Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Search results for: Lalith Seelanatha

3 Working Capital Management Practices in Small Businesses in Victoria

Authors: Ranjith Ihalanayake, Lalith Seelanatha, John Breen


In this study, we explored the current working capital management practices as applied in small businesses in Victoria, filling an existing theoretical and empirical gap in literature in general and in Australia in particular. Amidst the current global competitive and dynamic environment, the short term insolvency of small businesses is very critical for the long run survival. A firm’s short-term insolvency is dependent on the availability of sufficient working capital for feeding day to day operational activities. Therefore, given the reliance for short-term funding by small businesses, it has been recognized that the efficient management of working capital is crucial in respect of the prosperity and survival of such firms. Against this background, this research was an attempt to understand the current working capital management strategies and practices used by the small scale businesses. To this end, we conducted an internet survey among 220 small businesses operating in Victoria, Australia. The survey results suggest that the majority of respondents are owner-manager (73%) and male (68%). Respondents participated in this survey mostly have a degree (46%). About a half of respondents are more than 50 years old. Most of respondents (64%) have business management experience more than ten years. Similarly, majority of them (63%) had experience in the area of their current business. Types of business of the respondents are: Private limited company (41%), sole proprietorship (37%), and partnership (15%). In addition, majority of the firms are service companies (63%), followed by retailed companies (25%), and manufacturing (17%). Size of companies of this survey varies, 32% of them have annual sales $100,000 or under, while 22% of them have revenue more than $1,000,000 every year. In regards to the total assets, majority of respondents (43%) have total assets $100,000 or less while 20% of respondents have total assets more than $1,000,000. In regards to WCMPs, results indicate that almost 70% of respondents mentioned that they are responsible for managing their business working capital. The survey shows that majority of respondents (65.5%) use their business experience to identify the level of investment in working capital, compared to 22% of respondents who seek advice from professionals. The other 10% of respondents, however, follow industry practice to identify the level of working capital. The survey also shows that more than a half of respondents maintain good liquidity financial position for their business by having accounts payable less than accounts receivable. This study finds that majority of small business companies in western area of Victoria have a WCM policy but only about 8 % of them have a formal policy. Majority of the businesses (52.7%) have an informal policy while 39.5% have no policy. Of those who have a policy, 44% described their working capital management policies as a compromise policy while 35% described their policy as a conservative policy. Only 6% of respondents apply aggressive policy. Overall the results indicate that the small businesses pay less attention into the management of working capital of their business despite its significance in the successful operation of the business. This approach may be adopted during favourable economic times. However, during relatively turbulent economic conditions, such an approach could lead to greater financial difficulties i.e. short-term financial insolvency.

Keywords: small business, working capital management, Australia, sufficient, financial insolvency

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2 Virtual Container Yard: A Paradigm Shift in Container Inventory Management

Authors: Lalith Edirisinghe, Zhihong Jin, A.W. Wijeratne, Hansa Edirisinghe, Lakshmi Ranwala Rashika Mudunkotuwa


A paradigm shift in container inventory management (CIM) is a long-awaited industry need. Virtual container yard (VCY) is a concept developed in 2013 and its primary objective is to minimize shipping transport cost through implementing container exchange between carriers. Shipping lines always try to maintain lower container idle time and provide higher customer satisfaction. However, it is disappointing to note that carriers turn a blind eye to the escalating cost resulted from the present inefficient CIM mechanism. The cost of empty container management is simply transferred to the importers and exporters as freight adjustments. It also creates an environmental hazard. Therefore, it has now become a problem for the society. Therefore, a paradigm shift may be required as the present CIM system is not working for common interests of human beings as it should be.

Keywords: collaboation, inventory, shipping, virtual container yard

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1 High Performance Computing Enhancement of Agent-Based Economic Models

Authors: Amit Gill, Lalith Wijerathne, Sebastian Poledna


This research presents the details of the implementation of high performance computing (HPC) extension of agent-based economic models (ABEMs) to simulate hundreds of millions of heterogeneous agents. ABEMs offer an alternative approach to study the economy as a dynamic system of interacting heterogeneous agents, and are gaining popularity as an alternative to standard economic models. Over the last decade, ABEMs have been increasingly applied to study various problems related to monetary policy, bank regulations, etc. When it comes to predicting the effects of local economic disruptions, like major disasters, changes in policies, exogenous shocks, etc., on the economy of the country or the region, it is pertinent to study how the disruptions cascade through every single economic entity affecting its decisions and interactions, and eventually affect the economic macro parameters. However, such simulations with hundreds of millions of agents are hindered by the lack of HPC enhanced ABEMs. In order to address this, a scalable Distributed Memory Parallel (DMP) implementation of ABEMs has been developed using message passing interface (MPI). A balanced distribution of computational load among MPI-processes (i.e. CPU cores) of computer clusters while taking all the interactions among agents into account is a major challenge for scalable DMP implementations. Economic agents interact on several random graphs, some of which are centralized (e.g. credit networks, etc.) whereas others are dense with random links (e.g. consumption markets, etc.). The agents are partitioned into mutually-exclusive subsets based on a representative employer-employee interaction graph, while the remaining graphs are made available at a minimum communication cost. To minimize the number of communications among MPI processes, real-life solutions like the introduction of recruitment agencies, sales outlets, local banks, and local branches of government in each MPI-process, are adopted. Efficient communication among MPI-processes is achieved by combining MPI derived data types with the new features of the latest MPI functions. Most of the communications are overlapped with computations, thereby significantly reducing the communication overhead. The current implementation is capable of simulating a small open economy. As an example, a single time step of a 1:1 scale model of Austria (i.e. about 9 million inhabitants and 600,000 businesses) can be simulated in 15 seconds. The implementation is further being enhanced to simulate 1:1 model of Euro-zone (i.e. 322 million agents).

Keywords: agent-based economic model, high performance computing, MPI-communication, MPI-process

Procedia PDF Downloads 50