Are You Funding the Competition? What Your DPO Performance Can Tell You

How well a company manages its cash conversion cycle is a key indicator of financial health. But, for many companies, it’s an area of weakness. This is especially true when it comes to DPO, or days payable outstanding, which measures the average number of days a company takes to pay its suppliers.

The challenge? Few companies have visibility into how their DPO compares to their peers. And that’s dangerous territory.

DPO performance is at its highest levels in nearly a decade. According to this study released in July 2018, the 1,000 largest U.S. public companies extended payment to 56.7 days in 2017, a 6% increase from 53.3 in 2016. These longer payment terms have helped companies unlock hundreds of millions of dollars in working capital that’s been redirected to fund strategic business and transformation initiatives. Those companies that optimize payment terms can realize a direct and positive impact on the cash conversion cycle.

Suboptimal payment terms tell a different story. If you’re paying suppliers too early, you’re depleting working capital that could be used to fund strategic business initiatives, while indirectly funding your competition. Here’s an example:

Let’s say Mermaid Coffee pays its supplier, CafeBean, every 30 days. Meanwhile, competitor, K-Street Coffee, pays CafeBean every 55 days. By paying CafeBean early, Mermaid Coffee is funding CafeBean’s ability to meet K-Street’s longer payment term requirements. As a result, K-Street can hold onto more cash longer and invest those funds into strategic business initiatives whereas Mermaid Coffee can’t.

On the flipside, a buyer that pays its suppliers too late is also doing itself a disservice. Companies need suppliers that are financially stable, innovative and competitive. If a payment term is too long, you could be inflicting undue hardship on the supplier and its ability to meet your business requirements.

To put this into context, let me share a quick success story with you. A major beverage company was facing billions of dollars in leveraged buyout debt on its balance sheet and turned to PrimeRevenue to run a working capital analysis. In that analysis, we uncovered they were behind their peers in Days Payable Outstanding by a matter of 30 days and had an opportunity to improve their cash conversion cycle.

A year later, the beverage company had improved their DPO by nearly 300% and generated almost $1 billion in free cash flow. The company has substantially reduced its cash conversion cycle, and Standard & Poor has upgraded the company’s credit rating several times, taking the company from BB- to A- . Today, the company has a major competitive advantage with a stronger balance sheet and supplier relationships, along with the ability to acquire.

This is why it’s critical for companies to understand whether their Days Payable Outstanding is within a healthy range. A quick and easy way to do this is through PrimeRevenue’s Working Capital Grader. This free tool allows companies to compare their DPO performance to their publicly traded peers and competitors. Simply enter your company’s name and the names of four competitors (must be publicly traded) and you’ll see how your DPO stacks up.

Another way is through PrimeRevenue’s detailed Working Capital Analysis. Based on a knowledgebase that includes more than $3 trillion of analyzed spend, PrimeRevenue will conduct a free, cursory review of how your supplier payment terms compare to peer and industry benchmarks, and how much working capital can be unlocked through payment term optimization.

Contact us if you’d like to learn more.

By PrimeRevenue
Published February 14, 2019

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Stephanie Wargo

VP, Global Head of Marketing

Stephanie joined PrimeRevenue in 2015 and oversees the company’s global marketing team and strategy. With a data-driven approach, Stephanie focuses on demand generation and thought leadership to drive brand awareness, strengthen client/partner relationships, and generate new sales opportunities. Stephanie has guided PrimeRevenue through new technology releases and an evolving FinTech landscape. In addition to leading PrimeRevenue’s internal and external communications, she implemented innovative demand generation and marketing strategies to enhance the company’s overall sales pipeline.

Stephanie has extensive experience in marketing and customer success. She previously served as Vice President of Marketing and Communications at BitPay and Vice President of Client Relations and Marketing at FirstView Financial. Stephanie earned a B.A. degree in Political Science from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.

Brian Medley

VP, Global Head of Sales

Brian joined PrimeRevenue in early 2012, after more than 20 years of sales leadership, executive-level consultant and business growth experience. As VP, Global Head of Sales, Brian leads a growing team of fintech sales professionals with a focus on developing strong customer relationships, improving sales predictability and helping PrimeRevenue enter the lucrative mid-market.

Prior to PrimeRevenue, Brian honed his enterprise software sales leadership skills at Clarus Corporation. He also served as an operations and IT management consultant for Kurt Salmon Associates. In addition to his sales and consulting background, Brian has deep experience in the financial industry having founded a successful residential mortgage broker and lending business. He is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology having earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Economics and M.B.A. in Global Business.

