to bank lending the committee suggested the following three methods of determining the permissible level of bank borrowings to finance working capital.

First method: the borrower should contribute 25% of the working capital gap; the remaining 75% can be financed from bank borrowings. This method will give a minimum ratio of 1:1.

Second method; the borrower will contribute 25% of the total current assets; the remaining 75% of the working capital gap can be bridged from the bank borrowings. This method will give a ratio of 1.3:1.

Third method; the borrower will contribute 100% of the core assets as defined and 25% of the balance of current assets. The remaining of the working capital gap can be met from the borrowings.

2.3.2 The chore committee report 1979 in pandey 2000

The committee was appointed by the reserve bank of India to review the cash credit system and suggest modifications and/or alternate types of credit facilities to promote greater credit discipline and relate credit limits to production.


Firms should contribute more funds to finance their working capital requirements and reduce dependence on bank credit to minimize costs associated with credit.

In order to ensure that borrowers enhance their contributions to working capital an d to improve their current ratio, it is necessary to place them under second method of lending recommended by Tandom committee.

2.3.3 Pandey’s observations (2000)

Pandey in his work points out the dangers of inadequate executive development. This represents a defective credit policy especially in managing inventory at the executive level. Increased chances of bad debts, wastes, and losses from inventory mishandling adversely affects profits. Poor management of current assets affects the firm’s growth in that the firm is unable to undertake profitable opportunities due to non-availability of funds.

When a firm’s fixed asset base grows, the amount of current assets should also be increased proportionately. This ensures efficient utilization of fixed assets hence maximize profits.

Measurement of variables

Credit policy variables

According to Pandey (2000) in establishing an optimum credit policy, the financial manager should consider the important decision variables. These include;

§ Credit standards and analysis

§ Credit terms

§ Collection policy

It should however be appreciated that credit policy has important implications for the firms production, marketing and finance functions.

To ensure an effective credit policy the financial manager should answer the following questions;

o What will be the change in sales when a decision variable is altered?

o What will be the cost of altering a decision variable?

o How would the level of receivables be affected by altering a decision variable?

o How are expected rate of return and cost of funds related?

Inventory turnover

According to Pandey (2000) the financial manager should see that an optimum amount of funds are invested in inventory. An effective inventory management is depicted by an inventory turnover which is sufficient to maximize the firm’s returns. It is achieved when an inventory level which minimizes inventory costs both ordering and carrying is maintained.

Cash collection rate

According to Manas’seh (2000) it is anticipated that a firm with effective cash management policy is able to reduce possibility of default of payment by its customers. This must give due attention to the time cheques are collected and funds become available for the firm to use.

Pandey (2000) in his work says that if a firm can accelerate its collections and postpone its payments within allowed limits, it will be able to meet its cash budget requirements. The main concerns of collections are to obtain payments from customers within the credit period and minimize the lag between the time a customer pays a bill and the time a cheque is collected.

Gaps that need to be filled.

Most of the past researches done on working capital (Tandom committee 1974 and chore committee 1979) gives much of their recommendations on the financing of working capital but does not give guidelines on ho wit should be managed after being financed.

Pledging as a means of managing debtors is cited by Pandey (2000) as a way of transferring the responsibility to collect money from debtors to agents.

Owing to these shortcomings there is a need to develop an internal function within the firm whose primary responsibility is to manage and administer the performance of individual components of working capital.

Methods of data analysis used by other authors.

a) Ratio analysis

In Manas’seh (2000) the level of current assets can be measured by relating current assets to fixed assets. Dividing the current assets by fixed assets gives the CA/FA ratio. The ratio between current assets and fixed assets must be reasonable. Assuming a constant level of fixed assets, a higher CA/FA ratio indicates a conservative current assets policy and a lower CA/FA ratio indicates an aggressive current assets policy assuming other factors to be constant.

b) Liquidity vs. profitability analysis

According to Pandey (2000) the firm should focus on two aspects of working capital management; profitability and solvency. Solvency, is used in technical terms refers to the firms continuous ability to meet maturing obligations. Lenders and creditors expect prompt settlements of their claims as and when due. To ensure solvency, the firm should be very liquid which means larger current assets holdings.

To have higher profitability, the firm may sacrifice and maintain relatively low level of current assets. When the firm does so, its profitability will improve as less funds are tied up in idle current assets, but its solvency would be threatened and would be exposed to risk of greater cash shortages and stock outs.

c) The cost trade off analysis.

According to Pandey (2000) there are two types of costs related to current assets; cost of liquidity and the cost of illiquidity. High levels of current assets means excessive liquidity, return on assets will be low. The cost of illiquidity is the cost of holding insufficient current assets, the firm will not be able to honor its obligations if it carries too little cash, and thus may force the firm to borrow at high rates of interest.

Conceptual framework

The conceptual framework summarizes the researchers view on the relationship between the dependent variable (profitability) and the independent variable (working capital management).

