From coronary stents to defibrillators, and from pacemakers to devices that mask chronic pain, Boston Scientific aims to build the best possible medical solutions to support physicians and their patients. The company currently offers more than 13,000 products across 100-plus countries—and it’s perpetually growing that portfolio by investing in both innovation and mergers and acquisitions (M&A). To support those ongoing research and development (R&D) and M&A investments, the treasury team is perpetually looking for ways to “fund the journey to fuel growth,” as the company’s strategy statement puts it.

“One of our areas of responsibility is to increase cash flows to support Boston Scientific’s $1 billion in R&D,” says Bob Castagna, vice president and treasurer. “That means reaching beyond treasury’s boundaries. A few years ago, we evaluated our options for improving working capital. Any changes to our payables and sourcing agreements would be outside of our direct control, but we decided to explore the options available to the company.”

Castagna formed a project team to analyze the company’s current spending and payment terms, as well as to benchmark payment terms across the global healthcare sector. “We started with two treasury people and two sourcing people,” Castagna says. “We found that we were paying faster than anybody else in the industry.”

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Meg Waters

Meg Waters is the editor in chief of Treasury & Risk. She is the former editor in chief of BPM Magazine and the former managing editor of Business Finance.

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