Mississippi Delta Inc. has been selling switching equipment to computer companies on net 30 terms, in which payment is expected by 30 days from the invoice date. Concerned about deteriorating collection patterns, the credit manager has divided customers into two groups for examination purpose; prompt payers and laggards. Prompt payers (80 percent of Mississippi Delta’s customers) pay, on average, in 35 days, versus a 72-day average for the laggards. The manager wonders if the credit terms should be modified to include a 2 percent cash discount on invoices paid within 10 days. The average invoice is the same for both groups, roughly $4,000. The manager expects 50 percent of the prompt payers to pay in exactly 10 days and the average on the other half to slip to 40 days. He thinks that the 20 percent of the laggards will pay is 10 days and the average on the others will slip to 70 days. Given these forecasts, he is not sure that the lost revenue from discount takers (who would then pay only 98 percent of the invoiced dollar amount) justifies the improved collection. The company’s annual cost of capital is 11 percent.
A. What other factors should be taken into account before Mississippi Delta Inc. makes a switch, assuming such is justifiable on an NPV basis.
B. Sensitivity analysis involves varying the key assumptions, one at a time, and observing the effect on the key decisions criterion-such as profits or NPV. In the NPV analysis above, how could one carry out sensitivity analysis? (If you have a financial spreadsheet available, conduct a sensitivity analysis that varies the number of prompt payers who will pay I exactly 10 days and report your findings.)