Receivables Days Declining for NAPL Performance Indicators Participants

By Andrew Paparozzi
In March 4, 2010

Accounts receivable averaged 46.8 days during the second half of 2009 for NAPL Performance
participants, down from 48.2 days during the first half of the year. For the full year receivables averaged 47.3 days. (See chart below.)

The need for companies to stay on top of their receivables should be obvious to everyone. But with a recession of the magnitude that we have just experienced,
collecting receivables on time is often placed on the back burner in an effort to maintain sales relationships. However, it is exactly during these unpredictable times that we must keep a keen eye on receivables.

The majority of NAPL Performance Indicators participants are leaders determined to stay leaders or companies determined to become leaders. Their recent receivables history reinforces two critical facts about our industry’s leaders:

  • Leaders are not immune to recession. Performance Indicators participants saw receivables begin to increase in late 2008, with the six-month moving average increasing from 46.0 days in October of 2008 to 48.2 days in May 2009. 
  • Leaders are usually affected by recession later and out sooner than the industry at large. Since the uptrend peaked last spring, Performance Indicators participants have reduced their receivables meaningfully even as our industry’s recession continues. (NAPL estimates
    that our sales fell 13.0% during the second half of 2009 and a record 16.0% for the full year.) In addition, the beginning of a decreasing trend could be in the works as the 6-month moving average has fallen below the 12-month moving average. 

For additional analysis of NAPL Performance Indicators trends and how leaders have dealt with the recession and are preparing for recovery, please consult the NAPL State of Leadership Report, scheduled for release in May 2010.


Andrew Paparozzi

Epicomm's Andrew Paparozzi, Vice President/Chief Economist, is well-known for his accurate and thoughtful discussions on the economy and US commercial printing industry. A foremost author and speaker on economic business trends in the printing industry, Paparozzi heads Epicomm's Printing Economic Research Center.

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