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Royal FloraHolland: The Dutch Floriculture Supply Chain Net Present Value (NPV) / MBA Resources

Introduction to Net Present Value (NPV) - What is Net Present Value (NPV) ? How it impacts financial decisions regarding project management?

NPV solution for Royal FloraHolland: The Dutch Floriculture Supply Chain case study


At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. Royal FloraHolland: The Dutch Floriculture Supply Chain case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by P. Fraser Johnson, Ken Mark. The Royal FloraHolland: The Dutch Floriculture Supply Chain (referred as “Floraholland Royal” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Technology & Operations. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, Operations management.

The net present value (NPV) of an investment proposal is the present value of the proposal’s net cash flows less the proposal’s initial cash outflow. If a project’s NPV is greater than or equal to zero, the project should be accepted.

NPV = Present Value of Future Cash Flows LESS Project’s Initial Investment




Case Description of Royal FloraHolland: The Dutch Floriculture Supply Chain Case Study


In January 2016, the program director of Royal FloraHolland and a supply chain consultant met to develop a supply chain strategy that would allow Royal FloraHolland to adapt to the changing competitive environment that jeopardized its business model. Royal FloraHolland was the largest floriculture auction organization in the world, selling more than 30 million flowers and plants daily. Located in the Netherlands, Royal FloraHolland was a co-operative owned by 4,500 growers. A century-long tradition, where buyers purchased flowers and plants through the Dutch flower auction clock, was being threatened. Pressures facing Royal FloraHolland included emerging global competition, industry consolidation, and customers bypassing the auction process to buy directly from the growers. The two supply chain experts considered opportunities and challenges that lay ahead for the organization.


Case Authors : P. Fraser Johnson, Ken Mark

Topic : Technology & Operations

Related Areas : Operations management




Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for Royal FloraHolland: The Dutch Floriculture Supply Chain Case Study


Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10007960) -10007960 - -
Year 1 3468460 -6539500 3468460 0.9434 3272132
Year 2 3978276 -2561224 7446736 0.89 3540651
Year 3 3943977 1382753 11390713 0.8396 3311439
Year 4 3240418 4623171 14631131 0.7921 2566715
TOTAL 14631131 12690937


The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2682977

In isolation the NPV number doesn't mean much but put in right context then it is one of the best method to evaluate project returns. In this article we will cover -

Different methods of capital budgeting


What is NPV & Formula of NPV,
How it is calculated,
How to use NPV number for project evaluation, and
Scenario Planning given risks and management priorities.




Capital Budgeting Approaches

Methods of Capital Budgeting


There are four types of capital budgeting techniques that are widely used in the corporate world –

1. Net Present Value
2. Payback Period
3. Profitability Index
4. Internal Rate of Return

Apart from the Payback period method which is an additive method, rest of the methods are based on Discounted Cash Flow technique. Even though cash flow can be calculated based on the nature of the project, for the simplicity of the article we are assuming that all the expected cash flows are realized at the end of the year.

Discounted Cash Flow approaches provide a more objective basis for evaluating and selecting investment projects. They take into consideration both –

1. Timing of the expected cash flows – stockholders of Floraholland Royal have higher preference for cash returns over 4-5 years rather than 10-15 years given the nature of the volatility in the industry.
2. Magnitude of both incoming and outgoing cash flows – Projects can be capital intensive, time intensive, or both. Floraholland Royal shareholders have preference for diversified projects investment rather than prospective high income from a single capital intensive project.




Formula and Steps to Calculate Net Present Value (NPV) of Royal FloraHolland: The Dutch Floriculture Supply Chain

NPV = Net Cash In Flowt1 / (1+r)t1 + Net Cash In Flowt2 / (1+r)t2 + … Net Cash In Flowtn / (1+r)tn
Less Net Cash Out Flowt0 / (1+r)t0

Where t = time period, in this case year 1, year 2 and so on.
r = discount rate or return that could be earned using other safe proposition such as fixed deposit or treasury bond rate. Net Cash In Flow – What the firm will get each year.
Net Cash Out Flow – What the firm needs to invest initially in the project.

