In a volatile market, risk assessment is tricky and many procurement and financial professionals do what people typically do in uncertain circumstances — they hedge their bets. In the context of operating cash ow (and the fundamental requirement not to run out of cash), they overprovision for working capital. If you can’t be sure precisely how much cash is in the business at any point in time, and what the current liabilities are, it’s better to err on the side of caution. So, they borrow to make up for potential shortfalls, and/or they reduce expenditures (which can needlessly hobble the business).

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