Jason Green

SVP, Global Customer Success

Jason joined PrimeRevenue in 2021 following more than two decades in the fintech/financial services industry. He brings a strong background is sales leadership due to his impressive relationship building capability as well as a successful track record in creating structure and process improvements. In his role, Jason uses his keen attention to detail to strengthen the customer experience and enhance the company’s solutions to deliver more value to clients.

Prior to joining the company, Jason held several senior level and executive roles with a focus on building and scaling sales and support organizations at both large and small companies. Jason graduated from Murray State University with a B.S in Marketing.

Matt Ford

SVP, Global Product Innovation

Matt joined PrimeRevenue in early 2015 and is responsible for overseeing all commercial, strategic and operational aspects of PrimeRevenue’s supply chain finance offerings throughout EMEA, based in Prague. He has been instrumental in gaining global alignment and developing supplier enablement processes for the region.

Matt joined PrimeRevenue following a 15-year career at Morgan Stanley, where he worked in fixed income operations covering debt syndication through bonds, EMTNS, corporate loans and other debt securitization. Notably, he set up non-core location operations in Europe (Budapest) and all lending operations in Baltimore from scratch.

Matt, who was born and raised in South East England, earned a B.S. in Sports Science at University of Teesside where he mastered the art of TEAM development and accountability as a youth international rugby player.

Dominic Capolongo

EVP, Global Head of Funding

Dominic joined PrimeRevenue in 2016, and is responsible for leading our bank and capital markets funding strategies and execution. He focuses on building global, scalable and highly efficient funding structures that maximize options for supporting PrimeRevenue’s programs. Dominic began his career as an attorney and was a partner with Kaye Scholer before joining DLJ as a senior banker. Dominic brings tremendous strategic and capital markets experience in all areas of finance having held senior positions at, among others, Credit Suisse and RBC Capital Markets in addition to DLJ. Dominic earned a JD from Fordham University School of Law and a BA from SUNY Binghamton.

Gavin Cicchinelli

Chief Operating Officer

Gavin joined PrimeRevenue as Chief Operating Officer in 2021. With more than two decades of leadership and executive experience along with a deep understanding of the payments space, Gavin provides a unique focus on improving and strengthening operational strategies and implementing GTM growth execution. He is responsible for leading transformation across corporate and operational strategies as well as building a repeatable and scalable commercial growth strategy that aligns with PrimeRevenue’s core business while delivering key adjacent growth opportunities.

Prior to joining PrimeRevenue, Gavin served as President and Chief Revenue Officer of Integrated Solutions at TSYS, a global payment processing services company acquired by Global Payments (NYSE:GPN). There, he also served as Head of Product and divisional COO. Throughout his career, Gavin has held multiple leadership positions including VP of Sales, SVP of Business Development, and President of Financial Institutions. Gavin graduated from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley.

David Quillian

Chief Legal Officer

David joined PrimeRevenue as General Counsel in 2007. He and his team have been instrumental in successfully creating the unique legal structures that support PrimeRevenue’s multi-funder model and global funding capabilities. David is also the lead named inventor on PrimeRevenue’s two patents for Electronic Time Drafts, which allow PrimeRevenue to manage supply chain finance programs using electronic negotiable instruments as opposed to accounts receivable. Prior to PrimeRevenue, David was General Counsel at Harbor Payments, which was acquired by American Express (AXP) in 2006, and Magnet Communications, which was acquired by Digital Insight (DGIN) in 2003. He holds degrees in Economics and History from Duke University, and Juris Doctor and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Georgia.

Nathan Feather


Nathan has successfully ushered PrimeRevenue from our very early days as a visionary startup, through the financial crisis to today’s position as a thriving mid-sized leader in the cloud-enabled supply chain finance marketplace since joining PrimeRevenue in January 2006. He was instrumental in recapitalizing the company with an $80M investment led by BBH Capital Partners in 2015. Prior to PrimeRevenue, he held various financial management roles with Ariba, Freemarkets and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Nathan holds a BS in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University.

PJ Bain


PJ has an impressive and accomplished track record as an enterprise software entrepreneur and executive. PJ has built a solid record of success with PrimeRevenue since being appointed Chief Executive Officer in July of 2009. The company has received numerous awards for growth, customer service, innovation, along with being recognized as a top employer.

PJ is a life-long software and technology entrepreneur having been involved in numerous firms in the roles of founder, executive, advisor and investor. Immediately prior to PrimeRevenue, PJ was the VP and General Manager of Exact Holding N.V. (NYSE/AMS: EXACT), a leading global provider of business software solutions. He was previously Founder and CEO of Inspired Solutions, an Atlanta-based, B2B software and services firm that grew to be the largest reseller of Exact Software in North America, later acquired by Exact. PJ holds a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.