Table 2.1 conceptual framework

Independent variable

Working capital management

o Credit policy

o Debtor management Systems

o Company investments

o Cash management systems

Dependent variable


o Operating efficiency

o Wealth maximization

§ Share earnings

§ Share value growth

o Improved net profits after tax


3.0 Research Methodology

3.1 Introduction

This chapter shows the research design, target population, sample size, sampling method, data collection method and fairness of respondents in giving feedback information.

3.2 Research design

The research was a case study of Rift Valley Bottlers Company limited. The study aimed at identifying the impacts of working capital management on profitability of a company. The researcher collected information on the cross -section of the company and the information obtained on working capital management was analyzed.

Data obtained was summarized for easy analysis and will assist the researcher in completion of the research.

3.3 Target population

The studied population included employees from all departments of the company from top management to the lowest functional level. For the study to be successful both departmental heads supervisors and subordinates was essential groups for the study.

The management included managers from top management and middle management. The middle level managers included departmental heads and supervisors. It is a convenient layout to obtain information and data from the company.

3.4 Sample size and sample procedures

3.4.1 Sample size

A sample of 30 respondents was taken; 6 from accounting department, 4 from production department, 6 from sales and marketing department, 5 from human resource department, 5 from purchasing department, and 4 from stores.

3.4.2 Sampling procedure

Stratified sampling procedure was used in this research study. The selection of employees under the above method was to achieve a desired representation from the various departments in the population. The target population was divided 6 strata using departmental criterion, then a number of six employees from accounting department, four from production department, six from sales and marketing department, and five from human resource department, five from purchasing department and four from stores department. They was selected at random making a total sample size of twelve.

Table 3.1 sampling procedure


Number of staff





Human resource


Sales and marketing








3.5 Methods of data collection

Secondary data

This involved an analysis of the company’s policies and also past financial statements for the past five years. This was to get information regarding the company’s policies regarding credit extension and the various levels of working capital and the profits made during the respective years.

Primary data

The questionnaire

A standard questionnaire with objective and structured questions was produced and distributed to the employees in all departments. This was expected to elicit appropriate information since the employees was assumed to have the relevant skills regarding their job hence are able to complete the questionnaire effectively.

The questionnaire was designed to seek responses about the system in place for managing working capital, working capital management policies and how this has been implemented in the past and what effect was felt on performance and profitability of the company.

3.6 Data analysis

Data collected was reported in the research paper by use of.

a) Qualitative analysis

b) Quantitative analysis

Qualitative analysis

This involved analyzing the data collected in terms of findings reported from the research samples. The information included;

i. Measuring efficiency of executive part of management

ii. Implication of a given executive capital policy

Quantitative analysis

The data collected had a relationship with impacts of working capital management and profitability at the executive level. Hence the data was analyzed descriptively. Some of the data was tabulated. Percentages and charts were also used to make inference regarding working capital management and profitability.

3.7 Data validity and reliability

Content, construct, and predictive validity and reliability of research instruments was ensured by:

Ø Pre-research tour to the company

Ø The research instrument was pre-tested with similar group of respondents

Ø The research supervisor looked at the content and format of research instrument; his suggestions were incorporated in modifying the research tools.

Every respondent was important in the provision of vital information on working capital management and profitability.



4.1 Introduction

This chapter shows the data obtained and analyzed from the study using selected techniques and the recording of findings. Data obtained include position of the respondent, employee gender and information relating to the dependent and independent variable.

4.2 Background of respondents

A total of 30 company employees were involved in the study most of which was male 60% and female 40%. The study also found out that most of the respondents was clerks 45%, 30% was managers, 20% was supervisors and 5% was support staff.

Table 4.1 gender of respondents













Table 4.2 position of respondents













Support staff






The company’s working capital management policies

Rift valley Bottlers Company limited recognizes the fact that working capital influences the company’s profitability. The findings showed that 95% of the respondents strongly agreed that working capital management affects profitability only 5% fairly agreed.

Table 4.3 working capital influences company profitability


Number of employees


Strongly agree



Fairly agree









Strongly disagree






4.4 Setting annual profit targets

The study found out that it is a mandatory requirement for the company to set annual profit targets. 100% of the respondents were in agreement with this and in their opinion this had a direct influence on the ratio of working capital to that of fixed assets because to achieve high profits working capital must also be increased proportionately in order to finance the day today operations of the business and hence help meet the profit targets

Table 4.4 does the company set annual profit targets













4.5 Efficiency of the existing methods of managing working capital

The study found out that 40%of the respondents was in agreement that the existing methods of managing working capital was very effective, 50% indicated that it was effective, and 10% said it was fairly effective




Very effective






Not effective



Fairly effective






Table 4.5 efficiency of existing methods of managing working capital

4.6 Why companies grant credit

The data collected on reasons why the company is granting credit was analyzed based on the responses employees in respect to question 6.

It is evident from the table below that a greater proportion of employees indicated that the company grants credit to increase sales. But in case of special offers it is less likely that the company’s clients will want credit and will wish to dictate the terms on which they will pay. Other reasons for granting credit was to maintain customer relationships and to attract new customers.