Step 1 – Understand the nature of the project and calculate cash flow for each year.
Step 2 – Discount those cash flow based on the discount rate.
Step 3 – Add all the discounted cash flow.
Step 4 – Selection of the project

Why Technology & Operations Managers need to know Financial Tools such as Net Present Value (NPV)?

In our daily workplace we often come across people and colleagues who are just focused on their core competency and targets they have to deliver. For example marketing managers at Floraholland Royal often design programs whose objective is to drive brand awareness and customer reach. But how that 30 point increase in brand awareness or 10 point increase in customer touch points will result into shareholders’ value is not specified.

To overcome such scenarios managers at Floraholland Royal needs to not only know the financial aspect of project management but also needs to have tools to integrate them into part of the project development and monitoring plan.

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 15%

After working through various assumptions we reached a conclusion that risk is far higher than 6%. In a reasonably stable industry with weak competition - 15% discount rate can be a good benchmark.

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 15 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10007960) -10007960 - -
Year 1 3468460 -6539500 3468460 0.8696 3016052
Year 2 3978276 -2561224 7446736 0.7561 3008148
Year 3 3943977 1382753 11390713 0.6575 2593229
Year 4 3240418 4623171 14631131 0.5718 1852720
TOTAL 10470149


The Net NPV after 4 years is 462189

(10470149 - 10007960 )






Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 20%


If the risk component is high in the industry then we should go for a higher hurdle rate / discount rate of 20%.

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 20 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10007960) -10007960 - -
Year 1 3468460 -6539500 3468460 0.8333 2890383
Year 2 3978276 -2561224 7446736 0.6944 2762692
Year 3 3943977 1382753 11390713 0.5787 2282394
Year 4 3240418 4623171 14631131 0.4823 1562702
TOTAL 9498171


The Net NPV after 4 years is -509789

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9498171 - 10007960 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Floraholland Royal to discount cash flow at lower discount rates such as 15%.



Acceptance Criteria of a Project based on NPV

Simplest Approach – If the investment project of Floraholland Royal has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Floraholland Royal can ACCEPT the project, otherwise they can reject the project. This means that project will deliver higher returns over the period of time than any alternate investment strategy.

In theory if the required rate of return or discount rate is chosen correctly by finance managers at Floraholland Royal, then the stock price of the Floraholland Royal should change by same amount of the NPV. In real world we know that share price also reflects various other factors that can be related to both macro and micro environment.

In the same vein – accepting the project with zero NPV should result in stagnant share price. Finance managers use discount rates as a measure of risk components in the project execution process.

Sensitivity Analysis

Project selection is often a far more complex decision than just choosing it based on the NPV number. Finance managers at Floraholland Royal should conduct a sensitivity analysis to better understand not only the inherent risk of the projects but also how those risks can be either factored in or mitigated during the project execution. Sensitivity analysis helps in –

What are the uncertainties surrounding the project Initial Cash Outlay (ICO’s). ICO’s often have several different components such as land, machinery, building, and other equipment.

What will be a multi year spillover effect of various taxation regulations.

Understanding of risks involved in the project.

What can impact the cash flow of the project.

What are the key aspects of the projects that need to be monitored, refined, and retuned for continuous delivery of projected cash flows.

Some of the assumptions while using the Discounted Cash Flow Methods –

Projects are assumed to be Mutually Exclusive – This is seldom the came in modern day giant organizations where projects are often inter-related and rejecting a project solely based on NPV can result in sunk cost from a related project.

Independent projects have independent cash flows – As explained in the marketing project – though the project may look independent but in reality it is not as the brand awareness project can be closely associated with the spending on sales promotions and product specific advertising.




References & Further Readings

P. Fraser Johnson, Ken Mark (2018), "Royal FloraHolland: The Dutch Floriculture Supply Chain Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.