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    Working Capital Management

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    Drugs 'R Us operates a mail order pharmaceutical business on the West Coast. The firm receives an average of $325,000 in payments per day. On average, it takes four days for the firm to receive payment, from the time customers mail their checks to the time the firm receives and processes them. A lockbox system that consists of ten local depository banks and a concentration bank in San Francisco would cost $6,500 per month. Under this system, customers' checks would be received at the lockbox locations one day after they are mailed, and the daily total would be wired to the concentration bank at a cost of $9.75 each. Assume that the firm can earn 10 percent on marketable securities and that there are 260 working days and hence 260 transfers from each of the ten lockbox locations per year.

    a. What is the total annual cost of operating the lockbox system?
    b. What is the dollar benefit of the system to Drugs'R Us?
    c. Should the firm initiate the lockbox system?

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    Solution Preview

    a. There are two costs - fixed cost per month and second the cost per transfer
    Fixed cost = 6,500 per month X 12 months = $78,000
    The cost per transfer = 9.75 X 260 transfers per year = 2,535 per year for one ...