Table 4.5.1 reasons for granting credit

Reason no of employees percentage

To increase sales 15 50%

Maintain client relationships 7 23%

Attract customers 5 17%

Other reasons 3 10%

Total 30 100%

4.7 Criteria for selecting customers for credit extension

The study found out that the company in trying to choose customers for credit extension looks at the customers past experience or empirical study. The company looks at both financial and non-financial attributes.

The financial attributes includes past prompt payment and customers past financial performance, whereas non-financial attributes included customer loyalty and whether a customer has a bank account or not.

Table 4.7 selection criteria for credit sales

Criteria No of employees Percentage

Customer loyalty 15 50%

Past financial performance 3 10%

Owning bank accounts 3 10%

Past prompt payments 9 30%

Total 30 100%

4.7 Accelerating cash collections

The research found out that cash flow management is about achieving maximum effectiveness of cash receipts and payments. Information on methods of accelerating cash collections was gathered from all departments. It indicates that the company uses various methods to accelerate cash collections. Each variable has a high score of over 50% on the entire sample as shown below.

Table 4.8 methods of accelerating cash collections

Variable Frequency Percentage

Factoring debtors 17 57%

Discount facilities 21 70%

Negotiating shorter credit terms 24 80%

Being selective in granting credit 18 60%

Increasing prices for slow payers 15 50%

Total sample =30

4.9 problems encountered in managing working capital

The research found out that there were various problems encountered in managing working capital. From the employees sampled, 58% said weak credit judgment, 30% said it was high inventory costs, 20% said errors in invoices, 25% said pressure on existing cash and a massive 80% indicated that it was due to poor collection procedures.

Table 4.9 problems encountered in managing working capital

Problem Number of employees Percentage

Weak credit judgments 17 58%

High inventory costs 9 30%

Errors in invoices 6 20%

Pressure on existing cash 8 25%

Poor collection procedures 24 80%

Total sample= 30

4.10 Improving the existing methods of managing working capital

The employees gave their opinions on how to improve the existing program of managing working capital. Among these opinions include; holding optimal inventory levels, decreasing debtor levels, prompt invoicing and having clear credit practices in place.

Table 4.10 methods to improve existing cash collection methods.

Method Frequency Percentage

Holding optimal inventory levels 10 33%

Decreasing debtor levels 7 23%

Sending invoices promptly 4 14%

Clear credit practices 9 30%

Total 30 100%



5.1 Introduction.

This chapter discusses the findings gathered from the analysis of data, as well as the conclusions reached. The chapter incorporates the various suggestions and comments given by the respondents in the questionnaires. Findings have been summarized alongside the objectives of the study, conclusions have been drawn from the study and the recommendations for action are also given.

5.2 Summary of major finding.

Basing on the research findings rift valley Bottlers Company limited has a working capital management policy which provides the general guidelines for managing working capital which is clearly understood by the employees.

Credit is the major variable which must be controlled. The company is highly sensitive in identifying clients for credit extension and has tools for accelerating cash collections.

Various problems are encountered in managing working capital. However, the company has mitigating factors in place.

5.3 Conclusions

The research found out that there was a direct relation ship between the management of working capital and profitability.

In managing its creditors the company attaches similar attention as management of debtors.

There are several shortcomings encountered in managing working capital.

The firm’s decision on the level of investment in current assets involves a trade-off between risk and return. The company goals relating to profits dictate how much the company needs to invest in current assets.

When the company holds too much stock it wastes money in that money is tied up in stock when it could be put to better use. Superfluous warehousing and storage costs also compromise profits

5.4 Recommendations

Management must have the right mental attitude to the control of credit and make sure that it gets the priority it deserves. This helps in reducing incidences of bed debts.

The company must establish clear credit practices as a matter of company policy and ensure that these practices are clearly understood by staff customers and suppliers. This will go hand in hand in ensuring that a strong credit judgment is in place together with efficient collection procedures.

Check out each customer thoroughly before you offer credit. Use credit agencies, bank references, industry sources etc. this ensures that acceptance of new customers is handled professionally especially larger ones. Once this has been done, management should establish credit limits for each customer and stick with them.

The company should monitor debtor balances and ageing schedules, and don’t let any debt get too old. It must be recognized that the longer someone owes you, the greater chance you will never get paid.

For better control of inventory in the company, the company must periodically review the existing purchasing and inventory systems. Know how the overall stock is moving and particular attention must be given major items of inventory which falls under the category of high value inventory.

The key concern for the company must be to identify the fast and slow stock movers with the objective of establishing optimum inventory levels for each category and thereby minimize the cash tied up in stocks.

Planning of cash flows requires the aid of a computer- based model. This reduces the tedium of carrying out numerous repetitive calculations and simplifies the alteration of assumptions and presentation of results. The model can be used to explore the extent to which future sales could be increased whilst holding bank borrowings within predetermined limits, to asses the effects on cash flow of varying sales and cost of credit terms.


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