Havilah Merchants Nigeria Ltd: Generating Cash from a Company's Value Chain
Havilah Merchants Nigeria Ltd. is Nigeria's leading one-stop shop for outfitting libraries and archives. It serves three primary market segments: (i) public university libraries, (ii) multi-national companies in the oil and gas industry and (iii) banking industry. Over the years since its incorporation in 1995, Havilah has successfully executed many library and archive projects, and its products and services have become the benchmark in the local industry for quality. Yet, in 2015, despite their operational successes, Lanre Adesuyi, the founder and CEO of Havilah, and his management team are at a crossroad. While the business is profitable, with a fairly strong order backlog, their expansion to date has consumed their cash, leaving them with no working capital to fund the projects in the pipeline. Unless changes are made, they run the risk of stagnating, and in doing so, disappointing their customers and diminishing their brand. After careful consideration of several options to raise more funds - such as increasing the bank borrowing or issuing stock - Havilah's management team has decided to focus instead on generating more cash within their value chain. Specifically, the management team was deliberating whether Havilah could work with its customers and suppliers to reduce the working capital requirements and alleviate the cash flow pressures. On other words, could Havilah harness untapped cash potential from its value chain? The case examines several potential modifications to the terms of Havilah's engagements with its varied customers (universities, banks and multinational oil and gas companies) and suppliers of books and shelving materials, and attempts to quantify the potential effects these value chain initiatives could have on Havilah's cash position.