Distribution Management at World Peace Industrial Group 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 Distribution Management at World Peace Industrial Group case study

At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. Distribution Management at World Peace Industrial Group case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by Chris J. Piper, Shwu-Min Horng. The Distribution Management at World Peace Industrial Group (referred as “Peace Prepared” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Global Business. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, Managing organizations, 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 Distribution Management at World Peace Industrial Group Case Study

In November 2005, World Peace Industrial Group was at an important milestone as it prepared to join two other major electronics components distributors to form the WPG Holdings and become a dominant player in its industry. As its chief executive officer prepared for the merger, it became apparent that the company's financial position was threatened by inventory management and forecasting problems. Although sales and market share were increasing, profit margins were dropping as a result of increasing inventory costs. The chief executive officer asked the director of the Business Effective Promotion Group to resolve the worsening problem. How would the director identify the sources of weakness and recommend a plan of action as soon as possible?

Case Authors : Chris J. Piper, Shwu-Min Horng

Topic : Global Business

Related Areas : Managing organizations, Operations management

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for Distribution Management at World Peace Industrial Group Case Study

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10024108) -10024108 - -
Year 1 3447294 -6576814 3447294 0.9434 3252164
Year 2 3975694 -2601120 7422988 0.89 3538354
Year 3 3948087 1346967 11371075 0.8396 3314890
Year 4 3230094 4577061 14601169 0.7921 2558537
TOTAL 14601169 12663945

The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2639837

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

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 Peace Prepared 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. Peace Prepared 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 Distribution Management at World Peace Industrial Group

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 Global Business 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 Peace Prepared 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 Peace Prepared 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 %
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10024108) -10024108 - -
Year 1 3447294 -6576814 3447294 0.8696 2997647
Year 2 3975694 -2601120 7422988 0.7561 3006196
Year 3 3948087 1346967 11371075 0.6575 2595931
Year 4 3230094 4577061 14601169 0.5718 1846817
TOTAL 10446591

The Net NPV after 4 years is 422483

(10446591 - 10024108 )

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 %
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10024108) -10024108 - -
Year 1 3447294 -6576814 3447294 0.8333 2872745
Year 2 3975694 -2601120 7422988 0.6944 2760899
Year 3 3948087 1346967 11371075 0.5787 2284773
Year 4 3230094 4577061 14601169 0.4823 1557723
TOTAL 9476139

The Net NPV after 4 years is -547969

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9476139 - 10024108 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Peace Prepared 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 Peace Prepared has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Peace Prepared 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 Peace Prepared, then the stock price of the Peace Prepared 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 Peace Prepared 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 will be a multi year spillover effect of various taxation regulations.

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

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 can impact the cash flow of the project.

Understanding of risks involved in the project.

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

Chris J. Piper, Shwu-Min Horng (2018), "Distribution Management at World Peace Industrial Group Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.